The Gotham Awards ceremony on Monday celebrated A24’s film Past Lives, awarding it the top prize for Best Feature.
The film, directed and written by Celine Song, is set in New York City and was praised for its debut in the independent film scene. The Gotham Film and Media Institute removed the budget cap requirement for potential nominees this year, broadening the field to include various productions.
In addition to winning Best Feature, Lily Gladstone earned the award for Outstanding Lead Performance for her role in The Unknown Country. Charles Melton secured the Outstanding Supporting Performance award for his contribution to Todd Haynes’ May December.
The Gotham Awards, known for recognizing independent films, expanded its categories and eligibility criteria this year. The removal of the budget cap allowed for a more diverse range of nominees, with films like Barbie making their way into the competition. Furthermore, the awards for acting categories were redefined to be gender-neutral.
Other notable winners include:
- Outstanding Lead Performance: Lily Gladstone for “The Unknown Country”
- Outstanding Supporting Performance: Charles Melton for “May December”
- Best Screenplay: “Anatomy of a Fall” by Justine Triet and Arthur Harari
- Best International Feature: “Anatomy of a Fall”
- Best Documentary Feature: “Four Daughters”
- Breakthrough Director: A.V. Rockwell for “A Thousand and One”
- Outstanding Performance in a New Series: Ali Wong for “Beef”
- Breakthrough Television Over 40 Minutes: “A Small Light”
- Breakthrough Television Under 40 Minutes: “Beef”
De Niro Controversy
In a surprising turn of events at Monday night’s awards, legendary actor Robert De Niro went off-script during his speech, accusing the organizers of cutting out portions critical of former President Donald Trump. De Niro, who was presenting a tribute award for Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, claimed that some remarks were edited from the teleprompter without his consent.
The 80-year-old Oscar-winning actor expressed his frustration, stating, “I just want to say one thing. The beginning of my speech was edited, cut out. I didn’t know about it. And I want to read it,” before proceeding to read the allegedly censored section from his cellphone.
De Niro’s remarks touched on the distortion of history, the erosion of truth, and the rise of alternative facts and conspiracy theories. He specifically highlighted a controversial curriculum in Florida that reportedly teaches students that slaves developed skills for personal benefit. The actor condemned the spread of lies, referring to it as a “festering disease” and directed his criticism towards Donald Trump, citing the former president’s alleged 30,000 lies during his term.
“The former president lied to us more than 30,000 times during his four years … in office, and he’s keeping up the pace in his current campaign of retribution,” De Niro asserted. He accused Trump of attacking the weak, disrespecting nature, and using derogatory language, such as the term ‘Pocahontas.’
De Niro claimed that the edited portions were meant to be a part of his gratitude towards Apple, the producer of Killers of the Flower Moon, and the Gotham Awards organizers. However, due to the alleged censorship, he expressed his reluctance to thank them, stating, “I don’t feel like thanking them at all for what they did” and questioned, “How dare they do that, actually.”
As of now, representatives for Apple and the Gotham Awards have not responded to the accusations made by Robert De Niro. The incident has sparked discussions about free speech and censorship within the entertainment industry.