The very first Oscar precursor every year is the announcement of the Gotham Independent Film Awards. It’s not a strong precursor, but sometimes the oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers have some influence with Golden Globe and Oscar voters.

Back in 2004, Gotham voters got behind Maria Full of Grace in a big way giving its Breakthrough Actor Award to Catalina Sandino Moreno, and she landed an Academy Award nomination for her heartbreaking performance as a “drug mule.” In that same year Sideways won IFP’s Best Feature and went on to crack the Best Picture field at Oscar time. The 2005 Gotham winners for Best Feature (Capote), Breakthrough Director (Capote director Bennett Miller) and Breakthrough Actor (Amy Adams from Junebug) all became Oscar nominees. In the last 2 years, the Gothams have helped Half Nelson screenwriter Ryan Fleck, Babel actress Ringo Kikuchi and Ellen Page from Juno reach the movie industry’s biggest night.

Here are 2008’s Gotham nominees along with some analysis.
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Sundance 2008

The line-up for the 2008 Sundance Film Festival was announced earlier this week. I just got my hands on a boat load of photos from the films in this year’s festival. We actually have too many photos to feature in just one posting, so we have divided this feature into a few parts.

Our second segment in the series takes a look at the films in the Dramatic Competition category. This year’s 16 films were selected from 1,068 submissions. Each film is a world premiere. The list of films includes: American Son, Anywhere USA, Ballast, Choke, Downloading Nancy, Frozen River, Good Dick, The Last Word, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, North Starr, Phoebe In Wonderland, Pretty Bird, Sleep Dealer, Sugar, Sunshine Cleaning, and The Wackness.

Also be sure to check out our Sundance 2008 Photo Previews for the Spectrum and Premieres.

Check out the photos after the jump. Click on the images to enlarge.

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