This morning’s announcement of Gotham Independent Film Awards nominations included three very powerful Black stories from Sundance 2012. Congrats for BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD by Benh Zeitlin (Breakthrough Actor, Breakthrough Director), MIDDLE OF NOWHERE by Ava DuVernay (Breakthrough Actor, Best Feature) and AN OVERSIMPLIFICATION OF HER BEAUTY by Terence Nance (Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You) have been overflowing on my social media timelines and I couldn’t be happier.
I remember watching these films back in January, just hoping the powers that be would be paying attention too. It turns out they were.
While everyone may be playing “Guess Who’s Going to Get An Oscar Nom?”, I think it’s just as important to note that other awards can serve as even bigger milestones. Who could forget how the indie community honored writer/director Dee Rees for her compelling debut with PARIAH? She went from a Gotham nomination for Breakthrough Director (which she won) to two Indie Spirit nominations and winning the prestigious John Cassavetes Award to the infamous shout-out from Meryl Streep at the Golden Globes to teaming up with Oscar-nominee Viola Davis for a new HBO series.
This is what happens when dynamic films are recognized by the organizations built to support them. It’s not a popularity contest. It’s about saying “I see you. I hear you. This story matters.”
BEASTS, following in the footsteps of PARIAH, is also eligible for an Audience Award nomination. The first round of voting opens today and allows you to pick five films. The final top five will be announced on November 5th for a second round of voting. The winner will be announced live at the awards show on November 26th.
You can read the full list of nominees HERE.