‘Diary of a Teenage Girl,’ ‘Carol’ Lead Gotham Award Nominations

Cate Blanchett, Brie Larson, Blythe Danner, Lily Tomlin, Bel Powley and Kristen Wiig will compete in expanded Best Actress category

Sony Pictures Classics
"Diary of a Teenage Girl"; photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Marielle Heller‘s coming-of-age story “Diary of a Teenage Girl” led all films with four nominations for the 25th anniversary Gotham Independent Film Awards, the Independent Feature Project (IFP) announced on Thursday.

The film received four nominations in the Gothams’ seven competitive categories, including Best Feature, Breakthrough Director Award, Best Screenplay and Best Actress for Bel Powley.

Two strong Oscar contenders, Todd Haynes‘ “Carol” and Tom McCarthy’s “Spotlight,” also received multiple nominations. “Carol” received three, including one for lead actress Cate Blanchett, while “Spotlight” was nominated for feature and screenplay. The journalism drama also received a special jury award for its ensemble cast, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci and Brian D’Arcy James.

“Tangerine” also received three nominations, one for Best Feature and two for actresses Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor.

Films nominated for Best Feature were “Carol,” “Diary of a Teenage Girl,” “Heaven Knows What,” “Spotlight” and “Tangerine.”

“Heaven Knows What,” “James White” and “Love & Mercy” were the other films to receive more than one nomination, with two each.

In recognition of the strong work by female actors this year, the jury also chose to include six nominees for Best Actress. The field includes Powley, Blanchett, Brie Larson for “Room,” Blythe Danner for “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” Lily Tomlin for “Grandma” and Kristen Wiig for “Welcome to Me.”

Previously announced tributes will go to director Todd Haynes, actors Robert Redford and Helen Mirren and producer and Anonymous Content founder Steve Golin.

The New York-based Gotham Awards are one of the two major honors for independent film, and will be presented early in awards season, on Nov. 30 at Cipriani Wall Street.

The other major indie awards show, the Film Independent Spirit Awards, takes place in Los Angeles at the end of the season, the day before the Oscars.

Gotham nominees are selected by a number of different juries, consisting largely of film critics. Films must meet a variety of fairly nebulous requirements, including being “filmmaking with a point of view” that is “made with an economy of means” and is directed and/or produced by a filmmaker born or based in the United States.

In the last five years, nominees in the top Gotham category have ranged from a high of three Oscar Best Picture nominees (in 2010 and 2014) to a low of none (in 2012). Last year, Gotham and Oscar winner “Birdman” was joined in the category by Oscar nominees “Boyhood” and “Birdman” and by the smaller indies “Love Is Strange” and “Under the Skin.”

In three of the four categories that overlap between the Gothams and Oscars, the same film or person won: “Birdman” for best feature, “Citizenfour” for best documentary and Julianne Moore for best actress. (All three also won at the Spirit Awards.)

The nominees:

Best Feature

Todd Haynes, director; Elizabeth Karlsen, Tessa Ross, Christine Vachon, Stephen Woolley, producers (The Weinstein Company)

The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Marielle Heller, director; Anne Carey, Bert Hamelinck, Madeline Samit, Miranda Bailey, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)

Heaven Knows What
Josh and Benny Safdie, directors; Oscar Boyson, Sebastian Bear-McClard, producers (RADiUS)

Tom McCarthy, director; Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, Blye Pagan Faust, producers (Open Road Films)

Sean Baker, director; Darren Dean, Shih-Ching Tsou, Marcus Cox & Karrie Cox, producers (Magnolia Pictures)

Best Documentary

Approaching the Elephant
Amanda Rose Wilder, director; Jay Craven, Robert Greene, Amanda Rose Wilder, producers (Kingdom County Productions)

Cartel Land
Matthew Heineman, director; Matthew Heineman, Tom Yellin, producers (The Orchard and A&E IndieFilms)

Heart of a Dog
Laurie Anderson, director; Dan Janvey, Laurie Anderson, producers (Abramorama and HBO Documentary Films)

Listen to Me Marlon
Stevan Riley, director; John Battsek, RJ Cutler, George Chignell, producers (Showtime Documentary Films)

The Look of Silence
Joshua Oppenheimer, director; Signe Byrge Sørensen, producer (Drafthouse Films)

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award
Desiree Akhavan for Appropriate Behavior (Gravitas Ventures)
Jonas Carpigano for Mediterranea (Sundance Selects)
Marielle Heller for The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Sony Pictures Classics)
John Magary for The Mend (Cinelicious Pics)
Josh Mond for James White (The Film Arcade)

Best Screenplay
Carol, Phyllis Nagy (The Weinstein Company)
The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Marielle Heller (Sony Pictures Classics)
Love & Mercy, Oren Moverman and Michael Alan Lerner (Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate, and River Road Entertainment)
Spotlight, Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer (Open Road Films)
While We’re Young, Noah Baumbach (A24)

Best Actor*
Christopher Abbott in James White (The Film Arcade)
Kevin Corrigan in Results (Magnolia Pictures)
Paul Dano in Love & Mercy (Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate, and River Road Entertainment)
Peter Sarsgaard in Experimenter (Magnolia Pictures)
Michael Shannon in 99 Homes (Broad Green Pictures)

Best Actress*
Cate Blanchett in Carol (The Weinstein Company)
Blythe Danner in I’ll See You in My Dreams (Bleecker Street)
Brie Larson in Room (A24 Films)
Bel Powley in The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Sony Pictures Classics)
Lily Tomlin in Grandma (Sony Pictures Classics)
Kristen Wiig in Welcome to Me (Alchemy)

Breakthrough Actor
Rory Culkin in Gabriel (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
Arielle Holmes in Heaven Knows What (RADiUS)
Lola Kirke in Mistress America (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Kitana Kiki Rodriguez in Tangerine (Magnolia Pictures)
Mya Taylor in Tangerine (Magnolia Pictures)

* The 2015 Best Actor/Best Actress nominating panel also voted to award a special Gotham Jury Award jointly to Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci and Brian D’Arcy James for their ensemble work in Spotlight. (Open Road Films).