Moonrise-Kingdom-PosterLast night, New York played host to the 22nd annual Gotham Awards, honouring some of the year’s finest independent feature films, and a strong part of the awards season that we’re currently in the midst of.

Having debuted at Cannes earlier in the year, followed by a record-breaking release in the spring, Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom has taken home the top prize, winning Best Feature at last night’s awards.

As a huge fan of both the film and Anderson, himself, I couldn’t be happier with the result.

Starring Mark Ruplass, Emily Blunt, and Rosemarie DeWitt, Lynn Shelton’s Your Sister’s Sister fought off very strong competition – including Moonrise Kingdom, David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook, and Colin Trevorrow’s Safety Not Guaranteed – to win Best Ensemble Performance.

And the critically acclaimed Beasts of the Southern Wild took home two awards, earning Benh Zeitlin the Breakthrough Director award, as well as the inaugural Bingham Ray Award.

The Audience Award was taken home by Jared Leto for his documentary, Artifact, which takes a look at the production of 30 Seconds to Mars’ latest album, This Is War, whilst fighting a $30m. law suit from their own record label (directed under Leto’s pseudonym, Bartholomew Cubbins).

Emayatzy Corinealdi won the Breakthrough Actor award for her performance in Ava DuVernay’s Middle of Nowhere; David France’s documentary, How to Survive a Plague, took the prize in the Best Documentary category; and Terence Nance’s animated feature, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, won the Best Film Not Playing in a Theatre Near You award.

Alongside the main categories, David O. Russell, Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard, and Participant Media founder Jeff Skoll were honoured with career tributes, each introduced by recent or past collaborators.

As one of the most high-profile awards ceremonies celebrating independent films, it’s always excellent to see a wide variety of films getting recognised here.

Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom took home the top prize over Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, and will certainly make for interesting speculations over the next six weeks and beyond, with the Oscar nominations announced in January. I’m keeping my fingers tightly crossed that Moonrise Kingdom will be making its presence felt once more in January, and maybe even again in February, if not for the Best Picture prize, then perhaps in the Best Original Screenplay category for Anderson and co-writer Roman Coppola.


Best Feature

  • Moonrise Kingdom
  • Bernie
  • The Loneliest Planet
  • The Master
  • Middle of Nowhere

Best Documentary

  • How to Survive a Plague
  • Detropia
  • Marina Abramavi?: The Artist is Present
  • Room 237
  • The Waiting Room

Best Ensemble Performance

  • Your Sister’s Sister
  • Bernie
  • Moonrise Kingdom
  • Safety Not Guaranteed
  • Silver Linings Playbook

Breakthrough Director

  • Benh Zeitlin – Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Antonio Méndez Esparza – Aquí y Allá (Here and There)
  • Brian M. Cassidey, Melanie Shatzky – Francine
  • Jason Corlund, Julia Halperin – Now, Forager
  • Zal Batmanglij – Sound of My Voice

Breakthrough Actor

  • Emayatzy Corinealdi – Middle of Nowhere
  • Mike Birbiglia – Sleepwalk with Me
  • Thure Lindhardt – Keep the Lights On
  • Melanie Lynskey – Hello, I Must Be Going
  • Quevenzhané Wallis – Beasts of the Southern Wild

Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You

  • An Oversimplification of Her Beauty
  • Kid-Thing
  • Red Flag
  • Sun Don’t Shine
  • Tiger Tall in Blue