Kaufman to Receive Robert Altman Award
Charlie Kaufman, right, directs Philip Seymour Hoffman in Synecdoche, New York
Saratoga Springs, NY (December 3, 2008) –
Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut – the edgy Synecdoche, New York – will receive the Robert Altman Award at the 2009 Film Independent Spirit Awards in February, it was announced Tuesday in Los Angeles.
The Robert Altman Award is given to one film's director (Kaufman), casting director (Jeanne McCarthy), and its ensemble cast (Hope Davis, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Catherine Keener, Samantha Morton, Tom Noonan, Emily Watson, Dianne Wiest, and Michelle Williams). Mr. Kaufman, who wrote part of the screenplay for Synecdoche, New York at Yaddo, also is nominated in the best screenplay category at the 2009 awards ceremony, and the film is in the running for best first feature film.
Synecdoche, New York is the story of a troubled theater director (Hoffman) who receives a MacArthur "Genius" Award and decides to use the grant to gather an ensemble cast into a huge warehouse in Manhattan's theater district, where he instructs them to live their lives in a small mockup of the city outside. As his personal life unravels, the director replaces himself with an actress and enters his constructed world as a character in the action. Synecdoche, New York premiered in competition earlier this year at the 61st Annual Cannes Film Festival and in theaters nationwide in late October. The title of the film is a play on Yaddo's neighboring city of Schenectady, New York, where some of the action takes place, and a figure of speech meaning the acceptance of a part of the responsibility for something or a term denoting one thing used to refer to a related thing.
Film Independent is an open enrollment and non-profit membership organization that champions independent film and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation, and unique vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds the audience for their projects, and works to diversify the film industry. The Spirit Awards honor those whose work demonstrates independence and creativity outside the status quo. More than 250 films were considered for the 2009 awards. Eligible films must be at least 70 minutes long, and the cost of the completed film, including post-production, must be under $20 million. Nominated films must have been shown in a commercial theater for at least one week between January 1 and December 31, 2008 or shown at one of a number of select film festivals during the same time period.
The 2009 Film Independent Spirit Awards ceremony will air uncut, uncensored, and commercial free on IFC (Independent Film Channel) on Saturday, February 21, 2009, at 5 p.m. (EST/PST). An edited rebroadcast of the ceremony will air later that evening on AMC.
Read more about Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York here.