The 2011 awards season began on 28 November when the Gotham Independent Film Awards were presented in New York City. This year, Cynthia Fuchs served for a fourth time on one of the nominating committees, which include categories like Ensemble Cast, Breakthrough Director, and Breakthrough Actor. She and the other members of the Best Documentary committee nominated Better This World (Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega), Bill Cunningham, NY (Richard Press), Hell and Back Again (Danfung Dennis), The Interrupters (Steve James), and The Woodmans (Scott Willis).
Better this World won this year's prize. It's a film about two boyhood friends from Midland, Texas who wind up arrested on terrorism charges at the 2008 Republican National Convention. It follows the journey of David McKay (22) and Bradley Crowder (23) from political neophytes to accused domestic terrorists with a particular focus on the relationship they develop with a radical activist mentor in the six months leading up to their arrests. A dramatic story of idealism, loyalty, crime and betrayal, Better This World goes to the heart of the War on Terror and its impact on civil liberties and political dissent in post-9/11 America. As Cynthia Fuchs writes, "It is, in a word, a remarkable film, not only uncovering a series of disturbing events, but also show how such events are defined by and intertwined with crucial moral questions. The stakes examined in Better This World could not be higher."
This year, a second documentary won the Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Picture Not Playing at a Theater Near You (a category featuring fiction and documentary films): Scenes of a Crime (Grover Babcock and Blue Hadaegh).
The Gotham Independent Film Awards are presented by the Independent Feature Project, the largest organization in the United States committed to independent film. Since its start in 1991, the Gotham Independent Film Awards has anticipated and sometimes set the pace for later organizations, from the Independent Spirit Awards to the Academy Awards.
December 01, 2011