AceShowbiz - The 2017 Gotham Independent Film Awards kicked off on Monday night, November 27 in downtown Manhattan, New York City with John Cameron Mitchell emceeing. Honored with the first award of the night was Jordan Peele for his screenplay for "Get Out", which dominated the nominations with four nods.
"When I started to write this film I set out to make a movie that would be my favorite movie that I had never seen," Peele said of the horror drama released earlier this year. "I didn't know it would actually ever get made." The comedian-turned-filmmaker added, "It's so important that we support these voices from the outside, these perspective we haven't seen, we haven't heard. They will resonate. We need these stories."
In addition to winning the Best Screenplay Award, Peele was named Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director for his directorial debut. The film was also honored with Independent Film Audience Award.
Receiving the Breakthrough Actor Award was Timothee Chalamet for his performance in "Call Me By Your Name, a film about a gay couple directed by Luca Guadagnino and co-starring Armie Hammer. The film earned a surprise victory for Best Feature at the ceremony.
21-year-old Chalamet, who beat fellow nominees including Mary J. Blige ("Mudbound"), said of his on-screen lover Hammer, "A big and tall thank you to my dance partner Armie Hammer for being so god damn talented.
Blige was honored with a special Gotham Jury Award for ensemble performance in "Mudbound", along with fellow cast members Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Clarke, Jason Mitchell, Rob Morgan and Jonathan Banks.
James Franco was named Best Actor for his performance in "The Disaster Artist" that night. The handsome actor beat the likes of Willem Dafoe ("The Florida Project"), Daniel Kaluuya ("Get Out"), Robert Pattinson ("Good Time"), Adam Sandler ("The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)") and Harry Dean Stanton ("Lucky").
As for the Best Actress trophy, it went to "Lady Bird" star Saoirse Ronan, who defeated other competitors that included Margot Robbie ("I, Tonya"), Lois Smith ("Marjorie Prime"), Haley Lu Richardson ("Columbus") and Melanie Lynskey ("I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore").
Also at the award ceremony, taking home the Best Documentary Award was Netflix's "Strong Island".
In addition to the competitive awards, the 27th annual IFP Gotham Awards presented tributes to actors Nicole Kidman and Dustin Hoffman, director Sofia Coppola, producer Jason Blum and cinematographer Edward Lachman. Al Gore received a Gotham Humanitarian Tribute, while actor Michael K. Williams was honored with Gotham Appreciation Award.