New York, NY -- The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), the nation's oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers, announced today the winners at the 20th Anniversary Gotham Independent Film Awards ceremony in New York City's Cipriani Wall Street.

Presented by IFP, the Gotham Independent Film AwardsTM is one of the leading awards for independent film and the first major honors of the film awards season. As previously announced, the awards ceremony streamed live in its entirety to a global audience via a partnership with The Big Live, Inc. You can see the show at

A total of 30 films received nominations in seven competitive categories, including: Best Feature, Best Documentary, Breakthrough Director, Breakthrough Actor, Best Ensemble Performance, Festival Genius Audience Award and Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You®.

For the first time, IFP will honor the recipient of the Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You award with a theatrical release package so the winner WILL show at a Theater Near You. The package includes a one-week run at Cinema Village in New York City, distribution consultation and market strategy from CrowdStarter, advertising support in the New York Times, publicity consultation from Donna Daniels PR and a cash award of $15,000 from The Royal Bank of Canada.

In addition to the competitive awards, career tributes were given to actors Robert Duvall and Hilary Swank (Swank tribute sponsored by euphoria Calvin Klein), director Darren Aronofsky and Focus Features CEO, James Shamus.

The 20th Anniversary Gotham Independent Film AwardTM Recipients:
Best Feature presented by actors Steve Buscemi and Melissa Leo.


Directed by Debra Granik; Produced by Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin
Released by Roadside Attractions

The Best Feature Jury included: actors Ethan Hawke and Parker Posey; producer Christine Vachon; director Melvin Van Peebles and editor Tricia Cooke.

Best Documentary presented by actor Sam Rockwell and documentarian Barbara Kopple


Directed and produced by Laura Poitras
Released by Zeitgeist Films and American Documentary/POV

The Best Documentary Jury included: actor Alec Baldwin; composer Terence Blanchard; documentarians Barbara Kopple and Robert Kenner and editor Mary Lampson

Breakthrough Director Award presented by actors Julianna Margulies and Paul Rudd


Writer and director, HOLY ROLLERS

Released by First Independent Pictures

The Breakthrough Director Jury included: actor Zooey Deschanel; cinematographer Maryse Alberti; composer Carter Burwell; producer Frida Torresblanco.

Breakthrough Actor Award presented by actors Michelle Williams and Jesse Eisenberg



Released by IFC Films

The Breakthrough Actor Jury included: actor Josh Brolin; filmmakers David Gordon Green and Peter Sollett; actress Amber Tamblyn; and producer Monty Ross.

Best Ensemble Performance Award presented by actors Ethan Hawke and Ethan Coen.

Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Dale Dickey, Lauren Sweetser, Garret Dillahunt, Devin Breznahan

Released by Roadside Attractions

The Best Ensemble Performance Jury included: actors Anthony Mackie and Lili Taylor;
producer Lisa Cortes; writer Larry Gross; and filmmaker Miguel Arteta.

Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You Award presented by actor Rosie Perez and RBC CEO, Mark Standish


Mike Ott, director; Frederick Thornton, Laura Ragsdale, Sierra Leoni, producers

The recipient of The Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near YouTM award was determined by the editors of Filmmaker magazine, a publication of IFP, and a curator from The Museum of Modern Art.

The Festival Genius Audience Award presented by actors Anthony Mackie and Leighton Meester

Davis Guggenheim, director; Leslie Chilcott and Michael Brietal, producers

The Festival Genius Audience Award was voted on line by filmgoers who love movies.


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LOS ANGELES, CA -- Following up on last month's announcement of the Film Forward: Advancing Cultural Dialogue initiative, Sundance Institute announced today the ten films selected to participate in the inaugural year of this cultural exchange program. The first Film Forward slate includes five American and five international films which will be presented in collaboration with public and private partners. These films and their filmmakers will kick off the ambitious project in New York and Tunisia in December.

The five American films that will tour throughout the United States and abroad as part of the initiative are: A Small Act directed by Jennifer Arnold; Amreeka directed by Cherien Dabis; Freedom Riders directed by Stanley Nelson; La Mission directed by Peter Bratt, and the 2010 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize Winner, Winter's Bone, directed by Debra Granik. The five international films chosen to complete the line up of independent films are: Afghan Star directed by Havana Marking; Boy directed by Taika Waititi; Last Train Home directed by Luxin Fan; Son of Babylon by Mohamed Al-Daradji, and Udaan directed by Vikramaditya Motwane.

"This exciting and diverse slate of independent films presents the common humanity we share across all boundaries," said Keri Putnam, Executive Director, Sundance Institute. "Film Forward deeply reflects Sundance Institute's core mission by presenting films to new audiences around the world to inspire cross-cultural dialogue."

