The movie awards season got into gear Thursday morning with the nominations for the 23rd Gotham Independent Film Awards. Likely Oscar contender "12 Years a Slave" earned the most nominations with three: best film, best actor for Chiwetel Ejiofor and breakthrough actor for Lupita Nyong'o.
"Blue Caprice," "Fruitvale Station," "Inside Llewyn Davis" and "Upstream Color" received two nominations each.
Nominations were announced in seven competitive categories:
Best feature: Besides "12 Years a Slave," the nominees are "Ain't Them Bodies Saints," "Before Midnight," "Inside Llewyn Davis" and "Upstream Color."
Best documentary: "The Art of Killing," "The Crash Reel," "First Cousin Once Removed," "Let the Fire Burn" and "Our Nixon."
Best actor: Vying with Ejiofor are Oscar Isaac in "Inside Llewyn Davis," Matthew McConaughey in "Dallas Buyers Club," Robert Redford for "All Is Lost" and Isaiah Washington for "Blue Caprice."
Best actress: Cate Blanchett for "Blue Jasmine," Scarlett Johansson in "Don Jon," Brie Larson for "Short Term 12," Amy Seimetz in "Upstream Color" and Shailene Woodley in "The Spectacular Now."
Bingham Ray breakthrough director: Ryan Coogler for "Fruitvale Station," Adam Leon for "Gimme the Loot," Alexandre Moors for "Blue Caprice," Stacie Passon for "Concussion" and Amy Seimetz for "Sun Don't Shine."
Breakthrough actor: Competing with Nyong'o are Dane DeHaan in "Kill Your Darlings," Kathryn Hahn in "Afternoon Delight," Michael B. Jordan in "Fruitvale Station" and Robin Weigert in "Concussion."
Gotham Independent Film Audience Award: The fourth annual award will be voted on by the independent film community, 230,000 film fans worldwide. To be eligible, a U.S. film must have won an audience award at one of the top 50 U.S. or Canadian film festivals from December 2012 to October 2013. Voting begins Oct. 24 at http://www.gotham.ifp.org/audience_award for the 34 films on the eligibility list. The nominees will be announced Nov. 8
The awards are sponsored by the Independent Filmmaker Project, the oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers in the U.S. Fifteen writers, critics and programmers considered 203 eligible submissions.
For the third year, the IFP is also presenting the euphoria Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Filmmakers "Live the Dream" grant, a $25,000 cash award for an alumna of the IFP's Independent Filmmaker Labs. Nominees this year are directors Afia Nathaniel, Gita Pullapilly and Deb Shoval.
Besides the competitive awards, actor/director/producer Forest Whitaker, director/writer/producer Richard Linklater and Katherine Oliver, commissioner of the New York City Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, are to receive tributes.
The awards are scheduled to be handed out Dec. 2 at Cipirani Wall Street in New York City.