Giving Oscar season a pre-holidays kick off, The 25th annual Gotham Independent Film Awards happened tonight, with the ensemble drama Spotlight and the made-on-a-literal dime indie Tangerine taking home the most awards.

Spotlight, chronicling the Boston Globe’s groundbreaking investigation that uncovered systemic sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, won three. Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer won best screenplay, and the film also grabbed Best feature. A special jury prize for ensemble cast was also presented to Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci, Brian d’Arcy James, Liev Schreiber, and Billy Crudup, with Keaton and Ruffalo speaking for the assembled cast, both paying tribute to the journalists depicted in the film.

Tangerine, which follows trans people and sex workers on the fringes of society, and was filmed using iPhones, won twice. Trans actress Mya Taylor took home the Breakthrough Actor award, and the film itself won the Audience Award.

No other nominee won more than once, not unexpected in a year full of strong contenders. The Look of Silence, Joshua Oppenheimer’s follow up to his 2012 docu The Act Of Killing, which examines the lingering cultural trauma from the notorious Indonesian killings of 1965–66. won for Best Documentary. Bel Powley surprised obervers, beating out heavy favorites Lily Tomlin and Cate Blanchett to take home Best Actress for her turn as Minnie Goetze in Diary of a Teenage Girl. Paul Dano won Best Actor for portraying Brian Wilson in Love & Mercy. Meanwhile, Jonas Carpigano won Breakthrough Director for Mediterranea.

The Gotham Awards unveiled several new honors tonight as well. Breakthrough Series – Short Form, honoring online programming, went to the British comedic short series Shugs & Fats. The Gothams also honored longform television, giving Breakthrough Series – Long Form to USA Networks critically acclaimed Mr. Robot the price. Meanwhile, Ellen Cotter of Angelika Film Center Theaters took home the first Gotham Appreciation Award for her theater chains work promoting independent film.

Four tribute awards were also handed out, with Spotlight and Mr. Robot producer Steve Golin of Anonymous content, Carol director Todd Haynes, as well as Helen Mirren and Robert Redford on hand to accept their honors. Mirren, introduced with a charming, somewhat profane speech by Robert Di Niro accepted with profanity of her own, riffing off of Di Niro’s introduction and drawing big laughs, then becoming more serious when she decried what she called “chickensh*t political censorship,” and used her time to call attention to the light of condemned Saudi Poet Ashraf Fayadh. Redford, meanwhile, deeply humbled, recounted his long career and the time he was reminded he isn’t as special as he thinks.

Gotham Awards HostsBroadcast live on the web from Cipriani Wall Street in downtown Manhattan. Broad City duo Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer hosted, and while their set at times felt a bit like it had been put together the night before, they were as charming as ever, and fit well with the loose, f-bomb heavy atmosphere that benefitted from being online where TV censors can’t panic over language. The show felt a little overlong at nearly 3 hours long, including an intermission for dinner, but was overall a lively, salty bit of entertainment. More like this, please.

Last year’s ceremony proved a decent prognosticator of Oscar glory in several categories, with Birdman winning for Best Feature, the Snowden documentary Citizenfour taking home the Best Documentary award, and Julianne Moore winning Best Actress for her role in Still Alice. In addition, Boyhood won the audience award. We’ll see if the same holds true in 2016 for Spotlight.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20155:01 pm

We’re about to start here at Deadline HQ and in NYC With Jeremy Gerard. Hi everyone. 

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20155:06 pm

I’m here at Cipriani Wall Street in the madhouse of this yuge — as Donald Trump would say — gathering. Dominating my view of the podium is the Spotlight team: John Slattery, Brian d’Arcy James, etc,

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20155:07 pm

We’re still several minutes away from start.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20155:13 pm

The Broad City duo saying “there’s some dark sh*t nominated this evening.”

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20155:13 pm

They are my spirit animals.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20155:15 pm

“You guys made Spotlight look like Avatar” – Ilana and Abby on Tangerine.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20155:15 pm

The whiteness of the nominated actors is taking it on the chin and elsewhere tonight. Privilege rules…

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20155:17 pm

The indie spirit seeps through in the number of mufuhs pronounced from the podium. 