"We could not be more excited about this program and these films," said Rachel Goslins, Executive Director of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. "Each one of them powerfully represents universal themes and stories that will foster exactly the kind of cross-cultural understanding and dialogue that the President's Committee and the program's federal partners, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services believe are so important in today's interconnected world.

Film Forward will travel to six U.S. states and six countries reaching a number of underserved communities in each location. Among the U.S. locations will be: the Saginaw Chippewa Reservation in Grand Rapids, Michigan; Piney Woods Boarding School in Jackson, Mississippi; the Ghetto Film School in the Bronx, New York; the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville, Tennessee; the Jacobs Burns Center, in Pleasantville, New York and the Puerto Rico Film Society in Puerto Rico. American embassies abroad will play a key role in hosting the Film Forward program and presenting these films to new international audiences. Locations will include Tunisia, Kenya, Turkey and China.

The program concludes in September 2011 and the centerpiece of the program will be a gala showcase of all ten films screened simultaneously on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in May. The event will be presented in collaboration with the Smithsonian Associates.

Film Forward filmmakers will present their work and lead master classes, discussion panels, Q&As and participate in other engagements between filmmaker and audience. These activities will be programmed around the screenings in all locations, cultivating engaged dialogue, fostering appreciation of other viewpoints while developing new audiences for independent film.

The films in the initiative represent fresh explorations of universal themes, and the evolving nature of drama in our global community. Boy, La Mission, Udaan and Winter's Bone navigate the transition to adulthood and re-define family in broadly different circumstances; Amreeka and Last Train Home depict contemporary challenges of immigration for those seeking work and a better life; Afghan Star explores the story of youthful dreams and the clash of global pop culture in a traditional Muslim society; Son of Babylon focuses on the enduring nature of family love in a society decimated by war. Finally, exploring the impact of individual and collective action are: A Small Act which shows the impact of one individual's choice to give, within a global context, and Freedom Riders depicts the real-life drama of a small group of courageous youth who risked everything 50 years ago, and transformed American life.

The final calendar of locations, venues and dates for the initiative will be announced in the coming weeks.


A Small Act (Director: Jennifer Arnold)-A young Kenyan's life changes dramatically when his education is sponsored by a Swedish stranger. Years later, he founded his own scholarship program to replicate the kindness he once received.

Afghan Star / Afghanistan/UK (Director: Havana Marking)-After 30 years of war and Taliban rule, Pop Idol has come to television in Afghanistan: millions are watching and voting for their favorite singer. This film follows the dramatic stories of four contestants as they risk their lives to sing.

Amreeka (Director and Screenwriter: Cherien Dabis)-When a divorced Palestinian woman and her teenage son move to rural Illinois, they find their new lives replete with challenges. Cast: Nisreen Faour, Melkar Muallem, Hiam Abbass, Yussuf Abu-Warda, Alia Shawkat, Joseph Ziegler.

Boy / New Zealand (Director and screenwriter: Taika Waititi)-When his father returns home after many years away, 11-year-old Boy and his little brother Rocky must reconcile reality with the fantasy dad they created in their imagination. Cast: Taika Waititi, James Rolleston, Te Aho Eketone.

Freedom Riders (Director: Stanley Nelson)-The story behind a courageous band of civil rights activists called the Freedom Riders who in 1961 creatively challenged segregation in the American South.

La Mission / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Peter Bratt)-A traditional, Latino father in San Francisco's Mission District struggles to come to terms with his teenage son's homosexuality. Credited by Latino media as being both authentic and genuine to various aspects of American Hispanic cultures. Cast: Benjamin Bratt, Erika Alexander, Jeremy Ray Valdez, Talisa Soto Bratt, Jesse Borrego.

Last Train Home / Canada (Director: Lixin Fan)-Getting a train ticket in China proves a towering ordeal as a migrant worker family embarks on a journey, along with 200 million other peasants to reunite with their distant family.

Son of Babylon / Iraq (Director: Mohamed Al Daradji; Screenwriters: Mohamed Al-Daradji, Jennifer Norridge, Mithal Ghazi) In the days after the fall of Saddam Hussein, a young Kurdish boy and his grandmother venture through Iraq on a quest to find their missing father/son. Cast: Yasser Talib, Shazda Hussein, Bashir Al-Majid.

