Ava DuVernay and Sam Rockwell to be honoured at Gotham Awards

Ava DuVernay and Sam Rockwell will receive the honours on 2 December.

Ava DuVernay and Sam Rockwell are set to receive honours at the 2019 Gotham Independent Film Awards.

The Selma filmmaker and Vice star will receive the director and actor tributes, respectively, during the annual ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street in New York on 2 December.

"Ava DuVernay is a groundbreaking and influential filmmaker whose work casts an overdue and much-needed light on the history of our nation's systemic racism embedded in our institutions of justice today," said Jeff Sharp, executive director of the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), which presents the awards, and the Made in NY Media Center, in a statement. "She is enlightening and impactful to a new wave of filmmakers and her films are profoundly consequential to our nation's continued endeavour to provide equal justice for all."

The When They See Us director shared the news on Twitter and thanked the IFP for "this lovely honour."

"We are equally delighted to present the deeply talented Sam Rockwell with the actor tribute," the statement continued. "Sam simply brings brilliance to every role he plays - whether an anti-hero in an auteur-driven film, a hero in a studio tentpole or a legendary icon in a limited series. His compelling and genuine performances are a gift to us all. Both Ava and Sam are leaders and champions for independent film."

The Gotham Awards, which recognise the best in independent film, traditionally marks the official start of Oscars season. Additional tribute recipients are to be announced in coming weeks, while the nominations will be read out on 24 October.

DuVernay is currently nominated for the Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special Emmy for When They See Us, while Rockwell is nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for Fosse/Verdon. The ceremony takes place on 22 September.

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