The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) Gotham Awards will honor the late Chadwick Boseman with a posthumous Actor Tribute and Viola Davis with an Actress Tribute. The Gotham Awards are the first major awards ceremony of the season and will be celebrating its 30th Anniversary with its ceremony on January 11, 2021. The awards show will be presented live from Cipriani Wall Street New York in a hybrid format featuring virtual interactive tables.
“Chadwick Boseman was an incredibly talented actor whose significance and impact onscreen and kindness offscreen will never be forgotten,” said Jeffrey Sharp, Executive Director of IFP. We at IFP are forever indebted to him for all of his contributions to our organization, his legacy in providing mentorship and we are proud to honor him and all of his historical and groundbreaking contributions with this tribute.”
He continued, “Viola Davis is a force within the industry, acting in some of the most culturally impactful and influential films of the past two decades. While universally recognized in her achievements on the stage, television and film, her extraordinary performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is in many ways the culmination of an entire career. Chadwick and Viola’s work on this film marks the first year in which The Gotham Awards have honored two actors from the same film with a tribute. Both are champions within our industry and we look forward to celebrating their accomplishments.”
Boseman and Davis appear together in the aforementioned Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom based on the August Wilson play and directed by George C. Wolfe. Boseman is getting critical praise for his role as the temperamental, yet ambitious trumpet player Levee while Davis is getting tons of buzz for her role as the titular Mother of the Blues. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom debuts on Netflix on December 18.
A SAG award-winning actor, Boseman landed his first major role in Persons Unknown, and from there, Hollywood just saw his star shine brighter and brighter. He went on to star as baseball player Jackie Robinson in 42, singer James Brown in Get on Up and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in Marshall. He made history as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first Black superhero to headline a feature with Black Panther. He appeared as King T’Challa in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers Endgame. He was most recently seen in Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods for Netflix.
One of this generation’s most celebrated actors, Davis is no stranger to August Wilson fare. She starred opposite Denzel Washington in the 2010 Broadway revival of Fences for which she won a Tony Award. She and Washington went on to reprise their role in the 2016 film adaptation which earned her an Oscar. She was nominated for both an Oscar and Golden Globe for her roles in Tate Taylor’s The Help and John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt. On the TV side, she won an Emmy Award for her role as the iconic Annalise Keating in ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder. She is the first Black actress to achieve the “Triple Crown of Acting,” named for actors who have won a competitive Academy Award, Emmy Award, and Tony Award in the acting categories. Her other credits include Steve McQueen’s Widows and Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners. She will be seen reprising her role as Amanda Waller in James Gunn’s upcoming The Suicide Squad.