Wes Anderson's coming-of-age comedy tipped for Oscars success after taking top prize at independent film awards
Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson's Cannes smash about two runaway child lovers living on a remote New England island, won the top prize at the 2012 Gotham independent film awards on Monday night.
Young leads Jared Gilman, 13, and Kaya Howard, 14, accepted the best feature award at a ceremony in New York attended by Oscar winners and Hollywood glitterati. Marion Cotillard and Matt Damon received honorary awards celebrating their careers, and there was a tribute to The Fighter director David O Russell. The awards are held annually to celebrate independent film-making and represent a prelude to the coming awards season.
Of the films currently tipped for Oscars success, Benh Zeitlin won the breakthrough director prize for his sun-kissed, rain-drenched tale of life on the flood-threatened Louisiana bayou, Beasts of the Southern Wild. Zeitlin also took home the Bingham Ray award for his micro-budget drama, which used an entirely untrained cast.
Russell's own Silver Linings Playbook, which is tipped to be a rare romantic comedy success at next year's Academy Awards, lost out to Your Sister's Sister, starring Emily Blunt. The British actor was on hand to pick up the ensemble acting award with co-stars Mark Duplass and Rosemarie DeWitt. Duplass also produced the comedy â" about a man who sleeps with his girlfriend's sibling â" and he thanked the cast for working for just $100 a day.
The audience award went to Jared Leto's documentary Artifact, about the making of the album This Is War by the actor's band 30 Seconds to Mars and their battle with record label Virgin/EMI in 2008 and 2009. Breakthrough actor went to Emayatzy Corinealdi for Sundance-winning drama The Middle of Nowhere, ahead of Beasts of the Southern Wild's six-year-old (at the time of filming), Oscar-tipped QuvenzhanÃ© Wallis.
David France's Aids-themed How to Survive a Plague won best documentary feature, while Terence Nance's romance An Oversimplication of Her Beauty won the "best film not playing at a theater near you" award.
The Gotham awards are staged each year by the non-profit-making Independent Feature Project, which supports independent film-making. Last year's winners (sharing best feature) included Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life and Mike Mills' romantic comedy Beginners, about an octogenarian who comes out as gay. Malick went home empty handed at the Oscars earlier this year despite three nominations, but Beginners' Christopher Plummer won best supporting actor.Wes AndersonComedyAwards and prizesDavid O RussellUnited StatesBen Child
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