“Moonlight,” “Manchester By The Sea,” “Jackie” Land Major Gotham Independent Award Nominations

The 2016 Gotham Award nominations have been announced, and while Manchester By The Sea came out on top with four nominations, films like Moonlight and Jackie managed to score some key mentions as well.

Manchester By The Sea, which has been considered a key Oscar player in several categories since its premiere at Sundance earlier this year, managed to receive nominations for Best Feature, Best Screenplay, Best Breakthrough Actor and Best Actor for Casey Affleck, an early favorite to win in that category.

This is great news for the film, distributed by Amazon, which is still a month away until it will be released in theaters. With flashier titles like La La Land and Moonlight on everyone’s mind, this was a good way to keep it on people’s minds until it can start being seen by audiences. This is Amazon’s first film that’s being seriously campaigned for Oscar attention (they had Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq last year). Another Amazon film that did well was summer box office hit Love & Friendship, which managed a Best Screenplay nod and a Best Actress mention for Kate Beckinsale.


Speaking of Moonlight, director Barry Jenkins’ second feature managed to receive nominations for Best Feature and Best Screenplay. There are no supporting categories at the Gothams, which is why the actors in the film (Janelle Monáe, Noamie Harris, Mahershala Ali and Andre Holland) who are receiving Oscar buzz did not receive nominations; the film’s narrative is split between three periods of the protagonist’s, Chiron, life. Because of the division of screen time, there is no traditional lead actor.

The film is opening in limited release in New York and L.A. this weekend, and partnered with its nominations here is great publicity for the film. Distributor A24 proved last year that they’re serious, and have the potential, to get their films nominated in the major categories; Room received surprise nominations for director Lenny Abrahamson and for the film in Best Picture, with Lead Actress Brie Larson going on to win for her performance. They also managed to get a Visual Effects award for Ex Machina and a Documentary award for AmyMoonlight is their big play this year, and you can bet they’re going to push it hard.


Fox Searchlight’s Jackie managed a nomination for Natalie Portman, whose performance as the former First Lady Jackie Kennedy has received rave reviews, and positioned her as a frontrunner. La La Land‘s Emma Stone was not eligible for consideration here, as La La Land is not an independent film. 20th Century Women‘s Annette Bening, Elle‘s Isabelle Huppert and Loving‘s Ruth Negga, however, did score nominations here (as did her co-star Joel Edgerton). It will be interesting to see who wins this race in the absence of Stone. In past year’s, the Gothams have strayed away from rewarding the ‘obvious’ winner/frontrunner.

Read the full list of nominees below. The Gotham Awards will take place on Monday November 28.

Best Feature

  • Certain Women (dir. Kelly Reichardt; Producers- Neil Kopp, Vincent Savino, Anish Savjani; IFC Films)
  • Everybody Wants Some (dir. Richard Linklater; Producers- Ginger Sledge, Richard Linklater; Paramount Pictures)
  • Manchester By The Sea (dir. Kenneth Lonergan; Producers- Kimberly Steward, Matt Damon, Chris Moore, Lauren Beck, Kevin J. Walsh; Amazon Studios)
  • Moonlight (dir. Barry Jenkins; Producers- Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner; A24)
  • Patterson (dir. Jim Jarmusch; Producers- Joshua Astrachan, Carter Logan; Amazon Studios)

Best Documentary

  • Cameraperson (dir. Kirsten Johnson; Producer- Marilyn Ness; Janus Films)
  • I Am Not Your Negro (dir. Raoul Peck; Producers- Rémi Grellety, Raoul Peck, Hébert Peck; Magnolia Pictures)
  • O.J.: Made In America (dir. Ezra Edelman; Producers- Caroline Waterlow, Ezra Edelman, Tamara Rosenberg, Nina Krstic, Deirdre Fenton, Erin Leyden; ESPN Films)
  • Tower (dir. Keith Maitland; Producer- Keith Maitland, Megan Gilbride, Susan Thomson; Independent Lens)
  • Weiner (directors & producers- Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg; Sundance Selects and Showtime Documentary Films)

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award

  • Robbert Eggers, The Witch (A24)
  • Anna Rose Holmer, The Fits (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
  • Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert, Swiss Army Man (A24)
  • Trey Edward Shults, Krisha (A24)
  • Richard Tanne, Southside With You (Roadside Attractions and Miramax)

Best Screenplay:

  • Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan (CBS Films)
  • Love & Friendship, Whit Stillman (Amazon Studios)
  • Manchester By The Sea, Kenneth Lonergan (Amazon Studios)
  • Moonlight, Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney; Screenplay by Barry Jenkins (A24)
  • Paterson, Jim Jarmusch (Amazon Studios)

Best Actor

  • Casey Affleck, Manchester By The Sea (Amazon Studios)
  • Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water (CBS Films)
  • Adams Driver, Paterson (Amazon Studios)
  • Joel Edgerton, Loving (Focus Features)
  • Craig Robinson, Morris from America (A24)

Best Actress:

  • Kate Beckinsale, Love & Friendship (Amazon Studios)
  • Annette Bening, 20th Century Women (A24)
  • Isabelle Huppert, Elle ( Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Ruth Negga, Loving ( Focus Features)
  • Natalie Portman, Jackie (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Best Breakthrough Actor

  • Lily Gladstone, Certain Women (IFC Films)
  • Lucas Hedges, Manchester By The Sea (Amazon Studios)
  • Royalty Hightower, The Fits (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
  • Sasha Lane,  American Honey (A24)
  • Anya Taylor-Joy, The Witch (A24)