'Spotlight' Emerges as Big Winner at Gotham Film Awards

“Spotlight” cast photo

“Spotlight” swept the Gotham Independent Film Awards Monday with top honors for Best Feature, Special Jury Award – Ensemble Performance and Best Screenplay.

Accepting the Best Feature award, producer Michael Sugar said, “This one is very special because so many real people are affected by the words that [were written].”

The star-studded drama tells the true story about a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting team that uncovered and exposed a widespread sexual abuse scandal covered up by the Catholic Church in 2002. Mark RuffaloRachel McAdamsMichael Keaton, Brian d’Arcy James and Liev Schreiber play four of The Boston Globe journalists who investigated the controversial story.

When the nominations were announced in October, “The Diary of a Teenage Girl” garnered the most nominations for the 25th annual program, scoring four nods in total for best feature, screenplay, actress and breakthrough director.

Bel Powley nabbed the Best Actress award for her part in director Marielle Heller’s coming-of-age story, which was released Aug. 7, explores the dynamics between Minnie (Bel Powley), a 1970s San Francisco teen, who has reached a sexual awakening and carries on an affair with “the handsomest man in the world,” her mother’s (Kristen Wiig) boyfriend Monroe (Alexander Skarsgard).

Paul Dano scored a Best Actor win for playing the younger of two parts, shared with John Cusack, as Brian Wilson in the Beach Boys singer’s biopic “Love and Mercy.”

See the full list of winners below.

Best Feature

Best Actress
Bel Powley as Minnie Goetze
The Diary of a Teenage Girl

Breakthrough Series – Longform
Mr. Robot

Best Actor
Paul Dano as Brian Wilson
Love & Mercy

Best Documentary
The Look of Silence
Director: Joshua Oppenheimer

Audience Award

The First Gotham Appreciation Award
Ellen Cotter of Angelika Film Center Theaters

Special Jury Award – Ensemble Performance
Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci, Brian d’Arcy James, Liev Schreiber, and Billy Crudup

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director
Jonas Carpigano

Breakthrough Series – Short Form
Shugs & Fats

Best Screenplay
Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer

Breakthrough Actor
Mya Taylor

Best Documentary

The Look of Silence
Director: Joshua Oppenheimer