By Mike Bedigan, PA Los Angeles Correspondent
Everything Everywhere All At Once has scooped the top prize of best feature at the 2022 Gotham Awards.
Directors of the film praised other makers of independent film and their audiences for “doing the impossible necessary work” at the 32nd annual ceremony on Monday.
The independent film celebration, held in New York, kicks off awards season and is considered by many to be a bellwether for more major events, including the Oscars.
Everything Everywhere All At Once stars Michelle Yeoh, James Hong, Stephanie Hsu, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Ke Huy Quan, who also picked up the Gotham award for best supporting actor.
Collecting the best feature prize, co-director Daniel Scheinert said: “This movie has been celebrated by the Asian American community, by the immigrant community, by people with weird brains, people who are overwhelmed or sad.
“This award is for you guys… your stories matter. You matter, so stay in there.”
Co-director Daniel Kwan added: “It’s so hard to tell (an) original story (these days) and it’s even harder to (tell an) independent original story.
“And to have an independent original story actually find an audience, to get recognition is just a miracle and so everyone in this room, I think you guys are doing the impossible necessary work.”
In his own emotional acceptance speech for best supporting actor, Quan, who is well known for his role as a child star in Indiana Jones, thanked the directors for giving him “a second chance”.
Best Feature Winner: EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE #GothamAwards2022 pic.twitter.com/124H0rjHc2
— The Gotham Film & Media Institute (@weare_thegotham) November 29, 2022
“This time last year I was just hoping for a job… just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, it does,” he said.
“Oftentimes it is in independent films where actors who otherwise wouldn’t get a chance, find their opportunities – I was that actor.
“For the very first time in a very long time, I was given a second chance.”
Elsewhere, outstanding performance in a lead role went to Danielle Deadwyler for her performance in Till, who was unable to collect the award in person.
The American actress fended off home-side talent including from Thandie Newton, and Irish actors Colin Farrell and Paul Mescal in the category.
But British talent did receive some recognition, with Ben Wishaw awarded outstanding performance in a new series for his role in the BBC medical comedy drama This Is Going To Hurt.
The series also received a nomination in the category of breakthrough series – long format (over 40 minutes), but lost out to Pachinko.
Throughout the evening tributes were made to members of the industry including Adam Sandler and Michelle Williams, who received performer tributes, and the late Sidney Poitier, who received the icon tribute.
Sandler gave a comical speech, which he said had been written by his daughters, that he delivered in a fake southern American accent.
Poitier’s award was collected by his daughters who described their father’s “deep, passionate love” for independent film and filmmakers. The event also saw a new charity campaign unveiled in the late actor’s honour – the Gotham Sidney Poitier Initiative, which was announced by Jonathan Majors.
Last year Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Elena Ferrante adaptation The Lost Daughter triumphed at the Gotham Awards in four categories including best feature.