Udaan / India (Director Vikramaditya Motwane; Screenwriter: Motwane)-Following his expulsion from boarding school, Rohan returns to the small industrial town of Jamshedpur. After 8 years away, he finds himself closeted with an authoritarian father and a younger half brother whom he didn't even know existed. Udaan explores deep-rooted family dynamics and a triumph of the human spirit.
Cast: Rajat Barmecha, Ronit Roy, Aayan Boradia, Ram Kapoor.

Winter's Bone (Director: Debra Granik; Screenwriters: Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini)-An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her missing father while trying to keep her family intact. Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Dale Dickey, Garret Dillahunt, Kevin Breznahan..


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WASHINGTON -- Federal District Courts have ordered the seizure of 82 domain names of commercial websites engaged in the illegal sale and distribution of counterfeit goods and copyrighted works as part of Operation "In Our Sites v. 2.0," Attorney General Eric Holder and Director John Morton of the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced today. The following is a comment from Bob Pisano, President and Interim CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA):

"The federal government today engaged in a broad crackdown on dozens of the most notorious websites that illegally sell and distribute counterfeit goods and copyrighted works, including stolen digital content and movie and television boxed sets. These ‘worst of the worst' rogue websites, which cloak themselves in respectability yet traffic in counterfeit and stolen goods, victimize not only the buyers of these products, but the more than 2.4 million hardworking Americans whose livelihoods depend on a healthy motion picture and television industry. We thank the Department of Justice and ICE for their continuing efforts in addressing this serious problem."

A Note for Holiday Shoppers:

With the holiday season rush fast approaching, the MPAA offers the following tips to consumers to help them avoid being victimized by sites that offer counterfeit copies of motion pictures and television shows:

• Remember the Adage "You Get What You Pay For": Even if you are hoping to get your favorite movies or TV shows at a discount, new or used, extremely low prices might indicate illegal product.
• Order only from trusted Internet sites you know and are familiar with: If it is a new site, check to see if the site's contact information contains legitimate addresses and or phone numbers (counterfeit sites do not have phone contact numbers). Beware of sites that have poor quality photos, spelling mistakes, lack terms and conditions of sale, and are not secure. If the items are being sold on an auction site, do they appear to have far too many identical items for sale?
• Watch for Titles that are "Too New to be True": Movies that have yet to be released or which are still out in theatres are generally not available in the DVD/Blu-ray format. If very recent titles are being sold through an auction or other online retail sites, they are most likely illegal.
• Read the Description of the DVDs Being Offered: If the disc being offered is an "All-Region, "0-Region" or "No Region" product, it is highly likely that the DVD/Blu-ray is illegal. Furthermore, if the movie studio listed is a company you've never heard of, that should be a warning sign.
• Report illegal products: Many counterfeit and pirated goods are the product of complex illegal manufacturing and distributing operations. If you suspect an intellectual property crime, report it to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center at or to local law enforcement.


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The official release:

Beverly Hills, CA -- James Franco and Anne Hathaway will serve as co-hosts of the 83rd Academy Awards®, Oscar telecast producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer announced today. Both have previously appeared on the telecast but not in hosting capacities.

"James Franco and Anne Hathaway personify the next generation of Hollywood icons- fresh, exciting and multi-talented. We hope to create an Oscar broadcast that will both showcase their incredible talents and entertain the world on February 27," said Cohen and Mischer. "We are completely thrilled that James and Anne will be joining forces with our brilliant creative team to do just that."

Franco, who currently can be seen in "127 Hours," will be making his second appearance on an Oscar telecast. His other film credits include "Eat, Pray, Love," "Date Night," "Milk" and "Pineapple Express." Franco is also known for his portrayals of Harry Osborn in the "Spider-Man" trilogy.

Hathaway will be making her fifth appearance on an Academy Awards telecast. She was recently seen in "Alice in Wonderland" and currently can be seen in "Love and Other Drugs." Hathaway's other film credits include "Bride Wars," "Becoming Jane," "The Devil Wears Prada" and "The Princess Diaries." She was nominated for an Oscar in 2008 for her lead performance in "Rachel Getting Married."

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2010 will be presented on Sunday, February 27, 2011, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.


Anne Hathaway and James Franco have reportedly been offered the job of co-hosting the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony. While nothing is official yet, word is that both actors have accepted the offer. An official announcement could come this week. The awards will be handed out on March 7.

Both Hathaway and Franco are very much in contention for awards this year. Hathaway stars as a young woman with the early symptoms of Parkinson's disease in Love and Other Drugs, which has raked in an estimated $14 million since opening last Wednesday. As for Franco, he's winning praise for his turn in 127 Hours. The Fox Searchlight release has generated a modest $4.4 million in limited release.

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