By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter
The 25th Gotham Independent Film Awards, which took place on Monday night in New York, don’t indicate, in any real way, what the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards the Oscars, is thinking. Sure, last year’s best feature Gotham winner, Birdman, went on to win the best picture Oscar, and this year’s, Spotlight, might well do the same. (That’s two Michael Keaton movies, for those of you counting at home!) But it’s important to understand why that sort of thing is coincidental, as opposed to correlative.
The Gotham Awards, which are hosted by the Independent Film Project (IFP) and honor low-budget American films, recognize nominees and winners that are chosen by committees of just four or five people — journalists in the first round, filmmakers in the second. So when, say, The Diary of a Teenage Girl lands a field-leading four noms, as it did this year, that is not indicative of the entire indie film community’s preferences (rival Film Independent’s Spirit Awards are more reflective of that), but rather of the tastes of a small handful of people who happened to be asked to weigh in on a specific category.