Chinonye Chukwu’s ‘Till’ receives a Gotham Award

The Gotham Film & Media Institute has announced the winners of the 32nd Annual Gotham Awards, which was held last night at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.

The winner for Outstanding Lead Performance in feature films was Danielle Deadwyler in “Till” for her extraordinary, layered performance, moving from grief, to anger, to activism as Mamie Till-Mobley, the mother of 14-year-old Emmett Till who was murdered in 1955 by white supremacists.

Deadwyler previously received a Gotham Award in 2021 as a member of the Ensemble cast of “The Harder They Fall.” “Till” was directed by Chinonye Chukwu, a Nigerian American film director best known for the drama film “Clemency.”

Chinonye Chukwu

Winning Best Feature was “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” the virtuoso mix of styles, genres and parallel universe jumping, written and directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, in which a middle-aged, overwhelmed laundromat owner finds she can save the universe and her family unit by harnessing powers from different versions of her unexplored lives.

Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira

Other recipients included Gracija Filipovic, who received the Breakthrough Performer award for her mesmerizing and vivid performance as a young woman eager to escape her domineering father and restricted life on a small Croatian island in the lush and increasingly tense “Murina.”

Chinonye Chukwu

The Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director award went to Charlotte Wells for “Aftersun,” and the Best Screenplay award went to Todd Field for “Tár,” a movie about the downfall of the powerful, world-renowned conductor and composer Lydia Tár.

The award for Best Documentary Feature was presented to Shaunak Sen’s “All That Breathes,” a sublime mix of social issue focus and poetic artistry that embraces the interconnectedness of all living things in this portrait of a pair of Muslim brothers who tend to sick birds (primarily predatory kites) that fall from the polluted sky in New Delhi and are nursed to health in their small basement clinic.

Jonathan Majors

Career Tributes were also given during the ceremony to performers Michelle Williams (presented by Paul Dano) and Adam Sandler (presented by the Safdie Brothers); director Gina Prince-Bythewood (presented by Kathryn Bigelow); and the Industry Tribute to Focus Features’ Vice Chairman Jason Cassidy and Chairman Peter Kujawski (presented by James Gray and Todd Field).

Brian Tyree Henry

The second annual Icon Tribute (presented by Gotham Board Member Jonathan Majors), created to call attention to the boldness, artistry, and impact of a filmmaker from a marginalized community whose work has not been previously recognized by the organization in its previous awards history was awarded to the legendary late actor, filmmaker, and activist Sidney Poitier. Accepting the award were members of the Poitier family – Anika, Pamela and Sherri Poitier.

The 2022 Gotham Awards
Gabrielle Union

Majors also announced the creation of The Gotham Sidney Poitier Initiative, an ambitious set of programs developed around the spirit Sidney Poitier brought to the world as he broke down barriers in the film industry and the minds of audiences. SPI aims to expand on this legacy to support the next generation of filmmakers. Aligned closely with the priorities set by the Poitier family, the initiative will encompass the areas of mentorship, scholarship, project funding, and career advancement. The SPI Founders Committee is a collective of artists – actors, directors, producers, writers, and executives – who have aligned with the shared goal of shaping this initiative to optimally support Sidney Poitier’s living legacy.

Samantha Ofole-Prince is a journalist and movie critic who covers industry-specific news that includes television and film. She serves as the Entertainment Editor for Trendy Africa. Photos by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

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