The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) announced Thursday morning the nominees for the 24th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards. Highlighting the best of the year’s independent film, the Gotham Awards give an early bump to the smaller films that could get lost in the studio shuffle. For 2014, the seven competitive awards include Best Feature, Best Documentary, Best Actor, Best Actress (presenting sponsor euphoria Calvin Klein), Breakthrough Actor, the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director award, and the Gotham Audience Award. In addition to the competitive awards, Tilda Swinton, director Bennett Miller, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos will be honored with tributes.  

24 films received nominations this year, not including a special award handed bestowed to Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, and Channing Tatum for their ensemble work in “Foxcatcher.” Voting for the primary awards begins on Nov. 19th at 12:01 AM EST and concludes on November 26th at 5:00 PM EST.  

“Each year the Gotham Awards honor the best work from our independent storytellers and help new audiences discover their work.  We congratulate this year’s nominees, from the master film artists to the talented newcomers, a true representation of the rich and diverse range of today’s independent filmmaking,” said Joana Vicente, Executive Director of IFP and the Made in NY Media Center in a statement pinned to the announcement. “We are grateful to our nominating committees of film critics, journalists, programmers and film curators for their dedication to selecting the nominees from so many worthy submissions.”  

The Gotham Awards ceremony will be held on Monday, Dec. 1

The 2014 Gotham Independent Film Award nominations are:

Best Feature
”Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, director; Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, Arnon Milchan, James W. Skotchdopole, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Richard Linklater, director; Richard Linklater, Cathleen Sutherland, Jonathan Sehring, John Sloss, producers (IFC Films)

”The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Wes Anderson, director; Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales, Jeremy Dawson, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

”Love Is Strange”
Ira Sachs, director; Lucas Joaquin, Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, Ira Sachs, Jayne Baron Sherman, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)

”Under the Skin”
Jonathan Glazer, director; Nick Wechsler, James Wilson, producers (A24 Films)  

Best Documentary
Robert Greene, director; Douglas Tirola, Susan Bedusa, Robert Greene, producers (The Cinema Guild)

Laura Poitras, director; Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky, producers (RADiUS, Participant Media, and HBO Documentary Films)

“Life Itself”
Steve James, director; Zak Piper, Steve James, Garrett Basch, producers (Magnolia Pictures and CNN Films)

Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez, directors; Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Véréna Paravel, producers (The Cinema Guild)

”Point and Shoot”
Marshall Curry, director; Marshall Curry, Elizabeth Martin, Matthew Van Dyke, producers (The Orchard and American Documentary / POV)  

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award
Ana Lily Amirpour for “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” (Kino Lorber)
James Ward Byrkit for “Coherence” (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
Dan Gilroy for “Nightcrawler” (Open Road Films)
Eliza Hittman for “It Felt Like Love” (Variance Films)
Justin Simien for “Dear White People” (Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions)

Best Actor*
Bill Hader in “The Skeleton Twins” (Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions)
Ethan Hawke in “Boyhood” (IFC Films)
Oscar Isaac in “A Most Violent Year” (A24 Films)
Michael Keaton in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Miles Teller in “Whiplash” (Sony Pictures Classics)  

* The 2014 Best Actor nominating panel also voted to award a special Gotham Jury Award jointly to Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, and Channing Tatum for their ensemble performance in Foxcatcher (Sony Pictures Classics).  

Best Actress
Patricia Arquette in “Boyhood” (IFC Films)
Gugu Mbatha-Raw in “Beyond the Lights” (Relativity Media)
Julianne Moore in “Still Alice” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Scarlett Johansson in “Under the Skin” (A24 Films)
Mia Wasikowska in “Tracks” (The Weinstein Company)  

Breakthrough Actor
Riz Ahmed in “Nightcrawler” (Open Road Films)
Macon Blair in “Blue Ruin” (RADiUS)
Ellar Coltrane in “Boyhood” (IFC Films)
Joey King in “Wish I Was Here” (Focus Features)
Jenny Slate in “Obvious Child” (A24 Films)
Tessa Thompson in “Dear White People” (Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions)  

Twenty writers, critics and programmers participated in the nomination process, considering 199 eligible submissions. The Nominating Committee 2014 Gotham Independent Film Awards were:  

Nominating Committee for Best Feature and Breakthrough Director:
Justin Chang, Senior Film Critic, Variety
Eric Kohn, Lead Film Critic, Indiewire
Christy Lemire, Film Critic, and co-host, What the Flick?!
Andrew O’Hehir, Film Critic,
Joshua Rothkopf, Film Editor, Time Out New York  

Nominating Committee for Best Documentary:
Charlotte Cook, Director of Programming, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival
Bilge Ebiri, Film Critic, New York Magazine and Vulture
Cynthia Fuchs, Film-TV Editor, PopMatters
Tom Hall, Executive Director, Montclair Film Festival
Sky Sitney, Visiting Artist, Georgetown University Film and Media Studies Department  

Nominating Committee for Best Actor and Best Actress:
Mark Harris, Editor-at-Large, Entertainment Weekly and columnist, Grantland
Ann Hornaday, Film Critic, The Washington Post
Glenn Kenny, Critic,; author, Anatomy of an Actor: Robert De Niro
David Rooney, Film & Theater Critic, The Hollywood Reporter
Elizabeth Weitzman, Film Critic, New York Daily News  

Nominating Committee for Breakthrough Actor:
Sam Adams, Editor of Criticwire, Indiewire
A.A. Dowd, Film Editor, The A. V. Club
Sheila O’Malley, Film Critic,
Ronnie Scheib, Film Critic, Variety
Stephen Whitty, Film Critic, Newark Star-Ledger    

Spotlight on Women Filmmakers ‘Live the Dream’ Grant
For the fourth consecutive year, IFP is proud present the euphoria Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Filmmakers ‘Live the Dream’ grant, a $25,000 cash award for an alumna of IFP’s Independent Filmmaker Labs. This grant aims to further the careers of emerging women directors by supporting the completion, distribution and audience engagement strategies of their first feature film.  

The nominees are:  

Garrett Bradley, director, Below Dreams
Claire Carré, director, Embers
Chloé Zhao, director, Songs My Brothers Taught Me

Matt Patches is a writer and reporter based in New York. His work has appeared on Grantland, New York Magazine's Vulture,, and The Hollywood Reporter. He thinks Groundhog Day is perfect.