‘The Rider’ Wins Top Prize at 2018 Gotham Awards (Complete List of Winners)

Ethan Hawke and Toni Collette win top acting awards; documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” wins audience award

Last Updated: November 27, 2018 @ 6:13 AM

Chloe Zhao’s “The Rider,” a tiny indie about a rodeo rider trying to recover from a serious injury, has been named the best independent film of 2018 at the Gotham Independent Film Awards, which were handed out on Monday night in New York City.

On a night in which many of the categories had upset winners, the film beat out several better-known films, including Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Favourite,” Paul Schrader’s “First Reformed” and Barry Jenkins’ “If Beale Street Could Talk.”

Ethan Hawke won the best actor award for “First Reformed,” while Toni Collette took the actress prize for the horror film “Hereditary.”

Elsie Fisher won the Breakthrough Actor Award for “Eighth Grade,” in a category made up entirely of women: Fisher, Yalitza Aparicio for “Roma,” Helena Howard for “Madeline’s Madeline,” KiKi Layne for “If Beale Street Could Talk” and Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie for “Leave No Trace.”

Her director, Bo Burham, gave that film a sweep of the breakthrough film categories by winning the Breakthrough Director Award, and said, “This is really just another award for Elsie Fisher.”

Paul Schrader won the screenplay award for “First Reformed.”

The first award of the night went to “Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” which won the documentary award over a field of nominees that included “Minding the Gap,” “Shirkers” and “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” That last film won the Audience Award over all the nominees in the feature, breakthrough director and doc categories.

Television awards went to “Killing Eve” for breakthrough long-form series and “195 Lewis” for breakthrough short-form series.

Previously announced Gotham Awards tributes went to director Paul Greengrass, actors Willem Dafoe and Rachel Weisz, and Radical Media chairman Jon Kamen.

A special jury award was given to Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, the three lead actresses of “The Favourite.” Although that film was considered a foreign production by the Film Independent Spirit Awards and a British production by the British Independent Film Awards, it qualified as an American indie under Gotham rules.

The New York-based Gotham Awards are one of the two major honors for independent film, and are presented early in awards season. 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. Its nominations will be announced on Nov. 16.

Over the 13 years since the Gotham Awards introduced the Best Feature category, the winner has subsequently won the Oscar only four times — but those four have all come in the last nine years, including “Birdman” in 2014, “Spotlight” in 2015 and “Moonlight” in 2016. The streak was broken last year, when Gotham winner “Call Me By Your Name” was nominated for Best Picture but did not win.

See this year’s Gotham Awards winners below, with the winners indicated by *WINNER.

Best Feature
“The Favourite”
“First Reformed”
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“Madeline’s Madeline”
“The Rider” *WINNER

Best Documentary
“Bisbee ’17”
“Hale County This Morning, This Evening” *WINNER
“Minding the Gap”
“Shirkers”
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award
Ari Aster for “Hereditary”
Bo Burnham for “Eighth Grade”  *WINNER
Jennifer Fox for “The Tale”
Crystal Moselle for “Skate Kitchen”
Boots Riley for “Sorry to Bother You”

Best Screenplay
“The Favourite,” Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara
“First Reformed,” Paul Schrader *WINNER
“Private Life,” Tamara Jenkins
“Support the Girls,” Andrew Bujalski
“Thoroughbreds,” Cory Finley

Best Actor
Adam Driver in “BlacKkKlansman”
Ben Foster in “Leave No Trace”
Richard E. Grant in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Ethan Hawke in “First Reformed” *WINNER
Lakeith Stanfield in “Sorry to Bother You”

Best Actress
Glenn Close in “The Wife”
Toni Collette in “Hereditary” *WINNER
Kathryn Hahn in “Private Life”
Regina Hall in “Support the Girls”
Michelle Pfeiffer in “Where is Kyra?”

Special Gotham Jury Award: Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz for their ensemble performance in “The Favourite”

Breakthrough Actor
Yalitza Aparicio in “Roma”
Elsie Fisher in “Eighth Grade” *WINNER
Helena Howard in “Madeline’s Madeline”
KiKi Layne in “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie in “Leave No Trace”

Gotham Audience Award
“Bisbee ’17”
“Eighth Grade”
“The Favourite”
“First Reformed”
“Hale County This Morning, This Evening”
“Hereditary”
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“Madeline’s Madeline”
“Minding the Gap”
“The Rider”
“Shirkers”
“Skate Kitchen”
“Sorry to Bother You”
“The Tale”
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” *WINNER

Breakthrough Series – Long Form
“Alias Grace”
“Big Mouth”
“The End of the F***ing World”
“Killing Eve” *WINNER
“Pose”
“Sharp Objects”

Breakthrough Series – Short Form
“195 Lewis” *WINNER
“Cleaner Daze”
“Distance”
“The F Word”
“She’s the Ticket”

Made in New York Award: Sandra Lee

Thom Geier contributed to this report.