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IFP Expands 17th Annual Gotham Awards

IFP Expands 17th Annual Gotham Awards with Move to Brooklyn's Steiner Studios on Tuesday, November 27 and New Slate of Public Programs Throughout November
The 2007 film awards season will kick-off in New York on Tuesday, November 27 with the 17th Annual Gotham Awards. Produced and presented by IFP, the Awards are expanding on two fronts this year with their move to the City's newest studio complex, Steiner Studios, and with their new collaborations to present public programs related to the Awards. In addition, IFP announced today three of this year's Gotham Awards Tributes: actor Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men, Love in the Time of Cholera, Before Night Falls), filmmaker Mira Nair (The Namesake, Monsoon Wedding, Salaam Bombay!) and film industry veteran Jonathan Sehring, President of IFC Entertainment.
New York, NY (PRWEB) October 2, 2007 -- The 2007 film awards season will kick-off in New York on Tuesday, November 27 with the 17th Annual Gotham Awards. Produced and presented by IFP, the Awards are expanding on two fronts this year with their move to the City's newest studio complex, Steiner Studios, and with their new collaborations to present public programs related to the Awards. In addition, IFP announced today three of this year's Gotham Awards Tributes: actor Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men, Love in the Time of Cholera, Before Night Falls), filmmaker Mira Nair (The Namesake, Monsoon Wedding, Salaam Bombay!) and film industry veteran Jonathan Sehring, President of IFC Entertainment.

IFP will also collaborate with some of New York's leading cultural organizations for the first time to present retrospectives of the Tribute individuals in the two weeks prior to the Awards. A retrospective of Mira Nair's work will take place at IFC Center November 14 - 20; a showcase of some of Javier Bardem's early films will take place at BAM Rose Cinemas at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) on November 24 - 26. In both instances, Nair and Bardem will be present for public Q&As. Returning for a second year to collaborate with IFP and its publication, Filmmaker magazine, is The Museum of Modern Art's (MoMA) Film Department for the presentation of the five nominees for "The Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You" Award. The screenings at MoMA will be held November 16 - 19.

The Gotham Awards celebrate the independent voices behind and in front of the camera in the year's best films. By recognizing that the best films come from a place that is more firmly rooted in the grasp of filmmakers - and not made by committee - and made with an economy of means, the Gothams salute the innovative films and filmmakers whose passion and vision make their way onto the screen year after year.

Four Tributes are presented as part of the Gothams, along with six competitive awards for Best Feature, Best Documentary, Breakthrough Actor, Breakthrough Director, Best Ensemble Cast and Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You. Nominees for competitive awards will be announced on Monday, October 22. Final recipients of competitive awards are determined by separate juries comprised of writers, directors, actors, producers and others directly involved in making films. For submission criteria, visit http://gotham.ifp.org.

"In developing this year's event, we thought there was a real opportunity for IFP to be proactive in its desire to re-think how the public engages in awards shows," says IFP Executive Director Michelle Byrd. "Instead of being solely about eyeballs on a broadcast, we decided to bring tremendous talents like Mira Nair and Javier Bardem and many of the films we're saluting directly to the public as part of a month-long celebration of the year's best films."

Gotham International Tribute Recipient Javier Bardem is the first Spaniard to have been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor, an honor he received for his portrayal of the Cuban poet and dissident Reinaldo Arenas in Julian Schnabel's Before Night Falls. Bardem's first leading role was opposite Penelope Cruz in the film Jamon, Jamon. In 2007 he will be featured in the Coen brothers' adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel No Country for Old Men (Miramax Films), Mike Newell's adaptation of Gabriel García Márquez's Love in the Time of Cholera (New Line Cinema) and Milos Forman's Goya's Ghosts (Samuel Goldwyn Films). Bardem is presently shooting Woody Allen's latest film which is set in Barcelona, Spain.

