The Gotham Awards, a ceremony held by the Gotham Film & Media Institute honoring independent films, took place at Cipriani Wall Street on Monday night. According to The New York Times, multiple Asian storytellers took home awards for their craft on Monday night.
Past Lives, an A24 film that explores the fate of two childhood sweethearts when they reunite as adults through the Korean concept of inyeon, won Best Feature Film.
Celine Song, director of Past Lives, accepted the award honoring her directorial debut.
“Thank you, all of you, for believing in me when all I had was a script and two languages. Everybody on this stage is my inyeon,” Song said.
Song mentioned how personal this first film of hers is as it was prompted by this “extraordinary” feeling she experienced in an “ordinary bar” in the East Village.
“As this film has been shared with the world, it has taught me and taught us that we were never alone in that extraordinary feeling. Thank you for teaching me that and for loving our film,” ended Song.
The Gotham Awards follow gender-neutral categories so there are only two categories for outstanding lead and supporting performances rather than the usual four honoring actresses and actors separately. The institute also removed the eligibility requirement of having a $35 million budget cap.
Also produced by A24, Beef, won for Breakthrough Series under 40 minutes.
The Netflix show follows how a road rage incident between two drivers, Danny Cho (Steven Yeun) and Amy Lau (Ali Wong) slowly consumes both of their lives.
Lee Sung Jin, the creator of the show, thanked the cast and crew as well as A24, Netflix and his family.
“I actually lived in New York during my 20s which is when the themes in Beef started in my life: bad driving, depression and a deep unsettling feeling that nothing will ever make me whole. So this trophy should probably fill the void for an hour,” said Jin.
Ali Wong won Outstanding Performance in a New Series for Beef.
“I know you originally envisioned the role for Stanley Tucci and I’m so happy you decided to take a chance on me instead,” said Wong.
She thanked Jin for believing in her and trusting her for the role. She also thanked Steven and Jake for their “guidance, love and friendship.”
“Working on Beef has truly been the most fulfilling and challenging experience of my life other than having children,” Wong concluded.
Charles Melton took home Outstanding Supporting Performance for his role as Joe Yoo in Todd Haynes’ May December.
“It started with Samy Burch’s script. Thank you,” Melton began.
Melton thanked others from the casting director to Netflix and his costars, Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman who he called “incredible.”
“And Todd Haynes, thank you for bringing me into your world,” said Melton, “I just think about the 23 days we spent in Savannah, Georgia filming and it’s the greatest experience of my career.”
May December follows an actress (Natalie Portman) preparing for her role by studying her subject (Julianne Moore) and her past as a public scandal when her romance with her now husband (Charles Melton) began when he was her 13-year-old student.
According to the New York Times, the Gotham Awards are considered “harbingers of future Oscar success,” in spite of how differently the awards conduct themselves.
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