Radha Blank and Channing Godfrey Peoples earned nominations for the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award. After years of being shut out, women took the lead in the nominations for this year’s Gotham Awards.
The Forty-Year-Old Version tells the story of a struggling New York City playwright choosing to reconnect with her artistic voice by becoming a rapper. Miss Juneteenth follows a single mother and former beauty queen who is coaching her feisty teenage daughter for the upcoming “Miss Juneteenth” pageant in Fort Worth, Texas. The film was critically acclaimed for the way it highlighted Black girlhood.
Blank was one of three Black women to capture the top prizes at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, taking home the U.S. Dramatic competition prize. The native New Yorker is the second Black woman ever to receive that award; the first was Ava DuVernay.
Godfrey Peoples has written for OWN’s Queen Sugar. Her previous directorial effort Red focused on the experience of a Black woman with red hair. “Y’all. Breakthrough Director Nominee! Still wrapping my head around this. Elated & most of all overwhelmed w/gratitude,” wrote the director on Twitter.
“Woooah! #lookmommy #FortyYearOldVersion,” wrote Blank on Twitter. She amplified her statement with several mind-blown emojis.
The Gotham Awards are presented by The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP). Founded in 1979, the IFP is the nation’s longest-running non-profit organization dedicated to championing independent film to the American public. Nominees and winners for the Gotham Awards are selected by esteemed juries.
Congratulations Radha and Channing!