Gotham Filmmaker Tribute Recipient Mira Nair rose to acclaim when her debut feature, Salaam Bombay!, was nominated for an Academy Award in 1988. Subsequent films include Mississippi Masala (featuring Denzel Washington), The Perez Family, Hysterical Blindness (with Uma Thurman, Juliette Lewis and Gena Rowlands), Monsoon Wedding, Vanity Fair (starring Reese Witherspoon) and the 2007 release, The Namesake (Fox Searchlight Pictures). In 2003 Nair founded an annual filmmakers' laboratory, Maisha, dedicated to the support of visionary screenwriters and directors in East Africa and South Asia. Nair's company, Mirabai Films, is currently producing a series of four films to raise awareness of the AIDS epidemic in India. Her forthcoming film, Shantaram, will star Johnny Depp for Warner Bros.

Gotham Industry Tribute Recipient Jonathan Sehring is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Rainbow Media's film distribution, production and exhibition division, which includes the IFC Center, IFC Films, IFC First Take/IFC in Theaters and IFC Productions. A respected film executive, Sehring is considered a maverick among his peers for bringing independent films to audiences including managing the release and/or production of some of the most acclaimed, innovative and successful independent films of the last decade such as My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Fahrenheit 9/11, Boys Don't Cry, Waking Life, Y Tu Mama Tambien and Monsoon Wedding. He was part of the team that launched The Independent Film Channel in 1994 and he oversaw the design and construction of The IFC Center, a state-of-the-art facility that includes three theaters dedicated to independent films, serving as the focal point for the independent film community. In 2006, Sehring continued to forge new ground in the independent film world with the launch of the first theatrical/VOD day and date initiative, IFC First Take/IFC In Theaters. Films released under this banner received 13 Independent Spirit Awards, during its inaugural year, and two of its releases have been Palme d'Or winners at Cannes.

In moving this year's awards ceremony to Brooklyn, the Gothams can more comfortably accommodate its 1,000 guests both during the cocktails and the awards presentation.

"Independent film is New York's indigenous film culture," says Byrd. "What better way to underscore the importance of filmed entertainment in the City than by moving the Gothams onto a soundstage. Thanks to Doug Steiner, one of the chairmen of this year's gala, we were able to make that dream a reality."

"We're elated to host the Gotham Awards here in Brooklyn, the creative capital of New York City," said Douglas C. Steiner, chairman, Steiner Studios. "Independents are a wonderful, vital part of the New York filmmaking scene, and we are staunch supporters of the indie community."

Adding his enthusiasm for this year's move to Brooklyn, "We are thrilled to welcome the annual Gotham Awards to Brooklyn," states Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. "We are a hotbed of independent film and home to many, many filmmakers like those championed by the Gothams and IFP -- with innovative aesthetic vision and what we call 'chutzpah.' When it comes to creative moviemaking, Brooklyn says, 'Roll 'em!'"

The Gotham Awards will be promoted nationally via a partnership with The New York Times and locally via broadcast on NYC TV.

"NYC TV and IFP are natural partners. Our network celebrates 'Everything New York' and IFP celebrates the spirit of independent filmmaking that is very much at the heart of our dynamic city," said Arick Wierson, General Manager of NYC TV. "We are honored to support IFP and the City's film industry by serving as the broadcast partner for the annual Gotham Awards. It's a relationship that started two years ago and one that we hope to continue for many years into the future."

The Premiere Sponsors for the 2007 GOTHAM AWARDS are The New York Times and Steiner Studios; the Presenting Sponsors are Rainbow Media and Variety.

IFP's mission is to nurture and celebrate independent film and filmmakers, and to foster a vibrant and sustainable independent filmmaking community. We seek to empower individuals with the language of film, and enrich the world of film with a diversity of voices. We passionately believe that creating opportunities for independent, original and often controversial films to be made and seen is an essential part of a free, open and intellectually curious society.

Our programs provide filmmakers with access to the tools to develop and present their vision, and audiences with an opportunity to discover new work. Our signature programs include the Gotham Awards, the IFP Market, Filmmaker Magazine, IFP's Filmmaker Conference and IFP's Independent Film Labs.

IFP was founded in 1979. It is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in New York City with members throughout the world; it is the largest membership organization in the United States dedicated to independent film.

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