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Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos To Receive Industry Tribute At IFP’S 24th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards

by Erik Luers on July 30, 2014


New York, NY (July 30, 2014) – The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), the nation’s premier member organization of independent filmmakers, announced today that Ted Sarandos, Netflix Chief Content Officer, will be presented with the 24th annual Industry Tribute at the 24th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards set for Monday, December 1st at Cipriani Wall Street, in New York City.  

Signaling the official kick-off for the film awards season, the Gotham Independent Film Awardsis one of the leading awards for independent film. Anchoring the evening’s seven competitive awards for Best Feature, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Documentary, Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director, Breakthrough Actor and the Audience Award are three tributes to film community icons, including the Industry Tribute, as well as a director and an actor/actress to be announced.  

Each year, the Industry Tribute is awarded to a career veteran who has significantly influenced the motion picture industry. Ted Sarandos’ leadership in the media and entertainment business and his visionary achievements make him the ideal recipient of this award. Sarandos has led content acquisition for Netflix since 2000. More recently, Sarandos led the effort to develop original content for Netflix, which recently garnered the company 31 Emmy® nominations. With more than 20 years’ experience, Sarandos is recognized in the industry as an innovator in film acquisition and distribution. Before Netflix, Sarandos was an executive at video distributor ETD and Video City/West Coast Video. He currently serves on the board of the Television Academy; Film Advisory Board for Tribeca and Los Angeles Film Festival; American Cinematheque Board; and is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute.

“We are honored to present our 2014 industry tribute to Ted Sarandos, a visionary who is credited with reshaping how, when and where we watch entertainment,” said Joana Vicente, Executive Director, IFP and Made in NY Media Center.  “He saw where streaming was going long before most in our industry, and was the first to create online original programming and allow us to binge entire seasons of it to our hearts content at one go.”

The Gotham Awards provide critical early recognition to worthy independent films and their writers, directors, producers, and actors. Recent past winners include Inside Lleywn Davis, Fruitvale Stationand The Act of Killing (2013); Moonrise Kingdom, Beasts of the Southern Wild and How to Survive a Plague (2012); Beginners, The Tree of Life, and Better This World (2011); Winter’s Bone and The Oath (2010); The Hurt Locker and Food, Inc. (2009), all of which went on to numerous awards and Oscar nominations.

Last year the organization feted director Richard Linklater, actor Forest Whitaker, former NYC Mayor’s Office of Media Entertainment Commissioner Katherine Oliver, and the late James Gandolfini.

Sarandos and the additional Gotham Awards tribute recipients to be announced will join a prestigious group of previous honorees including: Jeff Skoll, James Schamus, Bob & Harvey Weinstein, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Sheila Nevins, Jonathan Sehring and film critic Roger Ebert; actors Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard, Charlize Theron, Stanley Tucci, Natalie Portman, Javier Bardem, and Penélope Cruz; filmmakers David O. Russell, David Cronenberg, Mira Nair, and Gus Van Sant.

Each year IFP chooses a jury of innovators and icons in documentary and feature film directing, producing, cinematography, and acting to bestow the Gotham’s competitive awards. New this year, online voting for the Gotham Audience Award (the only non-juried category) will be by IFP Members worldwide as a benefit of membership. 

For the fourth 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 2013 winner of this grant was Gita Pullapilly, writer, director, and producer of the Tribeca Film release, Beneath the Harvest Sky. In addition, euphoria Calvin Klein will present the annual Best Actress award.

Submissions are now being accepted in six of the competitive categories: Best Feature, Best Documentary, Best Actor, Best Actress, Breakthrough Actor, and the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award.  Applications, along with full criteria, are available at

The deadline for submissions is September 19th.  

Nominees will be announced on October 23rd, 2014, and winners will be honored at a star-studded ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street on December 1st.  

The Premier Sponsor of the 24th annual Gotham Independent Film Awards is The New York Times, and Platinum Sponsor euphoria Calvin Klein. Additionally, the awards will be promoted nationally in an eight-page special advertising section in The New York Times in November 2014.

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 35-year history, IFP has supported over 8,000 projects and offered resources to more than 20,000 filmmakers, including Debra Granik, Miranda July, Michael Moore, 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.

For information on attending:

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