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Chadwick Boseman, Viola Davis to Receive Tributes at 2021 Gotham Awards

The two ”Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom“ stars will be the first pair of actors from the same film to receive Gothams tributes


Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman will be honored with tributes at the 30th anniversary IFP Gotham Awards, the Independent Filmmaker Project announced on Thursday.

The two actors both star in the Netflix film “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” an adaptation of August Wilson’s play directed by George C. Wolfe. In the drama, which is set in 1927, Davis plays the title role of legendary jazz and blues singer Ma Rainey, while Boseman plays a young trumpeter who is tired of playing what he thinks of as old-fashioned material and wants to push jazz in a newer, fresher direction.

This is the first time that the Gotham Awards’ actor and actress tributes have gone to two performers from the same movie. Other honorees in recent years have been Laura Dern, Sam Rockwell, Rachel Weisz, Willem Dafoe, Nicole Kidman, Dustin Hoffman and Amy Adams.

Boseman is the second actor to receive a tribute at the Gotham Awards, after James Gandolfini in 2013. Postproduction manager William J. Nisselson received a posthumous Industry Tribute in 2001.

When Gotham nominations were announced in November, Boseman received a nom in the Best Actor category. In the eight years in which the Gothams’ Best Actor and Best Actress categories have been in existence, Boseman is the only actor to receive a tribute and be nominated in a competitive category in the same year.

His nomination was the only one for “Ma Rainey” in the four film categories in which it was eligible.

The Gotham Awards will take place in New York City on Jan. 11, 2021. The show will be based at its usual venue, Cipriani Wall Street, but in what IFP says is “a virtual hybrid format featuring virtual interactive tables in order to follow health and safety protocols brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Additional Gotham Awards tributes will be announced in the coming weeks.