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20155:17 pm

I love this riff on the extremely marketable premise behind Carol. Reminds me of that old Kevin bacon film The Big Picture where a studio exec tries to turn his pitch about a married couple into a lesbian story.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20155:18 pm

The Broad City duo are awesome as usual but fittingly for the loose nature of the Gothams, it feels like they might have put their routine together last night.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20155:18 pm

The combined ages of honorees Robert Redford and Helen Mirren? You don’t want to think about it, because that means you’ve seen all their movies. 

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20155:19 pm

Including, in my case, Robert Redford as Uncle Death on The Twilight Zone.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20155:19 pm

Also, Jeremy is correct. This thing has enough F-bombs so far to send my vocabulary back into the stone age. What I’m saying is that I swear a lot.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20155:20 pm

I like to think about Robert Redford and Helen Mirren actually combining to form an ancient, brilliant acting Robot.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20155:20 pm

Clip job here on 25 years. How can you not choke up a bit? Robert Altman!

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20155:20 pm

Not me. I’m just cutting onions. My eyes are a little sweaty is all.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20155:22 pm

And here’s the part where IFP pats itself on its backs. OK,37 years is a darned good stretch say I. But no history lessons!

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20155:24 pm

He who forgets the past is doomed to give awards for 15 year old movies twice. NEVER FORGET THIS LESSON JEREMY.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20155:26 pm

Michael Shannon and Sarah Paulson give the breakout actor award. Heavy on transgender characters especially, apparently prostitutes among them. ?

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20155:27 pm

Here are the presenters of the Breakthrough Actor award.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20155:29 pm

Tangerine clearly is a crowd fave here.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20155:32 pm

Transgender actress Mya Taylor wins Breakthrough Actor for Tangerine. She couldn’t make it due to plane delay, but on her behalf, those who accepted the award said about her and others in the cast of the film that “They’ve proven that there is trans talent out there… we just have to look”

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20155:32 pm

Iñarittu on The Revenant: The bear was biting our ass for five years.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20155:33 pm

Many critics say the film feels like it. #sickburn. Disclosure: I haven’t seen it yet.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20155:35 pm

I’d like to convey HOW LOUD IT IS IN THIS HERE cavernous space. It will be a three-ibuprofen night.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20155:37 pm

Standing O for Steve and Anonymous Content.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20155:38 pm

Right now the first of the night’s tribute awards has been given, to Steve Golin. 

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20155:38 pm

Best screenplay coming up. Matt Dillon presenting.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20155:38 pm

Best Screenplay award given by Matt Dillon, a great actor I haven’t seen in awhile.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20155:39 pm


Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20155:42 pm

Man, lots of deliciously uncensored profanities during this ceremony.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20155:42 pm


Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20155:43 pm

Well that’s a good one.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20155:44 pm

Tom gives a high five to the real reporters from the Boston Globe.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20155:47 pm

Now presenting Breakthrough Series – short form.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20155:49 pm

Shugs & Fats — Hilarious, We ran away from our families so we could be here tonight. And they want to beat Donald Trump and vote for Hillary Clinton. And now we break for dinner.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20155:50 pm

HAH, they’re taking a fifteen minute break while dinner is served, and so will we! Jeremy, hope the meal is tasty.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20155:51 pm

Indies apparently eat very fast.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20155:55 pm

Steve Golin from earlier tonight.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20156:00 pm

They’re playing very bombastic swing music during this break, and I have to say that would sound like a fun juxtaposition with the profanity of the eve, but I spent part of today listening to very dirty songs from the 30s. 

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20156:09 pm

We’re back with Ilana and Abby.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20156:09 pm

“Eat up Tangerine, this is also your wrap party” – Ilana regarding the super quick dinner.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20156:12 pm

Lake Bell giving $25K grant to young women filmmakers, do I have that right? The Euphoria Calvin Klein Spotlight on — to many names in this award — 

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20156:13 pm

They’re not big on graphics here at the Gothams. No names appear on screens. Help us out, guys….

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20156:16 pm

It’s Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director time. 

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20156:18 pm

These seem like actual indie movies. Curse words. Hairy guys. Hairy girls,. Cynthia Nixon. With all due respect to Carol and Spotlight, these are not them.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20156:19 pm

Meditarraneo wins

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20156:19 pm

But you wouldn’t know it fro what’s up on the screens.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20156:19 pm

It’s a Star Wars tie in, Jeremy. They want you to divine information via the will of the Force.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20156:21 pm

A special jury award for Ensemble performance has been awarded. 

