It’s a normalized occurrence that’s so disheartening, especially given that that the ceremony has progressed in so many ways over the years but still fails in this area time and time again. However, this year's nominations for the 30th annual IFP Gotham Awards tells us that this doesn't have to be a norm — and could be a harbinger of change to come.
For the first time, every nominee for in the Best Feature category is directed by a woman. The Gotham Award nominees are Kitty Green's The Assistant, Kelly Reichardt's First Cow, Eliza Hittman's Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Chloé Zhao's Nomadland, and Natalie Erika James' Relic. The Gotham Independent Film Awards are presented to the makers of independent films at a ceremony held in New York City every year, but the January 11, 2021 ceremony will be hosted in "a hybrid format" in order to follow COVID-19 safety protocols.
It may be a relatively small awards ceremony compared to the marquee ones everyone knows about, but it's worth paying attention to — as so many giant, blockbuster productions were delayed this year due to the pandemic, it's opened the door for indies and smaller films to finally get well earned recognition. It also standardizes the idea that snubbing women directors — let alone women working in movies in any capacity — isn't normal. It's discrimination.