Gotham Awards: 'First Cow' Leads Nominations

First Cow Still 1 - A24 Publicity-H 2019
Courtesy of A24

The awards show will take place in a hybrid virtual and in-person format in January.

Kelly Reichardt's First Cow earned a leading four nominations for the 2020 Gotham Independent Film Awards.

In the category of best feature, where for the first time all of the nominees are directed by women, Reichardt's film will face off against Kitty Green's The Assistant, Eliza Hittman's Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Chloé Zhao's Nomadland and Natalie Erika James' Relic.

Nomadland and Never Rarely Sometimes Always are among the many films that earned two nominations. Other movies nominated twice include Radha Blank's The Forty-Year-Old Version, Charlie Kaufman's I'm Thinking of Ending Things, Andrew Patterson's The Vast of Night, Channing Godfrey Peoples' Miss Juneteenth, Sean Durkin's The Nest and Alex Thompson's Saint Frances.

First Cow is also nominated for best screenplay (by Reichardt and Jon Raymond), best actor (John Magaro) and breakthrough actor (Orion Lee).

The film, which received a brief limited theatrical release in March before theaters across the U.S. closed amid the novel coronavirus pandemic and was rereleased on VOD in July, is a quiet portrait of male friendship and loyalty set in early 19th century Oregon.

Other noteworthy nominees include a posthumous best actor nod for Chadwick Boseman for his work in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and a best international feature nod for Netflix's controversial Cuties.

On the TV side, breakthrough series — long format nominees are The Great, Immigration Nation, P-Valley, Unorthodox and Watchmen. Breakthrough series — short format nominees are Betty, Dave, I May Destroy You, Taste the Nation and Work in Progress.

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.

"We congratulate the 2020 IFP Gotham Award nominees. In this unprecedented year we look forward to bringing the industry together and shining a light on some incredible films and television shows," Jeffrey Sharp, executive director of IFP, which presents the Gotham Awards, said Thursday in a statement. "We are proud to be celebrating our 30th anniversary in our resilient city, and continuing the core mission of IFP, independent storytelling."

IFP members can vote online in December for the winner in the final competitive category, the audience award. The 20 films nominated for best feature, best documentary, best international feature and the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award make up the nominees in that category.

Recent Gotham Award winners have included Oscar nominees and winners Marriage Story, American Factory, Call Me by Your Name, Moonlight, 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.

The 30th annual Gotham Awards ceremony will take place in a hybrid format on Monday, Jan. 11, live from the show's regular venue, New York's Cipriani Wall Street, with virtual interactive tables. The recipients of the awards' annual actor, director and industry tributes will be announced at a later date.

The full list of this year's nominees follows.

Full disclosure: The Hollywood Reporter's chief film critic David Rooney, reviews editor Jon Frosch and chief TV critic Dan Fienberg were part of the nominating committees for international feature, breakthrough actor  and breakthrough series, respectively.

Best Feature

The Assistant
Kitty Green, director; Scott Macaulay, James Schamus, P. Jennifer Dana, Ross Jacobson, producers (Bleecker Street)

First Cow
Kelly Reichardt, director; Neil Kopp, Vincent Savino, Anish Savjani, producers (A24)

Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Eliza Hittman, director; Adele Romanski, Sara Murphy, producers (Focus Features)

Chloé Zhao, director; Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey, Chloé Zhao, producers (Searchlight Pictures)

Natalie Erika James, director; Anna Mcleish, Sarah Shaw, Jake Gyllenhaal, Riva Marker, producers (IFC Midnight)

Best Documentary

76 Days
Hao Wu, Weixi Chen, Anonymous, directors; Hao Wu, Jean Tsien, producers (MTV Documentary Films)

City Hall
Frederick Wiseman, director; Frederick Wiseman, Karen Konicek, producers (Zipporah Films)

Our Time Machine
Yang Sun, S. Leo Chiang directors; S. Leo Chiang, Yang Sun, producers (Passion River Films)

A Thousand Cuts
Ramona S. Diaz, director; Ramona S. Diaz, Leah Marino, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn, producers (PBS Distribution | FRONTLINE )

Garrett Bradley, director; Lauren Domino, Kellen Quinn, Garrett Bradley, producers (Amazon Studios)

