Brooklyn’s own Steiner Studios provided the star-studded stage for the Gotham Awards on Tuesday night. The Independent Feature Project’s 17th annual gala bestowed the prizes for excellence in filmmaking.
And while the awards, which honor independent films and are the first big night of the jam-packed motion picture awards season, have honored Brooklynites before (Noah Baumbach, pictured, won in 2005 for “The Squid and the Whale” and Shareeka Epps and Ryan Fleck won last year for “Half Nelson”), this was the first time that the awards ceremony took place in the borough.
And the hometown crowd definitely took notice. Bensonhurst native Marissa Tomei (pictured, top) presented the award for “Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You,” and taking an award home for her work in “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.”
Baumbach was back as a nominee, his “Margot at the Wedding” was nominated for “Best Feature” and “Best Ensemble Cast,” and Fort Greene resident Kerri Russell took the stage to present the “Breakthrough Director” award to Craig Zobel for “Great World of Sound.”
“For 16 years, this awards ceremony has been in Chelsea,” said Borough President Markowitz, “so moving it to Brooklyn was a very good thing. I have a feeling it will be here next year, too, which goes to prove that we’re certainly Hollywood East. Consider all the great stars from Brooklyn, it’s a natural [for the Gotham Awards] to make Brooklyn its home.”
And for all the glitz and glamour that he’s used to — the guy introduced Robert Redford when he brought his Sundance Festival to the Brooklyn Academy of Music — the Beep still found himself bowled over by the evening’s star power.
“I saw Uma Thurman and, my God, is she tall,” he exclaimed. “Her friend — I don’t know if he was her boyfriend or not — was about my height and I said, ‘there is hope for guys my height after all.’”
Marty’s not the only lucky one; if you missed the awards ceremony, you can catch a replay on NYC-TV on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 9 pm and Saturday, Dec. 8 at 8 pm. For more information, visit www.gotham.ifp.com.