Sound, Into the Wild Top Gotham Award Noms

The IFP announced the 17th Annual Gotham Awards nominees today, spotlighting the breakthrough indie films of the year.

Great World of Sound, a comedy about a bumbling Southern duo who traverse the country to discover unsigned "talent" for a record label, garnered the most nominations for Best Feature, Breakthrough Director and Breakthrough Actor. In Craig Zobel’s documentary-style debut, real performers auditioned without knowing it was actually a film shoot. With hidden cameras, the interaction was recorded between the lead actors and the unsuspecting musicians.

Into the Wild, Sean Penn’s film adaptation of the Jon Krakauer book, was also nominated for Best Feature and a Breakthrough Actor nod for star Emile Hirsch.

Mr. Hirsch told Hillary Frey in the Observer:

“There were times when it was really, really, really hard,” he continued. “But there were times when Chris [McCandless] was on the road and it was really, really, really hard. I just knew that that was part of the commitment. I didn’t go into it thinking it was gonna be a ball. It’s amazing how you can go into it thinking it’s not really gonna be a ball, but you really don’t realize what that means until you’re doing it.”

“I think it’s important to be willing to suffer, if that’s what it takes,” said Mr. Penn of his expectations for his star.

The awards will be presented at Steiner Studios in New York on Tuesday, Nov. 27.

View the full list of nominees after the jump.

Best Feature

Great World of Sound

Craig Zobel, director; Melissa Palmer, David Gordon Green, Richard Wright, Craig Zobel, producers (Magnolia Pictures)

I’m Not There

Todd Haynes, director; Christine Vachon, James D. Stern, John Sloss, John Goldwyn, producers, (The Weinstein Company)

Into the Wild

Sean Penn, director; Sean Penn, Art Linson, Bill Pohlad, producers (Paramount Vantage & River Road Entertainment)

Margot at the Wedding

Noah Baumbach, director; Scott Rudin, producer (Paramount Vantage)

The Namesake

Mira Nair, director; Lydia Dean Pilcher, Mira Nair, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)


Best Documentary

The Devil Came on Horseback

Annie Sundberg & Ricki Stern, directors; Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg, Gretchen Wallace, Jane

Wells, producers (International Film Circuit)

Jimmy Carter Man from Plains

Jonathan Demme, director; Jonathan Demme, Neda Armian, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)

My Kid Could Paint That

Amir Bar-Lev, producer/director (Sony Pictures Classics)


Michael Moore, director; Michael Moore, Meghan O’Hara, producers (The Weinstein Company)

Taxi to the Dark Side

Alex Gibney, director; Alex Gibney, Eva Orner, Susannah Shipman, producers (THINKFilm)


Best Ensemble Cast

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

Albert Finney, Rosemary Harris, Ethan Hawke, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Brian F. O’Byrne, Amy Ryan, Michael Shannon, Marisa Tomei (THINKFilm)

The Last Winter

Connie Britton, Kevin Corrigan, Zach Gilford, James LeGros, Ron Perlman (IFC First Take)

Margot at the Wedding

Jack Black, Flora Cross, Ciarán Hinds, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Zane Pais, John Turturro (Paramount Vantage)

The Savages

Philip Bosco, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Laura Linney (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Talk to Me

Cedric the Entertainer, Don Cheadle, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mike Epps, Vondie Curtis Hall, Taraji P. Henson, Martin Sheen (Focus Features)


Breakthrough Director

Lee Isaac Chung for Munyurangabo

Stephane Gauger for Owl and the Sparrow

Julia Loktev for Day Night Day Night (IFC First Take)

David Von Ancken for Seraphim Falls (Samuel Goldwyn Films)

Craig Zobel for Great World of Sound (Magnolia Pictures)


Breakthrough Actor

Emile Hirsch in Into the Wild (Paramount Vantage)

Kene Holliday in Great World of Sound (Magnolia Pictures)

Ellen Page in Juno (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Jess Weixler in Teeth (Roadside Attractions)

Luisa Williams in Day Night Day Night (IFC First Take)

Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You

August the First

Lanre Olabisi, director; Shawn Alexander, Gabriel “Swede” Sedgwick, Nicky Arzeu Akmal, Lanre

Olabisi, producers


Ronald Bronstein, director; Marc Raybin, producer

Loren Cass

Chris Fuller, director; Chris Fuller, Frank Craft, Kayla Tabish, producers

Mississippi Chicken

John Fiege, director; John Fiege, Anita Grabowski, Victor Moyers, producers

Off the Grid: Life on the Mesa

Jeremy Stulberg & Randy Stulberg, directors; Eric Juhola, Jeremy Stulberg, Randy Stulberg. Sound, Into the Wild Top Gotham Award Noms