Award Criteria

IFP GOTHAM INDEPENDENT FILM AWARDS

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2015 AT 5PM EST

Submissions open August 4, 2015. You may download PDFs of the Gotham Award submission form and criteria from the bottom of this page.

BASIC CRITERIA FOR ALL COMPETITIVE AWARDS

There will be eight (8) competitive awards in 2015 – Best Feature, Best Documentary, Best Actor, Best Actress, Breakthrough Actor, Best Screenplay, the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award, and the IFP Gotham Audience Award. All eligible submissions must meet the following basic criteria for competitive awards:

Films must be scheduled for a theatrical and/or digital platform release during calendar year 2015 (Midnight January 1 – 11:59 pm December 31). Films will only be considered in the year in which they first meet the release criteria. By the submission deadline, films must have a confirmed 2015 release date and booking. See special criteria for cable and digital platforms below.

Theatrical Release: The release can be through a theatrical releasing entity or by direct or self-distribution by filmmakers, either in an exclusively theatrical release or day and date with digital platforms or VOD release. The film must be screened for paid admission in a commercial motion picture theater in New York City and/or Los Angeles County and must run for at least seven consecutive days. The film must be advertised and marketed during the New York and/or Los Angeles County run in a manner considered normal and customary to the industry for independent films. The film can be publicly exhibited in film or digital formats, delivered to the screen by an image and sound file format suitable for exhibition in existing commercial cinema sites.

Digital Platform/Pay TV: Films that are not released theatrically but have played qualifying festivals and then are released exclusively via a digital platform or PayTV/Cable VOD in 2015 may qualify for consideration in all relevant categories, with the stipulation that the films first screened in 2015 at one of the following qualifying festivals: Berlin, Cannes, Los Angeles Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Toronto International Film Festival, or Tribeca Film Festival. The digital platform release can be via VOD, streaming, DTO, or DTR.

ADDITIONAL CRITERIA BY CATEGORY

BEST FEATURE – an exceptionally realized fiction film that raises the possibilities of filmmaking and that will withstand the test of time. The IFP Gotham Independent Film Award will be presented to the film’s credited director(s) and producer(s).

BEST DOCUMENTARY – an exceptionally realized non-fiction film that deals creatively with cultural, artistic, historical, social, scientific, economic or other subject matter. The objective is to recognize the  significant artistic and/or social impact of the director’s vision  It may be photographed in actual occurrence, or may employ partial re-enactment, stock footage, stills, animation, stop-motion or other techniques, as long as the emphasis is on fact and not fiction. The IFP Gotham Independent Film Award will be presented to the film’s credited director(s) and producer(s).

BEST ACTOR – an outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading or significant featured role. The IFP Gotham Independent Film Award will be presented to the actor.

BEST ACTRESS – an outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading or significant featured role. The IFP Gotham Independent Film Award will be presented to the actor.

BREAKTHROUGH ACTOR – an outstanding debut or “breakthrough” performance.  The actor’s performance is not necessarily the actor’s first screen appearance, but is considered the first role to display the expanse of his/her talent or suggests significant future accomplishment. The actor’s role must be a lead or a strong supporting character in a specific film. Actors who have won or been nominated for significant film awards (Academy Award®, Golden Globe, Spirit Awards, etc.) for work released prior to 2014 or who have been previously nominated in this category are ineligible. In instances in which a performance could be considered for both “Breakthrough” and “Best Actor/Actress,” the category placement will be at the discretion of the nominating committee. The IFP Gotham Independent Film Award™ will be presented to the actor.

BINGHAM RAY BREAKTHROUGH DIRECTOR AWARD – to a filmmaker whose first fiction film pushes the boundaries of creativity and demonstrates a unique vision. The IFP Gotham Independent Film Award™ will be presented to the film’s credited director(s).

BEST SCREENPLAY – an outstanding screenplay for an independent fiction feature. The screenplay may be an original work or one adapted from previously published or existing work in any medium. The IFP Gotham Independent Film Award™ will be presented to the film’s credited writer(s).

Nominations in the following category are determined by separate criteria –not through direct submission:

IFP GOTHAM AUDIENCE AWARD – As the only non-juried award, the Gotham Audience Award gives IFP members worldwide (both filmmakers and industry members) a way to participate in the IFP Gotham Awards process. The eligibility list for the Audience Award will be comprised of all feature films nominated in the Best Feature, Best Documentary, and Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director categories. Gotham Audience Award will be presented to the film’s credited director(s) and producer(s).

OUR SELECTION PROCESS

SUBMISSION APPLICATION

Download submission form and criteria below.
Submission forms  and screeners must be received by 5pm EST on Thursday, September 17, 2015.
For additional queries, please email: mtabbot@ifp.org.

IFP