Presented by the Independent Film Project, the Gotham Awards have honored independent filmmakers, content creators, and their work every year in New York City since 1991. This year, Get Out nabbed the most prizes of the evening: the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award, Best Screenplay, and the Audience Award. Several Oscar-winning movies, like Winter's Bone, Spotlight, The Hurt Locker, and Moonlight, have all won Gotham Awards, but this is the first year in quite some time that a genre film was featured so prominently at the ceremony — not since Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind won the Celebrate New York Award in 2004.
Upon accepting the award for Breakthrough Director, Peele had this to say:
"This is crazy. Directing a film has been a dream of mine since I was a young person, 13 years old. I want to thank my mother, who is immensely creative, who handmade all my Halloween costumes from a young age, and that's awesome. Look, this is a real dream. My whole intention with this film was that hopefully I would do a good enough job to get to direct another film. So, being here, accepting this award, is just very humbling, very amazing. Directing, it's like getting to be a captain of a pirate ship. I couldn't have made this film without my amazing crew, without my amazing cast, specifically Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams ... If they didn't bring their A game, this entire film would not have worked, so I wanna dedicate this [award] to them and thank them for trusting me in this process. Thank you."
On Tuesday, Get Out also scored two awards from the National Board of Review: Best Directorial Debut for Peele, and Best Ensemble. The group also named it as one of the year's top movies.
Get Out tells the story of an interracial couple (Kaluuya and Williams) who uncover a conspiracy about young African-Americans being captured by the woman's parents (Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford). The movie was met with critical acclaim, currently holds a 99% on Rotten Tomatoes, and will be a contender at the Golden Globes in the Comedy category.
In other Gotham genre news, The Strange Eyes of Dr. Myes, a sci-fi webseries on YouTube, also took home a prize this year: the Breakthrough Series – Short Form.