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20156:22 pm

Here’s the ensemble award for the brilliant Spotlight company. Special shoutout to Brian d’Arcy James, also appearing on Broadway in Something Rotten!

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20156:24 pm

Michael Keaton has had some wine tonight I think. 

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20156:24 pm

Mchael Keaton thanks Robert Redford and Tom Brokaw, a Babe Ruth in journalism. 

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20156:25 pm

That’s absurd. Edward R. Murrow is clearly the Babe Ruth of journalism. I mean in terms of impact on the field moving forward.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20156:26 pm

And now the first Gotham Appreciation Award, presented by Amy Ryan.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20156:26 pm

Mark Ruffalo on the group suppression of egos that went into Spotlight. Nice. And that no man is an island, to coin a phrase.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20156:27 pm

Angelika Film Centers get the nod. Also nice. Ground zero for the movies celebrated here. 

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20156:29 pm

“all of us thank the great filmmakers whose work graces our screens…”

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20156:30 pm

Rosie Perez ends every sentence with Especially when Donald Trump is running for President…

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20156:31 pm

“I just threw that in there.”

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20156:31 pm

Here’s Rosie Perez presenting the audience award, and making it clear she’s definitely not down with a Donald Trump presidency.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20156:32 pm

Audience award goes to Tangerine. Toldja.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20156:33 pm

Big cheers, much ballyhoo.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20156:33 pm

Nice Flashback there Jeremy. :)

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20156:34 pm

Blotter acid from my yout’.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20156:35 pm

De Niro is in the room. I didn’t grow up wanting to have sex with the Queen of England, says he.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20156:36 pm

No one did, Bob. No one did. 

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20156:36 pm

Oooof. Dad jokes abound tonight in Di Niro’s set.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20156:37 pm

Basically, he says he would hook it up with Helen Mirren, but not with QEII. Only with some dad jokes. 

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20156:38 pm

Hey, like me De Niro is a little confused about what makes an independent film these days. But he’s got ants in his pants for Helen Mirren 

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20156:40 pm

Wow. This clip job on Helen is impressive. I’m restored in my awe of her.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20156:41 pm

Apparently Helen Mirren and Nicol Williamson deeply disliked one another, which prompted Boorman to cast them as Morgana and Merlin in Excalibur in order to play off that preexisting tension. (They just showed a clip from Excalibur.) 

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20156:41 pm

I loved that shot of Nicol and Helen.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20156:41 pm

Soigne defined.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20156:42 pm

And a big ol’ standing O for her Heleness. I want to tell you a tory about f*cking the Queen, she begins….

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20156:43 pm

Oh Robert. “Now when you hear somebody say ‘F*ck the queen’… they may just be expressing their appreciation of the artistry of Helen Mirren”

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20156:43 pm

She alludes to her husband’s ongoing sexual prowess…

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20156:43 pm

Mirren follows with “I have to tell you a story about ‘f*cking the queen'”, proving that even the F-word sounds sophisticated with a received pronunciation accent.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20156:44 pm

Oh she’s pouring it on about the writers Turgenev to Christopher Hampton whose words I have learned and interpreted and spoken.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20156:45 pm

There appears to be about a 15 second delay on the livestream ladies and germs. 

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20156:45 pm

I was really hoping to get through an awards ceremony without the word storytelling popping up.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20156:46 pm

But she does wax eloquent on behalf of a Saudi poet sentenced to death and supported by PEN International 

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20156:46 pm

Her Royal Heleness decries “chickensh*t political censorship”, and calls to attention the plight of condemned Saudi poet Ashraf Fayadh

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20156:47 pm

Uncle Bob, joking it up.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20156:49 pm

Ilana and Abby are back, setting up Best docu. Their joke about Fury Road being a documentary thudded.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20156:51 pm

Cynthia Nixon, one of the best actresses in the world, or at least in New York, has gone all Adele in the eyelash department…

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20156:51 pm
Jeremy isn’t kidding.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20156:53 pm

The Look of Silence wins best Doc.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20156:55 pm

“That seems like pure fiction to us in America that somehow the regime that executed millions of people would still be in power, but that regime is still in power in Indonesia” – Said accepting the award for Look of Silence.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20156:56 pm

A powerful nod to the people of Indonesia.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20156:57 pm

Glenn Close, I’ve not only played opposite many a fine leading man, but I’ve also played a leading man. 

