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IFP Announces Two New Award Categories For Annual IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards

by Erik Luers on September 17, 2015

New York, NY (September 17, 2015) – The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), the nation’s premier member organization of independent storytellers, announced today that two new awards will be given for the first time at the upcoming 25th Annual IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards. Two Breakthrough Series awards will single out outstanding achievement in serialized content in television and new digital media.

In recognition that the spirit and vision of the best of ‘independent film’ is also realized in content created for a variety of platforms in a variety of lengths and formats, the IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards will acknowledge television and new digital media programming with awards given for series content.

The awards will honor exceptionally realized new series that expand the possibilities of creative, independent storytelling in serialized content. The series should be realized with an economy of means, and characterized by innovation, risk taking, creative freedom and vision, and the introduction of new voices and non-traditional subject matter that enrich the landscape or push the boundaries of ‘television.’

“IFP programs have long supported independent and innovative storytellers, and we continue to do that across a growing diversity of content strands and platforms,” says Joana Vicente, Executive Director of IFP and the Made in New York Media Center by IFP. “On the 25th Anniversary of the Gotham Awards we thought it was time to acknowledge significant accomplishment in the field of serialized content – and to do so in the manner that the Gothams honor other “breakthrough” talent.”

Breakthrough Series awards will be given in two formats: Long Form (for continuing or limited series with episodes running 30 minutes and longer) and Short Form (for continuing or limited series with the majority of episodes under 20 minutes). Focusing on “debut” series, only series that premiered within the last year (September 1, 2014 – August 31, 2015) will be eligible. Full criteria for the Breakthrough Series awards are available at Nominations for the awards will be announced along with nominations for all competitive category awards on October 22nd, 2015.

Nominations will be made by committee recommendation and not through open submission review. Committees will be comprised of critics, journalists, curators, programmers and others not directly engaged in the production and distribution of TV and new media content.


The IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards’ 10 competitive awards will be presented on Monday, November 30th at Cipriani Wall Street, along with previously announced Tributes to filmmaker Todd Haynes, actors Robert Redford and Helen Mirren, and producer Steve Golin. Haynes’ Carol, distributed by The Weinstein Company, will open theatrically in November, while Robert Redford can currently be seen in Broad Green Pictures’ A Walk In the Woods and in the upcoming Truth, distributed by Sony Pictures Classics. Mirren will next be seen on screen in Bleecker Street’s Trumbo, and in 2016 in Bleecker Street’s Eye in the Sky. Golin’s upcoming films include Spotlight (Open Road Films), The Revenant (Twentieth Century Fox), Triple 9 (Open Road Films), and The Meddler (Sony Pictures Classics). Golin also executive produces several TV shows including “True Detective” on HBO and “Mr. Robot” on USA Network, recently renewed for a second season.

For the fifth year, IFP will present the euphoria Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Filmmakers ‘Live the Dream’ grant, a $25,000 cash award for an alumnus of IFP’s Independent Filmmaker Labs. This grant aims to further the careers of emerging female directors by supporting the completion, distribution and audience engagement strategies of their first feature film. The 2014 winner of this grant was director, writer, and producer Chloé Zhao, whose film Songs My Brothers Taught Me premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. In addition, euphoria Calvin Klein will present the annual Best Actress award.

The Premier Sponsors of the 25th Anniversary IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards are Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and The New York Times, and Platinum Sponsors are euphoria Calvin Klein and Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward Office of Film, Music & Entertainment. Additionally, the awards will be promoted nationally in an eight-page special advertising section in The New York Times in November 2015.


About IFP

The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) champions the future of storytelling by connecting artists with essential resources at all stages of development and distribution. The organization fosters a vibrant and sustainable independent storytelling community through its year-round programs, which include Independent Film Week, Filmmaker Magazine, the Gotham Independent Film Awards and the Made in NY Media Center by IFP, a new incubator space developed with the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. IFP represents a growing network of 10,000 storytellers around the world, and plays a key role in developing 350 new feature and documentary works each year. During its 36-year history, IFP has supported over 8,000 projects and offered resources to more than 20,000 filmmakers, including Charles Burnett, Edward Burns, Barbara Kopple, Mira Nair, Jim Jarmusch, Kevin Smith, Michael Moore, Debra Granik, Miranda July, Dee Rees, and Benh Zeitlin. More info at

About the Gotham Independent Film Awards by IFP

The Gotham Independent Film Awards by IFP, selected by distinguished juries and presented in New York City, the home of independent film, are the first honors of the film awards season. This public showcase honors the filmmaking community, expands the audience for independent films, and supports the work that IFP does behind the scenes throughout the year to bring such films to fruition.


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