Gotham Awards Move to Gender-Neutral Acting Categories

The Gotham Film & Media Institute, which oversees the Gotham Awards, announced Thursday that the awards for acting will no longer be defined by gender. The best actor and best actress categories for independent feature films will instead be known as outstanding lead performance and outstanding supporting performance.

The Gotham Breakthrough Actor award, which has been gender neutral since it was first awarded, will be renamed the Gotham Breakthrough Performer Award. Honorees for that award have included Amy Adams, Elliot Page, Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson and Anya Taylor-Joy.

Last year’s Gotham for best picture went to “Nomadland,” which went on to win the Oscar for best picture.

Jeffrey Sharp, Executive Director of The Gotham Film & Media Institute, said in a statement, “The Gotham Awards have a 30 year history of celebrating diverse voices in independent storytelling. We are proud to recognize outstanding acting achievements each year, and look forward to a new model of honoring performances without binary divisions of gender. We are grateful to those who helped to start this conversation in recent years and we are thrilled that the Gotham Awards will continue to support artistic excellence in a more inclusive and equitable way.”

Other category updates include a new award for breakthrough nonfiction series, while international documentaries will be eligible for the first time in the best documentary feature category. Also new is the outstanding performance in a new series category for the breakthrough series entries. Up to ten nominees will be included in the three new categories: outstanding lead performance, outstanding supporting performance and outstanding performance in a new series.

Several other awards that have done away with gendered categories, including the Grammys, the MTV Movie/TV Awards and the MTV Video Awards, while the TCA awards never had gendered categories.

Nominations for the Gotham Awards will be announced Oct. 21 and the ceremony will take place Nov. 29 at Cipriani Wall Street.

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