BREAKING: The Wes Anderson-directed Moonrise Kingdom captured the Best Picture Award at the 22nd Independent Feature Project’s Gotham Awards. Tonight’s fete at Cipriani Wall Street is the first of many awards gatherings, with this one specifically dedicated to the celebration of the best of independent film. The awards were hosted by Mike Birbiglia, who was up for a Breakthrough Actor Award for Sleepwalk With Me. Hate to say it, but he seemed to sleepwalk through his opening monologue, though it’s kind of a Gotham Award tradition to see awkward openings of the show. Birbiglia did a word for word recitation of David O Russell’s fit of anger toward Lily Tomlin in the virally distributed clip caught on the set of the 2004 film I Heart Huckabees. Nobody laughed, and after The Fighter and now Silver Linings Playbook, didn’t Russell (who was among those being honored tonight for career achievement) deserve some new material?

IFP Award For Best Feature

WINNER: Moonrise Kingdom. The Wes Anderson-directed film won over the following nominees:

The Loneliest Planet
The Master
Middle Of Nowhere

IFP Best Documentary Award:

WINNER: How To Survive A Plague, the acclaimed AIDS activism docu written and directed by David France. Other nominees:

Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present
Room 237
The Waiting Room

IFP Best Ensemble Performance Award:

WINNER: Your Sister’s Sister castmembers Emily Blunt, Rosemarie Dewitt, Mark Duplass. This is a surprise, given the strong case of the other nominees:

Bernie : Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey
Moonrise Kingdom : Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Jason Schwartzman, Bob Balaban
Safety Not Guaranteed : Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson, Karan Soni, Jenica Bergere, Kristen Bell, Jeff Garlin, Mary Lynn Rajskub
Silver Linings Playbook : Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, Anupam Kher, John Ortiz, Julia Stiles, Shea Wigham, Paulie Herman

IFP Calvin Klein Female Filmmaker Award

WINNER: Stacie Passon, director of Concussion

Bingham Ray Award (a new prize dedicated to the late indie film titan):

WINNER: Benh Zeitlin for Beasts Of The Southern Wild

IFP Best Film Not Playing At A Theater Near You Award:

WINNER: An Oversimplification Of Her Beauty, written and directed by Terence Nance.

IFP Breakthrough Actor Award:

WINNER: Emayatzy Corinealdi won for Middle Of Nowhere. The other nominees were:
Mike Birbiglia in Sleepwalk With Me
Thure Lindhardt in Keep The Lights On
Melanie Lynskey in Hello, I Must Be Going
Quvenzhané Wallis in Beasts Of The Southern Wild

IFP Breakthrough Director Award:

WINNER: Benh Zeitlin won for Beasts Of The Southern Wild. The other nominees were

Zal Batmanglij for Sound Of My Voice
Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky for Francine
Jason Cortlund and Julia Halperin for Now, Forager
Antonio Méndez Esparza for Aquí y Allá (Here And There)

Gotham Independence Film Audience Award Winner:

WINNER: Artifact: the documentary directed by Bartholomew Cubbins beat out nominees that included Beasts Of The Southern Wild, which Jared Leto cited in his acceptance speech, almost seeming apologetic that his film won.