Joel and Ethan Coen's "Inside Llewyn Davis" won best film at Monday's Independent Filmmaker Project's Gotham Awards. Hosted by Nick Kroll, the awards at Cipriani Wall Street, the ceremony kicked off with a career tribute award for New York City film commissioner Katherine Oliver.
For the first time, the Gothams presented best actor and actress awards, with actress going went to Brie Larsen in "Short Term 12." Best actor went to Matthew McConaughey for "Dallas Buyers Club," with a long-tressed Jared Leto accepting for him.
The Breakthrough director award, dedicated to the late Bingham Ray, went to Ryan Coogler for "Fruitvale Station."
Also winning for "Fruitvale Station" was Michael B. Jordan with the Breakthrough actor award. "I grew up in the river in North New Jersey," he said, thanking his parents for taking him to auditions. "Without them, I wouldn't be here."
The James Gandolfini tribute was presented by Steve Buscemi. Buscemi, who directed him in "The Sopranos" and worked with him on "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" and "Romance and Cigarettes," fought back tears as he honored the late actor during the tribute award.
"I cherished working with him and I'll miss him forever," he said, welling up. "Tony Soprano didn't come easy to him. He couldn't turn it on and off, and he sometimes resisted going to the places he needed to go."
His wife Deborah Lin and son Michael accepted the award. "I know if he was here tonight, he'd be very proud and humbled," Lin said.
Forest Whitaker's tribute was presented by helmer Lee Daniels.
Richard Linklater's career tribute was presented by his "Before" trilogy thesps Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke. "He holds ordinary moments as sacred," said Hawke, who pointed out that Linklater's been sponsoring an "awesome" film society for the past 25 years. "We might do a fourth one maybe, one day," said Delpy.
"Independent film was always New York for me," said Linklater, describing how he came of age when Jim Jarmusch, Spike Lee and the Coen brothers were getting their start.
The audience award, voted on by festgoers and the public on the IFP website, went to "Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings," a docu about a ukelele virtuoso.
Winner of the $25,000 Euphoria Calvin Klein Live the Dream grant for emerging female filmmakers was Gita Pullapilly for "Beneath the Harvest Sky."