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IFP becomes Gotham Film and Media Institute ahead of Gotham Pandemic Awards – Deadline

The IFP was renamed The Gotham Film and Media Institute on the eve of the 30th annual Gotham Awards.

Usually herald of Oscar season, the 2021 edition of Monday night’s show will be an early sign of the distribution of film statuettes and of paying tribute to creative luminaries during Covid-19.

Founded in 1979 as the Independent Filmmaker Project, IFP has long been known to select circles in the independent film world, primarily in New York City. The non-profit organization supports creators at various stages, from funding, development and pre-production to production and distribution.

In an interview with Deadline, IFP Executive Director Jeffrey Sharp said the name change has been underway for a long time.

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“This had been planned for years,” said Sharp, who was a producer of films like You can count on me before joining IFP in early 2019. “Our organization has evolved beyond cinema to support episodes, podcasts, VR and many other areas. Beyond the bizarre use of the word “project,” he said the acronym “doesn’t speak to people… If you don’t know what IFP means, how do you know if you can join?”

The new name, which Sharp says would generally be abbreviated as The Gotham, speaks more directly to the group’s year-round mission as well as their role in producing the Gotham Awards. The Love + War brand agency was brought in to lead the rebranding.

“We are a year-round institution in New York,” he said, “with a maverick spirit that New York will always represent. We are a hotbed for New Yorkers and writers, directors, producers. We are not just a “project”, we are a house all year round. “

In addition to the name change, Sharp presented a preview of Monday night’s Gotham Awards, which will be held at their longtime home, Cipriani Wall Street, but will virtually attend due to Covid-19 precautions. He said only a “super-skeletal team” will be on-site at the site, and that nominees, presenters and others will take part in online “tables”, which aim to replicate the community-building aspects of the site. Gotham.

From last summer, the event’s organizers wanted to determine: “What does a live event look like?”

Many players in the Oscar race are trying to answer this same question for the months to come. So far, notable events like the Emmys and VMAs and scaled-down festival galas in Venice and Toronto have provided only a glimpse of how statues and tributes can be distributed. The Grammy Awards, citing rising viral infection rates and production constraints, have chosen to push the show through March from its initial date this month.

“No one really had to fully perform” an awards night for the film, Sharp said. “We’re sort of on the border.”

As in recent years, Gothams will become hostless, he said. In addition to the competitive categories led by A24 First cow with four nominations, tributes will be given to Ryan Murphy, Steve McQueen, Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman.

Using a video platform that Sharp describes as “more sophisticated” than Zoom, participants will be able to interact with “table mates.”

Especially given the cavernous interior of Cipriani, a lavish mid-19th century bank building with 70-foot-high Wedgwood ceilings, “we feel confident about it,” Sharp said, noting that he was planning to be physically there. “We’re going to give it a shot. We have the time and the opportunity and it is important to recognize this extraordinary time.

A record number of submissions have arrived for all 10 Gotham categories (see nominees HERE), and a new – international feature – widens the scope of the awards.

The pandemic “raises the bar in terms of the importance of Gothams this year – not only to support but to promote films this year that haven’t had a theatrical release,” Sharp said.

Sponsored Tables at Gothams are a key pillar of the organization’s fundraising efforts. In that sense, the show had to go on one way or another. “We are grateful that the industry has stepped up and supported us,” said Sharp.

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