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Kenneth Lonergan's Casey Affleck-starrer Manchester by the Sea scored a leading four Gotham Independent Film Award nominations, including one for best feature, it was revealed Thursday.
Facing off against Amazon Studios' Manchester by the Sea in the top category are IFC's Kelly Reichardt-directed Certain Women, Paramount's Richard Linklater-helmed Everybody Wants Some, A24's Barry Jenkins-directed Moonlight and fellow Amazon title Paterson, helmed by Jim Jarmusch and starring Adam Driver.
Moonlight, which has been getting rave reviews as it has screened at various film festivals this fall, also earned a special Gotham Jury Award for ensemble performance, the same honor given to the cast of future best picture winner Spotlight at last year's Gotham Awards. The ensemble award will go to actors Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Alex Hibbert, André Holland, Jharrel Jerome, Janelle Monae, Jaden Piner, Trevante Rhodes and Ashton Sanders. In bestowing the award to Moonlight's ensemble, the best actor/best actress and breakthrough actor nominating panels said that in the A24 film, "actors at all levels of experience give outstanding performances that speak eloquently to one another both within and across each chapter of the story.”
In all, Moonlight received three nominations, including one for best screenplay, by Jenkins, with a story by Tarell Alvin McCraney. Fellow best screenplay nominees include Taylor Sheridan's Hell or High Water, Whit Stillman's Love & Friendship, Manchester by the Sea and Paterson.
Paterson also landed three nominations, with the third coming in the best actor category for star Driver. There, Driver faces off against Affleck, Loving's Joel Edgerton, Hell or High Water's Jeff Bridges and Morris From America's Craig Robinson.
The best actress nominees are Love & Friendship's Kate Beckinsale, 20th Century Women's Annette Bening, Elle's Isabelle Huppert, Loving's Ruth Negga and Jackie's Natalie Portman.
Nominees for the Bingham Ray breakthrough director award are as follows: The Witch's Robert Eggers, The Fits' Anna Rose Holmer, Swiss Army Man's Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert, Krisha's Trey Edward Shults and Southside With You's Richard Tanne.
The best documentary nominees include a number of high-profile titles: ESPN Films' O.J.: Made in America, Weiner and I Am Not Your Negro. Cameraperson and Tower round out the category.
For the second year in a row, the Gotham Awards also will recognize shortform online content and longform TV series. Breakthrough longform series nominees include Louis C.K.'s self-distributed Horace and Pete, The CW's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Starz's The Girlfriend Experience and Netflix's Master of None and Marvel's Jessica Jones.
The Gotham Award nominees are selected by committees of film critics, journalists, festival programmers and film curators. Separate juries of writers, directors, actors, producers, editors and others directly involved in making films will determine the final award recipients.
IFP members vote on the winner in the final competitive category, the audience award. The 15 films nominated for best feature, best documentary and the Bingham Ray breakthrough director award make up the nominees in that category. The winner was determined via online voting by IFP members from Nov. 16-23 and will be announced at the Gotham Awards ceremony.
The Gotham Awards will be handed out on Monday, Nov. 28, at New York City's Cipriani Wall Street. In addition to the competitive awards, previously announced tributes also will be given to actors Amy Adams and Ethan Hawke, director Oliver Stone and industry tribute recipient, producer and New Regency founder and chairman Arnon Milchan. The New York City Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment will also receive a special appreciation award, celebrating the 50th anniversary of New York City's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting. NYC film commissioner Julie Menin and deputy mayor Alicia Glen will accept the honor and then present two "Made in NY" awards to Aziz Ansari (Master of None) and Judith Light (Transparent).
The Gotham Awards are seen as the official start of Oscar season. Recent Gotham Award winners have included Oscar nominees and winners Spotlight, Birdman, Boyhood, Citizenfour, Inside Llewyn Davis, The Act of Killing, Moonrise Kingdom, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Beginners, The Tree of Life, Winter’s Bone and The Hurt Locker.
A full list of this year's Gotham Independent Film Award nominees follows.
Full disclosure: The Hollywood Reporter's film and theater critic David Rooney and chief TV critic Tim Goodman were on the best actor/best actress and breakthrough longform series nominating committees.
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