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Gotham Awards adds screenplay prize and announces director tribute: Todd Haynes

Todd Haynes

Director Todd Haynes with his “Carol” costars, Rooney Mara, left, and Cate Blanchett, at Cannes in May. Haynes will be the focus of the Gotham Awards’ director tribute.

(Bertrand Langlois / AFP/Getty Images)

Screenwriters can feel they’re on the margins in today’s Hollywood, rewritten endlessly and pushed down on the credit line. The Gotham Awards made a small effort to reverse that trend Thursday when it announced that it has created a new screenplay prize.

A sort of New York equivalent of the West Coast’s Spirit Awards, the show takes place right after Thanksgiving and is one of the first ceremonies of the season.

The Gothams have sought to limit the bloat of the show -- before Thursday it had just seven awards -- but felt that screenwriting’s time has come.

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“We’re honored to celebrate screenwriting this year for the first time, finally giving due credit to the significance of this craft to independent film as an art form,” said Joana Vicente, who oversees the show.

The Gothams previously featured a mix of acting and directing awards, as well as an audience prize. The Spirits already have multiple writing awards, including for screenplay and first screenplay.

Also at the Gothams: This year, the director tribute will spotlight Todd Haynes (“Far from Heaven” and “Velvet Goldmine”), whose lesbian drama “Carol” is a big awards contender from the Weinstein Co. this season. The tribute usually goes to a well-known indie name with a big movie out that season; last year, honors went to Bennett Miller.

While the Gothams usually take place too early to augur much -- this years events are on Nov. 30 -- there has been some overlap between its winners and the Oscars, especially as the latter has gone more indie in recent years. Last year, for instance, top honors at the Gothams went to “Birdman,” which wound up winning the Oscar for best picture.

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