New York City showed up tonight for the 30th annual award. Gotham Awards on the Cipriani Wall Street are incorruptible can-do spirit. Robert Hall Winery is in its third year as a wine sponsor. For the first time, in a remarkable mix of live and virtual presentations, presenters and award winners sat at small, socially isolated tables in a cavernous space, cautious but enthusiastic between the steps to the stage. Each table had its own service. Given the highly appropriate level of stress associated with peri-pandemic disease, wine contributed significantly to its reduction.
After the final awards ceremony, Michael Shannon – a special fan of the Paso Robles Red brand – turned on the lights and gave the talented team a heartfelt toast from Robert Hall and a warm and loud round of applause in honor of the evening’s performance and the indomitable intensity and style of New York – a brilliant tribute to the Big Apple and the filmmakers who call it home.
Earlier in the evening, Zachary Quinto presented the Breakthrough Actor Award to Kingsley Ben-Adir, winner of a one-night stand in Miami, who picked him up at a London hotel at one in the morning.
Padma Lakshmi presented the best documentary award to the two winners: A thousand cuts. Director: Ramona S. Diaz; and Time; Director : Garrett Bradley.
The first laureates didn’t hear anyone, and can you hear me? Is this thing on? but everyone got a virtual phone call and an answer by nightfall.
Anna Del Castillo, Director of the NYC Film Commission, presented the Made in New York award to her colleague Jeffrey Wright for his work on the Brooklyn Food Delivery for Life outreach program. Wright gave his acceptance speech in front of a very convincing reproduction of Basquiat from his home neighborhood, Brooklyn.
Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea) presented the Best Screenplay Award, also for two screenplays: The 40-year-old version, written by Radha Blank, who named the Christmas trees! I’m shocked. I was ready when she heard Dan Sallitt talk about his victory and his fourteen years.
George C. Wolfe, director of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, paid tribute to Viola Davis.
Renee Alice Goldsberry presented the award to the student filmmaker. Gotham Executive Director Jeffrey Sharp announced the Joel Schumacher Scholarship Program for Undergraduate Filmmakers.
Mustang director Laure de Clermont-Tonner presented the International Award for the Art of Object Identification to filmmaker Maimune Doucourt.
Nicole Kidman presented the industry award to Ryan Murphy. After accepting the award, a colleague said Thank you for daring to tell stories that many people are afraid to tell.
Kristen Milioti of Palm Springs presented the Gotham Public Choice Award to Nomadland, directed by Chloe Zhao, who gave special thanks to the audience.
Aaron Sorkin presented the Ensemble Award for Chicago Seven Trial, which was presented by such actors as Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen, Noah Robbins, Caitlin Fitzgerald, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Alex Sharp, Alice Kremelberg and Calvin Harrison, Jr.
Steve Gagan presented Andrew Patterson with the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director’s Award for the film Vast Night.
Lupita Nyong’o presented Steve McQueen with a Director’s Tribute.
Euphoria Hunter Schafer presented the award-winning series Breakthrough (under 40 minutes) I May Destroy You in the studio, created by Michaela Coel, who was unable to attend but sent a note: I want to thank everyone who helped me bring this project to life. The only disappointment was the ending.
The award for series over 40 minutes was given to the HBO Guardians series, accepted by Executive Producer Nicole Cassell.
Andre Holland of the Moonlight paid a touching tribute to the late Chad Bosman, saying he was graceful, not pushy, not gentle, not sentimental. In the South we have a saying that goes like this: One and one does not always make two, sometimes three or four. He then led the audience into a moment of silent celebration of the actor. Simone Ledward Bosman, Bosman’s widow, added emotionally: At that time he was actively seeking the truth in himself and in his surroundings…. He has been fortunate to have lived many lives. He used the power of the party.
Anthony Mackey (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) presented the award for Best Actress to Miss Juniette’s Nicole Beharie, who was surprised by the silence for fifteen seconds until she made her noise. Oh, my God, okay, she said. Should I just talk? I wasn’t expecting this. I am honored to be a part of such an extraordinary group of people.
Rebecca Hall of Godzilla vs King Kong presented the Best Actor Award to Riz Ahmed for The Sound of Metal.
Michael Shannon presented the final Best Film award of the evening, honoring the all-female cast of nominees. The winner is again Nomadland, led by Chloé Zhao, who thanked the jury and her fellow nominees: Thank you for sharing this category with us. Thank you to all the film festivals who presented our film. We love you New York, be strong and thank you!
As the saying goes: Without the sponsors, this event would not have been possible. ROBERT HALL WINERY was founded in 1999 by Robert and Margaret Hall in the hills of Paso Robles wine country, creating the iconic Paso Robles Winery, specializing in the delivery of Paso Robles essence, which Paso Robles can deliver to consumers a great bottle of wine at a reasonable price, and for those who have visited the winery in person (and will visit in the future), a first-class experience in a beautiful location. Wine lovers and critics agree and have given the winery many top awards over the years because of the yearly increase in production.
Despite considerable adversity, Robert Hall has helped make the Gotham Awards a night of love for New York City’s independent film industry and a beacon of hope for New York’s future as an arts and media capital.