Award Criteria

GOTHAM INDEPENDENT FILM AWARDS

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2013 AT 5PM EST

Submissions open August 1, 2013. 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 seven (7) competitive awards in 2013 – Best Feature, Best Documentary, Best Actor, Best Actress, Breakthrough Actor, the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award, and the 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 2013 (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 2013 release date and booking. See special criteria for cable and digital platforms below.

Theatrical Release Qualifications: The film must be screened for paid admission in a commercial motion picture theatre in New York City and/or Los Angeles County. It 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. The film must be publicly exhibited by means of 16mm, 35mm or 70mm film, or in a digital format, delivered to the screen by an image and sound file format suitable for exhibition in existing commercial cinema sites.

Digital Platform/Pay TV: Films released exclusively via a digital platform or PayTV/Cable (with no theatrical dates) may qualify for consideration in all relevant categories, with the stipulation that the films first screened at one of the following qualifying festivals in 2013: 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.

(Note: The Independent Distribution criteria are not applicable to the Gotham Audience Award category. See specific guidelines below for alternative criteria in this category.)

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 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 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 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 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 2013 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 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 Gotham Independent Film Award™ will be presented to the film’s credited director(s).

Nominations in the following category are determined by committee recommendation only – not through open submissions.

GOTHAM AUDIENCE AWARD – This award serves to celebrate audience favorites from the top 50 U.S. and Canadian film festivals from November 2012 through October 2013. The nominees and winner for award will be selected by vote of the Festival Genius and IFP communities - 200,000 film fans worldwide. The Gotham Audience Award will be presented to the film’s credited director(s) and producer(s).

OUR SELECTION PROCESS

SUBMISSION APPLICATION

Submission forms  and screeners must be received by 5pm EST on Friday, September 20, 2013..
For additional queries, please email: mtabbot@ifp.org.

IFP