The nominees have been unveiled for the 25th annual Gotham Independent Film Awards, a New York City-based awards body which honors the year's very best in independent filmmaking.
Marielle Heller's remarkable The Diary of a Teenage Girl leads the pack with four nominations, including Best Feature, where it's joined by Todd Haynes' Carol, Josh and Benny Safdie's Heaven Knows What, Tom McCarthy's Spotlight, and Sean Baker's Tangerine.
Among the other honorees are a number of Tribeca Film Festival premieres and alumni, including the aforementioned Safdie Brothers, who premiered their basketball documentary Lenny Cooke at the Festival in 2013. This year, the writing-directing duo experienced their biggest critical and commercial success thus far with the stark drug drama Heaven Knows What. That film's fledgling leading lady Arielle Holmes was discovered on the streets of Times Square by Josh, who enlisted her to turn her struggles with addiction into Heaven's harrowing true-life story.
Holmes has been nominated for Best Breakthrough Actor alongside Tangerine's trailblazing trans leads Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor, as well as Mistress America's Lola Kirke and Kieran Culkin, who delivered a riveting performance as a desperate young loner searching for his first love in Lou Howe's Gabriel, which made its world premiere at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.
In the Best Documentary category, such commendable nominees as Joshua Oppenheimer's The Look of Silence, Laurie Anderson's Heart of a Dog, and Amanda Rose Wilder's Approaching the Elephant are accompanied by two Tribeca alums. Stevan Riley, whose boxing documentary Blue Blood premiered at Tribeca back in 2006, has been nominated for Listen to Me Marlon, a documentary profile of the iconic Marlon Brando. He's joined by Matthew Heineman, whose startling, guerrilla drug war exposé Cartel Land nabbed a Sundance prize before screening at this year's Tribeca Film Festival.
But, really, the most sterling category of the bunch might just be this year's super-sized Best Actress roster, which includes Carol's Cate Blanchett, I'll See You in My Dreams' Blythe Danner, Room's Brie Larson, Diary of a Teenage Girl's Bel Powley, Welcome to Me's Kristen Wiig, and Grandma's Lily Tomlin, who continues her stellar 2015 resurgence that included a pitstop at this year's Tribeca Film Festival. Paul Weitz's coming-of-late-age dramedy features more of the formidable Tomlin than any project we've seen in over a decade. And that is something undeniably worth celebrating.
Read some of our pieces on the 2015 nominees:
The Best of Woman-Directed Films at the 2015 New York Film Festival, including Heart of a Dog
Greta Gerwig, a Modern Indie Mistress of Her Own Making, on Mistress America
And check out the full list of nominees here:
Todd Haynes, director; Elizabeth Karlsen, Tessa Ross, Christine Vachon, Stephen Woolley,producers (The Weinstein Company)
The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Marielle Heller, director; Anne Carey, Bert Hamelinck, Madeline Samit, Miranda Bailey, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)
Heaven Knows What
Josh and Benny Safdie, directors; Oscar Boyson, Sebastian Bear-McClard, producers (RADiUS)
Tom McCarthy, director; Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, Blye Pagan Faust, producers (Open Road Films)
Sean Baker, director; Darren Dean, Shih-Ching Tsou, Marcus Cox & Karrie Cox, producers (Magnolia Pictures)
Approaching the Elephant
Amanda Rose Wilder, director; Jay Craven, Robert Greene, Amanda Rose Wilder, producers (Kingdom County Productions)
Matthew Heineman, director; Matthew Heineman, Tom Yellin, producers (The Orchard and A&E IndieFilms
Heart of a Dog
Laurie Anderson, director; Dan Janvey, Laurie Anderson, producers (Abramorama and HBO Documentary Films)
Listen to Me Marlon
Stevan Riley, director; John Battsek, RJ Cutler, George Chignell, producers (Showtime Documentary Films)
The Look of Silence
Joshua Oppenheimer, director; Signe Byrge Sørensen, producer (Drafthouse Films)
Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award
Desiree Akhavan for Appropriate Behavior (Gravitas Ventures)
Jonas Carpigano for Mediterranea (Sundance Selects)
Marielle Heller for The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Sony Pictures Classics)
John Magary for The Mend (Cinelicious Pics)
Josh Mond for James White (The Film Arcade)
Carol, Phyllis Nagy (The Weinstein Company)
The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Marielle Heller (Sony Pictures Classics)
Love & Mercy, Oren Moverman and Michael Alan Lerner (Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate, and River Road Entertainment)
Spotlight, Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer (Open Road Films)
While We’re Young, Noah Baumbach (A24)
Christopher Abbott in James White (The Film Arcade)
Kevin Corrigan in Results (Magnolia Pictures)
Paul Dano in Love & Mercy (Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate, and River Road Entertainment)
Peter Sarsgaard in Experimenter (Magnolia Pictures)
Michael Shannon in 99 Homes (Broad Green Pictures)
Cate Blanchett in Carol (The Weinstein Company)
Blythe Danner in I’ll See You in My Dreams (Bleecker Street)
Brie Larson in Room (A24 Films)
Bel Powley in The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Sony Pictures Classics)
Lily Tomlin in Grandma (Sony Pictures Classics)
Kristen Wiig in Welcome to Me (Alchemy)
Rory Culkin in Gabriel (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
Arielle Holmes in Heaven Knows What (RADiUS)
Lola Kirke in Mistress America (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Kitana Kiki Rodriguez in Tangerine (Magnolia Pictures)
Mya Taylor in Tangerine (Magnolia Pictures)
* The 2015 Best Actor/Best Actress nominating panel also voted to award a special Gotham Jury Award jointly to Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci and Brian D’Arcy James for their ensemble work in Spotlight (Open Road Films).