The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), announced today that Academy Award®-nominated and Emmy® Award-winning director Ava DuVernay will receive the Director Tribute and Academy Award® and Golden Globe® winning actor Sam Rockwell will receive the Actor Tribute at the 2019 IFP Gotham Awards. The first awards show of the season, the IFP Gotham Awards is one of the leading honors for independent film and media, providing critical early recognition to groundbreaking independent films and their writers, directors, producers, and actors with ten competitive awards categories. The ceremony will be held on Monday, December 2, 2019, at Cipriani Wall Street, New York City.
“Ava DuVernay is a groundbreaking and influential filmmaker whose work casts an overdue and much needed light on the history of our nation’s systemic racism embedded in our institutions of justice today. She is enlightening and impactful to a new wave of filmmakers and her films are profoundly consequential to our nation’s continued endeavor to provide equal justice for all,” said Jeff Sharp, Executive Director of IFP and the Made in NY Media Center. “We are equally delighted to present the deeply talented Sam Rockwell with the Actor Tribute. Sam simply brings brilliance to every role he plays – whether an anti-hero in an auteur-driven film, a hero in a studio tentpole or a legendary icon in a limited series. His compelling and genuine performances are a gift to us all. Both Ava and Sam are leaders and champions for independent film. Their support and dedication to the craft, community and IFP continue to inspire this generation.”
Ava DuVernay is a writer, director, producer and film distributor. Her directorial work includes the historical drama Selma, the criminal justice documentary 13TH and Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time, which made her the highest grossing black woman director in American box office history. Her most recent project is the multi Emmy-nominated When They See Us, which gave voice to the five teenage boys of color, frequently referred to as “The Central Park 5”, who were wrongfully convicted of a heinous crime they did not commit. Netflix released the astonishing 4-part series worldwide in May 2019. Currently, DuVernay is overseeing production on her critically acclaimed TV series Queen Sugar and her upcoming OWN series Cherish the Day. Winner of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival’s Best Director Prize for her micro-budget film Middle of Nowhere, DuVernay amplifies the work of people of color and women through her non-profit film collective ARRAY, named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies.
Sam Rockwell is one of the most versatile actors of his generation with an array of emotionally searing and complex roles defining his body of work. Rockwell won the Academy Award®, Screen Actors Guild Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA, Critics Choice, and Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as ‘Officer Dixon’ in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, opposite Frances McDormand. He was also nominated for an Academy Award®, Golden Globe and BAFTA Award for his performance as ‘George W. Bush’ in Adam McKay’s Vice, starring opposite Christian Bale and Amy Adams. Most recently, Rockwell portrayed ‘Bob Fosse’ in FX’s Fosse/Verdon opposite Michelle Williams, earning him an Emmy nomination. Rockwell will next be seen in Fox Searchlight’s highly anticipated World War II satire, JoJo Rabbit. The dark comedy, written and directed by Taika Waititi, is based on the book Caging Skies by Christine Leunens, about a lonely young boy living during World War II who discovers his single mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their attic. With his only escapism through his imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler, Jojo must confront his naive patriotic beliefs. The film will be released on October 18th, 2019 and also stars Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Taika Waititi, Rebel Wilson, Stephen Merchant, Alfie Allen and Scarlett Johansson.
Additional tributes will be announced for the 2019 IFP Gotham Awards in the coming weeks. Nominees will be announced on October 24th and winners will be honored at the star-studded ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street on December 2.
ABOUT AVA DuVERNAY
Winner of the Emmy, BAFTA and Peabody Awards, Academy Award nominee Ava DuVernay is a director, writer, producer and film distributor. Her directorial work includes the historical feature film SELMA, the criminal justice documentary 13TH, and Disney’s A WRINKLE IN TIME which made her the highest grossing black woman director in American box office history. Based on the infamous case of The Central Park Five, her current project WHEN THEY SEE US recently garnered 16 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including Outstanding Limited Series and Outstanding Director and Writer for a Limited Series nominations for DuVernay. Currently, she oversees production on the fourth season of her critically-acclaimed TV series QUEEN SUGAR and her upcoming romance anthology CHERISH THE DAY for Warner Brothers Television. Making history as the first African-American filmmaker to win the Best Director prize at Sundance for her micro-budget, self-distributed feature MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, DuVernay continues to amplify the work of other people of color and women of all kinds through her non-profit film collective ARRAY, named one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies.” DuVernay sits on the advisory board of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and co-chairs the Prada Diversity Council. She is based in Los Angeles, California.
ABOUT SAM ROCKWELL
Academy Award® winner Sam Rockwell has established himself as one of the most versatile actors of his generation with an array of emotionally searing and complex roles defining his body of work. Rockwell won the Academy Award®, Screen Actors Guild Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA, Critics Choice, and Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as ‘Officer Dixon’ in THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI, opposite Frances McDormand. This year, he was nominated for an Academy Award®, Golden Globe and BAFTA Award for his performance as ‘George W. Bush’ in Adam McKay’s VICE starring opposite Christian Bale and Amy Adams. Most recently, Rockwell was seen starring as ‘Bob Fosse’ in FX’s FOSSE/VERDON opposite Michelle Williams. Rockwell is currently in production on Clint Eastwood’s THE BALLAD OF RICHARD JEWELL alongside Jon Hamm, Olivia Wilde, Kathy Bates and Paul Walter Hauser. Rockwell is known for his standout performances in an array of noteworthy films, including George Clooney’s CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND; Ridley Scott’s MATCHSTICK MEN; SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS; Jon Favreau’s COWBOYS & ALIENS; Tony Goldwyn’s CONVICTION; Kirk Jones’ EVERYBODY’S FINE; Garth Jennings’s HITCHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY; the Russo Brothers’ WELCOME TO COLLINWOOD; David Mamet’s HEIST; Dean Parisot’s GALAXY QUEST; Michael Hoffman’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM; Woody Allen’s CELEBRITY; John Duigan’s LAWN DOGS; and his feature film debut in Victor Salva’s slasher CLOWNHOUSE.
About the IFP
The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) champions the future of storytelling by connecting artists with essential resources at all stages of development and distribution. The organization, under the leadership of Executive Director and award-winning producer Jeffrey Sharp, fosters a vibrant and sustainable independent storytelling community through its year-round programs, which include IFP Week, Filmmaker Magazine, the IFP Gotham Awards and the Made in NY Media Center by IFP, a tech and media incubator space developed with the New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.
About the IFP Gotham Awards
The IFP Gotham Awards, selected by distinguished juries and presented in New York City, the home of independent film, are the first honors of the film awards season. This public showcase honors the filmmaking community, expands the audience for independent films, and supports the work that IFP does behind the scenes throughout the year to bring such films to fruition.