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“Interrupters,” “Hell and Back Again” Vie for Gotham Doc Prize

Danfung Dennis’s Afghan war film Hell and Back Again (pictured) and Steve James’s Chicago-set doc The Interrupters are among the five nominees for the Best Documentary prize at the 21st Gotham Independent Film Awards, which recognize excellence in American filmmaking.

The other nominees in the doc category are Better This World, from directors Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega; Bill Cunningham New York, from Richard Press; and The Woodmans, from C. Scott Willis.

Elsewhere, The Redemption of General Butt Naked – Eric Strauss and Daniele Anastasion’s documentary looking at a former Liberian warlord on a quest for forgiveness – is nominated in the ‘Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You’ category.

The Gotham awards are billed by the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) as being “the first major awards ceremony of the film season,” and previous Best Documentary winners have included The Oath (2010), Food Inc (2009) and Trouble the Water (2008).

The primary criteria for nomination consideration are that films are from U.S.-based or U.S.-born directors and producers, and that submissions are feature-length films “made with a point of view.”

Joana Vicente, exec director of the IFP, said: “The high calibre of this year’s Gotham Awards nominees’ work is truly remarkable. This extraordinary group of filmmakers and talent, both established and new, are breaking barriers and finding fresh, innovative ways to engage audiences through unique storytelling.

“We’re passionate about shedding light on well deserved independent cinema and excited to begin what is sure to be a momentous awards season.”

The Gotham Awards’ ceremony will be held on November 28 at Cipriani Wall Street.

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