Award season kicks off with the 26th annual Gotham Film Awards

Award season kicks off with the 26th annual Gotham Film Awards

Celebrities including David Oyelowo and Kate Beckinsale attend the Gotham Film Awards in New York. Amy Adams and director Oliver Stone pick up career honors at the ceremony.

The Independent Filmmaker Project celebrated its 26 Gotham Film Awards on Monday (November 28) in New York with a star-studded red carpet.

Actors Ethan Hawke, Amy Adams and director Oliver Stone were among those who received special tributes.

“I feel like 42 is kind of young to get a tribute, but I’m really honored. I was awarded here with the breakthrough actor eleven years ago. So, nice to sort of have this full circle moment back at the Gothams,” said Adams who is currently generating Oscar buzz for two films, “Arrival’ and “Nocturnal Animals.”

As a native New Yorker, veteran filmmaker Oliver Stone said picking up a Gotham Award is an honor and talked about the importance of making films that stand for something.

“Sometimes in America, you know, you have to make pro-American films and I think that’s always a huge mistake. I think you have to take a worldwide view is the right view. Independence is earned, it’s education, experience. You have to figure it out as you go,” he said.

“When I started I wasn’t really independent, you’re always bound by pressures. I think I’ve achieved some degree of independence,” Stone added.

“Manchester by the Sea” came into the evening with the most nominations, including one for newcomer, Lucas Hedges.

“First of all it’s the best teenaged part I’ve ever seen in my life, I mean, I’m 19, but still. I’ve never seen anybody who can write a teenager this well. And there are tons, of tons of screenwriters who have no idea how to write teenagers. And on top of that, I mean, Kenny’s (Kenneth Lonergan) one of my favorite playwrights. I’m very interested in doing theater and the opportunity to work with him – I mean, there is nothing – I can’t ask for more than that.”

The movie follows Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck), whose solitary life is upended when his brother dies and he is forced to take care of his ebullient teenage nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges) and return to the Massachusetts fishing village where his past haunts him.

The cast of “Moonlight,” earned the Special Gotham Jury Award for best ensemble acting, in addition to nominations for best feature. In the film we see the lead character, Chiron, go through three defining moments of his life in childhood, adolescence and adulthood, as he grapples with his sexuality and identity among his peers.

Actress Naomie Harris said being a part of the film is incredible.

“This is what you kind of hope will happen in your career. That you’ll make something that people are so passionate about and love so much. And to have it happen is a wonderful feeling. And also it’s for a film that has such a beautiful universal message.”

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