The drama The Rider claimed the top prize at last night’s IFP Gotham Awards as awards season kicks into high gear. Indie drama First Reformed (Ethan Hawke for Best Actor and Paul Schrader for Best Screenplay) and coming-of-age comedy Eighth Grade (Elsie Fisher for Breakthrough Actor and Bo Burnham for Breakthrough Director) took home two awards each.
The popular Mister Rogers documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? started what some are predicting to be a strong awards run for the film by taking home the Gotham’s Audience Award. Meanwhile, Best Documentary went to Hale County This Morning, This Evening.
Between the dual wins for both First Reformed and Eighth Grade as well as Toni Collette’s Best Actress win for the horror film Hereditary, A24 was the big winner among distributors with a total of five trophies.
The Gotham Awards are the first of the award shows in a season that stretches three months all the way to the Academy Awards on February 22. Although it focuses on independent films, the Gotham Awards can be seen as a bellwether for some potential Oscar frontrunners. Recent Academy Award honorees such as Get Out, Call Me By Your Name and Lady Bird started their award season runs with wins at the Gotham Awards.