Best International Feature

Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juliano Dornelles, directors; Emilie Lesclaux, Saïd Ben Saïd, Michel Merkt, producers (Kino Lorber)

Kantemir Balagov, director; Alexander Rodnyansky, Sergey Melkumov, producers (Kino Lorber)

Cuties (Mignonnes)
Maïmouna Doucouré, director; Zangro, producer (Netflix)

Identifying Features
Fernanda Valadez, director; Astrid Rondero, producer (Kino Lorber)

Martin Eden
Pietro Marcello, director; Pietro Marcello, Beppe Caschetto, Thomas Ordonneau, Michael Weber, Viola Fügen, producers (Kino Lorber)

Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart, directors; Paul Young, Nora Twomey, Tomm Moore, Stéphan Roelants, producers (Apple)

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award
Radha Blank for The Forty-Year-Old Version (Netflix)
Channing Godfrey Peoples for Miss Juneteenth (Vertical Entertainment)
Alex Thompson for Saint Frances (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
Carlo Mirabella-Davis for Swallow (IFC Films)
Andrew Patterson for The Vast of Night (Amazon Studios)

Best Screenplay
Bad Education, Mike Makowsky (HBO)
First Cow, Jon Raymond, Kelly Reichardt (A24)
The Forty-Year-Old Version, Radha Blank (Netflix)
Fourteen, Dan Sallitt (Grasshopper Film)
The Vast of Night, James Montague, Craig Sanger (Amazon Studios)

Best Actor
Riz Ahmed in Sound of Metal (Amazon Studios)
Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)
Jude Law in The Nest (IFC Films)
John Magaro in First Cow (A24)
Jesse Plemons in I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Netflix)

Best Actress
Nicole Beharie in Miss Juneteenth (Vertical Entertainment)
Jessie Buckley in I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Netflix)
Yuh-Jung Youn in Minari (A24)
Carrie Coon in The Nest (IFC Films)
Frances McDormand in Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)

Breakthrough Actor
Jasmine Batchelor in The Surrogate (Monument Releasing)
Kingsley Ben-Adir in One Night in Miami … (Amazon Studios)
Sidney Flanigan in Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Focus Features)
Orion Lee in First Cow (A24)
Kelly O’Sullivan in Saint Frances (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

Breakthrough Series – Long Format (over 40 minutes)

The Great, Tony McNamara, creator; Tony McNamara, Marian Macgowan, Mark Winemaker, Elle Fanning, Brittany Kahan Ward, Doug Mankoff, Andrew Spaulding, Josh Kesselman, Ron West, Matt Shakman, executive producers (Hulu)

Immigration Nation, Christina Clusiau, Shaul Schwarz, Dan Cogan, Jenny Raskin, Brandon Hill, Christian Thompson, executive producers (Netflix)

P-Valley, Katori Hall, creator; Katori Hall, Dante Di Loreto, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Liz W. Garcia, executive producers (Starz)

Unorthodox, Anna Winger, Alexa Karolinski , creators; Anna Winger, Henning Kamm, executive producers (Netflix)

Watchmen, Damon Lindelof, Creator for Television; Tom Spezialy, Nicole Kassell, Stephen Williams, Joseph E. Iberti, executive producers (HBO)

Breakthrough Series – Short Format (under 40 minutes)

Betty, Crystal Moselle, Lesley Arfin, Igor Srubshchik, Jason Weinberg, executive producers (HBO)

Dave, Dave Burd, Jeff Schaffer, creators; Dave Burd, Jeff Schaffer, Saladin K. Patterson, Greg Mottola, Kevin Hart, Marty Bowen, Scooter Braun, Mike Hertz, Scott Manson, James Shin, executive producers (FX Networks)

I May Destroy You, Michaela Coel, creator; Michaela Coel, Phil Clarke, Roberto Troni, executive producers (HBO)

Taste the Nation, Padma Lakshmi, David Shadrack Smith, Sarina Roma, executive producers (Hulu)

Work in Progress, Abby McEnany, Tim Mason, creators, Abby McEnany, Tim Mason, Lilly Wachowski, Lawrence Mattis, Josh Adler, Ashley Berns, Julia Sweeney, Tony Hernandez, executive producers (Showtime)