Ava DuVernay and Sam Rockwell to Be Honored at 2019 IFP Gotham Awards

Ceremony hosted by the Independent Filmmaker Project take place Dec. 2 in New York

Ava DuVernay and Sam Rockwell will be honored with tributes at the 2019 IFP Gotham Awards, the Independent Filmmaker Project announced Thursday.

DuVernay, the “When They See Us” and “Selma” filmmaker, will receive the Director Tribute, and Rockwell, the star of “Fosse/Verdon,” will receive the Actor Tribute at what is typically the first major awards show of the long awards season. This year’s ceremony will be held Monday, Dec. 2, at Cipriani Wall Street in New York.

“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,” Jeff Sharp, executive director of IFP and the Made in NY Media Center, said in a statement.

“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 antihero 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,” Sharp continued. “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.”

DuVernay is an Oscar nominee for her work directing the documentary “13th” about the criminal justice system, and she also won two Emmys for her work on “13th.” This year’s she’s nominated for three Emmys for “When They See Us,” the Netflix miniseries which gave a voice to the five young men of color were wrongfully convicted of raping a white jogger in Central Park.

Currently DuVernay is overseeing production on her series “Queen Sugar” and the upcoming OWN series “Cherish the Day.” She previously directed the film “A Wrinkle in Time” for Disney, which made her the highest-grossing African American woman director at the domestic box office.

Rockwell is an Oscar winner for his role in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and was again nominated last year for his role as President George W. Bush in last year’s “Vice.” He most recently starred as Bob Fosse in the FX series “Fosse/Verdon” opposite Michelle Williams, which landed him his first Emmy nomination. Rockwell will next be seen in Fox Searchlight’s “Jojo Rabbit” from director Taika Waititi, which opens in theaters Oct. 18.

Last year Paul Greengrass received the Director Tribute, and Willem Dafoe received the Actor Tribute.

Additional tributes will be announced for the 2019 IFP Gotham Awards in the coming weeks. Nominations for the awards will be announced on Oct. 24.