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20156:57 pm

Glenn Close kicking the truth and dropping science about sexism in Hollywood in her presentation of the award. She suggests if women would just play men they’d be allowed to age gracefully. Word.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:00 pm

Best Actor goes to Paul Dano

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:01 pm

I’d almost forgotten what a great movie Love & Mercy is.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20157:02 pm

Dano: “I’m so so happy just to be here, and I’m so happy and fortunate and proud to have been a part of this film… it’s an experience I will cherish forever and I know a lot of us feel the same way about the films we’re here for, so thank you for the support IFP…”

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:02 pm

Thanks Melinda Wilson for helping to tell Brian’s story. Nice speech.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20157:03 pm

Julianne Moore onstage now to present another of the night’s tribute awards, to Todd Haynes.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:04 pm

Is that really Julianne Moore? Who kidnapped Julianne Moore and replaced her with a starlet?

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20157:04 pm

Paul Dano accepting his award.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:04 pm

Gotta stop looking at the screens and check out the human on the podium….

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20157:05 pm

Julianne Moore is impossibly awesome. 

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:06 pm

They start off these clip jobs with a Siri like voice — but Siri after a couple of scotches — pronouncing Tribute. Creepy. 

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20157:06 pm

Speaking of Todd Haynes, Velvet Goldmine remains permanently in the number three spot of my favorite movies of all time.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:08 pm

Bait I ain’t taking, pal.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20157:08 pm


Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20157:11 pm

Todd Haynes

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:16 pm

Mariska Hargitay introduces breakthrough series. 

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:17 pm

They’re all amazing TV. Well maybe except Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20157:17 pm

It’s certainly the slightest nominee.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:18 pm

Mr. Robot!

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:19 pm

Well Transparent has had its bounty…

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20157:19 pm

Hell yes, Mr Robot deserves at least a couple of awards.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20157:19 pm

Such a great series to be slightly overshadowed by other amazing shows this year.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:21 pm

Best actress coming up from Harvey Keitel

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20157:22 pm

Harvey and Robert warmed up at the same comedy club tonight.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:23 pm


Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:25 pm

Blythe Danner has done nothing but get better and better with age.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:26 pm

How do you measure Bel Powley against a Cate Blanchett or Blythe Danner or Lily Tomlin?  How’s that work?

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:27 pm

Bel wins. Crazy. Sorry but Crazy.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:28 pm

Please don’t say what an honor it is, please don’t

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20157:29 pm

That’s quite the huge shock. She’s good, but if the jury was bigger I’d guess a split between Tomlin, Blanchett, Danner caused it.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:29 pm

Here’s Dan Rather, an old dog who still hunts. What’s it like to be in the same room as Tom Brokaw?

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:29 pm

Just asking, by the way.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:30 pm

Redford clips. I’m gonna lose it.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20157:35 pm

Dan Rather is giving a very stirring speech.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:36 pm

All rise.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:36 pm

That amazing face, now a topographical map of his beloved West.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20157:38 pm

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20157:39 pm

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:40 pm

 lovely speech about being wary of success. The equalizer was humility, something missing in political debates these days.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:41 pm

That felt good, he repeats, about being successful. “I really do like this!”

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:41 pm

Really nicely spoken. Sincere even.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20157:41 pm

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20157:42 pm

“I accept my award tonight, most humbly, and most gratefully”

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:42 pm

John Turturro to give the big one, best feature.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:43 pm

Turturro looks like he stepped out of a Coen Bros. movie. Oh… 

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:47 pm


Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:47 pm

No complaints there.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20157:48 pm

So… Spotlight looks good going into Oscar season doesn’t it?

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:50 pm

Yes it does — I imagine this was a blow to Carol. Again, no complaints there.

Jeremy Gerard November 30, 20157:50 pm

Everyone’s going down to the bar. Except me. See ya, Ross.

Ross A. Lincoln November 30, 20157:52 pm

Thanks Jeremy, and thanks Deadline readers for tuning in.