On Monday, October 20, IFP has announced the contenders for the 18th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards and Lance Hammer-directed drama "Ballast" has dominated the nomination list, taking in 4 separate nods. The movie, which has won the 2008 Sundance Film Festival's Dramatic Directing Award for Hammer, is nominated for Best Feature, Breakthrough Director, Breakthrough Actor and Best Ensemble Performance.
In the category of Best Feature, "Ballast" will be up against Courtney Hunt's "Frozen River", Charlie Kaufman's "Synecdoche, New York", Thomas McCarthy's "The Visitor" and Darren Aronofsky's "The Wrestler". Meanwhile, for the Best Ensemble Performance category, the film's cast that include Micheal J. Smith Sr. will be competing with "Rachel Getting Married" ensemble led by Anne Hathaway, "Synecdoche" cast led by Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" ensemble, Scarlett Johansson, Rebecca Hall, Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, and "Visitor" cast led by Richard Jenkins.
Though garnering the most gongs for the 2008 Gotham Awards, "Ballast" is not the only film getting more than one nomination. Antonio Campos' "Afterschool", "Frozen", "Rachel", "Synecdoche", "Vicky" and "Visitor" each collect double counts for the awards that provides early critical recognition for worthy independent films.
The award-presenting gala which has been renamed from Gotham Awards to Gotham Independent Film Awards will be held at New York City's Cipriani Wall Street on Tuesday, December 2. It has been previously announced that Cruz, president of HBO Documentary Films' Sheila Nevins, and filmmakers Gus Van Sant and Melvin Van Peebles will be honored with tribute awards on the scheduled date as well.
The nominees list of the 18th Annual Gotham Independent Film Award: