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Todd Haynes

Todd Haynes will be presented with this year’s Director Tribute at the 25th Annual IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards. Each year, the Director Tribute is awarded to a veteran filmmaker with unique vision who has made a significant contribution to the motion picture industry.

In its press release the IFP states that Todd Haynes exemplifies the true independent spirit, with a career spanning over the last three decades and a truly extraordinary and uncompromising body of work. Haynes made his directorial debut in 1987 with the controversial short film Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, using Barbie dolls to portray the life and death of singer Karen Carpenter. His feature film debut followed in 1991 with the provocative Poison, which went on to win the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance, spearheading what would become known as the New Queer Cinema. Haynes’s second feature, Safe, was later voted the best film of the 90’s by the Village Voice’s Critic Poll. Haynes’s next film, Velvet Goldmine, premiered in Official Selection at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival, where it received a Special Jury Prize. This was followed by Far From Heaven (2002), which received four Oscar nominations, including one for Haynes’ Original Screenplay. His 2007 film, I’m Not There, imagined the life and work of Bob Dylan through the guise of seven fictional characters, and once again won him mass critical acclaim. In 2011, Haynes directed and co-wrote Mildred Pierce, a five-hour mini-series, which garnered 21 Emmy nominations, winning five of them, in addition to three Golden Globes Awards. His latest feature film, Carol, premiered in the Official Selection of the 2015 Cannes Films Festival, where Rooney Mara was awarded the prize for Best Actress. The much-anticipated film, which also stars Cate Blanchett, is scheduled for release in November 2015.

“We are thrilled to present the Director Tribute to Todd Haynes in our 25th Anniversary year” said Joana Vicente, Executive Director, IFP and Made in NY Media Center. “Todd’s career exemplifies precisely the kind of visionary, independent filmmaking the Gotham Awards first began championing in 1991. We’re also honored to celebrate screenwriting this year for the first time, finally giving due credit to the significance of this craft to independent film as an art form.”

The eight competitive Gotham Awards include Best Feature, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Documentary, Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director, Breakthrough Actor, Audience Award, and now Best Screenplay. Recent past winners include Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), CITIZENFOUR, and Boyhood (2014) Inside Lleywn Davis, Fruitvale Station and The Act of Killing (2013); Moonrise Kingdom, Beasts of the Southern Wild and How to Survive a Plague (2012);Beginners, The Tree of Life and Better This World (2011); all of which went on to win numerous awards and garner Oscar™ nominations.

Last year the organization honored director Bennett Miller, actress Tilda Swinton, and Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos.

Todd Haynes and the additional Gotham Awards tribute recipients to be announced will join a prestigious group of previous honorees including: Jeff Skoll, James Schamus, Bob & Harvey Weinstein, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Sheila Nevins, Jonathan Sehring and film critic Roger Ebert; actors Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard, Charlize Theron, Stanley Tucci, Natalie Portman, Javier Bardem, and Penélope Cruz; filmmakers David O. Russell, David Cronenberg, Mira Nair and Gus Van Sant.

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