‘Ballast’ tops list of Gotham Indie award nominees

Posted by · 8:00 am · October 20th, 2008

BallastThe Gotham Independent Film Award nominees have been announced (note the change in moniker this year), and Lance Hammer’s Mississippi drama “Ballast” leads the pack with four nominations.  Six films received two nominations apiece, including Charlie Kaufman’s “Synecdoche, New York,” Jonathan Demme’s “Rachel Getting Married” and Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.”

One film that might have popped up had it been eligible was Gus Van Sant’s “Milk,” but the film was not ready to screen for IFP in time.

These are the first set of film awards nominations of the 2008 season, kicking off the campaigns for more than a few potential Oscar contenders, including actresses Rosemarie DeWitt, Melissa Leo and Rebecca Hall, each of them nominated in the Breakthrough Actor category.  The documentary race also includes a number of Oscar hopefuls, “Man on Wire,” “Trouble the Water” and “Encounters at the End of the World” among them.

The frontrunner at this point is probably the bread-winner of the nomiantions process: “Ballast.”  But I have a feeling “The Visitor” could spark enough support to surprise in the end.  Also nominated for Best Feature is Darren Aronofsky’s “The Wrestler,” the film’s only mention.

The awards will be held on Tuesday Decmber 2 at New York’s Cipriani Wall Street.

(Full list of nominees after the jump.)

Best Feature
“Frozen River”
“Synecdoche, New York”
“The Visitor”
“The Wrestler”

Best Documentary
“Chris & Don: A Love Story”
“Encounters at the End of the World”
“Man on Wire”
“Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired”
“Trouble the Water”

Best Ensemble Performance
“Rachel Getting Married”
“Synecdoche, New York”
“Vicky Cristina Barcelona”
“The Visitor”

Breakthrough Director
Antonio Campos, “Aftershool”
Dennis Dortch, “A Good Day to be Black & Sexy”
Lance Hammer, “Ballast”
Barry Jenkins, “Medicine for Melancholy”
Alex Rivera, “Sleep Dealer”

Breakthrough Actor
Pedro Castaeda, “August Evening”
Rosemarie DeWitt, “Rachel Getting Married”
Rebecca Hall, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”
Melissa Leo, “Frozen River”
Alejandro Polanco, “Chop Shop”
Micheah J. Smith Jr., “Ballast”

Best Film Not Playing in a Theater Near You
“The New Year Parade”
“Sita Sings the Blues”

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7 responses so far

  • 1 10-20-2008 at 8:25 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Thrilled to see some love for “Synecdoche” — I suspect awards citations for the film will be all too few over the next few months, so I’m enjoying this moment. It should absolutely win for its ensemble, in my humble opinion.

  • 2 10-20-2008 at 8:54 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    How could Synechdoche be nominated when it isn’t even released? These guys sure are Oscar wannebe’s with such funny stuff :p.

  • 3 10-20-2008 at 9:28 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Well, “The Wrestler” hasn’t been released either. But the voters have at least seen the films, which is what counts.

  • 4 10-20-2008 at 10:01 am

    Bing147 said...

    The viewers have seen them. They don’t have to be out for the general public.

    Still thinking Synechdoche is being given too little chance, it could do something this season, actor keeps looking weaker and there seems to be space in supporting actress/screenplay where it could make it in. They have loved Kaufman’s work pretty consistently in the past. It doesn’t need universal love, you can’t vote against something, only for it. This seems like one that could have a STRONG following even if it isn’t huge, it could rack up those #1 votes which are all that really matter.

  • 5 10-20-2008 at 12:13 pm

    Chad said...

    Go Medicine for Melancholy go!