New York’s Contribution to the Early Oscars Odds: Honors for Matt Damon and David O. Russell

Matt Damon (Getty Images)

This year’s Gotham Independent Film Awards, a November fete that is part of the late-year slurry that’s ultimately processed into Oscar nominations, are to feature special tributes to actor Matt Damon, director David O. Russell, and Participant Media’s Jeff Skoll. The Gotham Awards organizers aren’t just big fans of the Bourne movies and I Heart Huckabees–both men are Oscar contenders this year, with Mr. Damon starring in and serving as co-writer for Promised Land (a Participant Media production–hi, Mr. Skoll!), and Mr. Russell directing the much-anticipated Silver Linings Playbook.

The Gotham Independent Film Awards are among the minor-tier stops–along with the Hamptons Film Festival, Santa Barbara Film Festival, and Hollywood Film Awards–that can give the impression that an actor or director is “due” for an Oscar with lifetime achievement awards coming right before the Oscars and along with the release of their new film. Viva independent film!