API Stars and Projects Win Big at Gotham Awards

It’s the season of awards! Last night, the Gotham Film & Media Institute (unofficially)  launched what names to look out for this Oscar season, ranging from established greats like Robert De Niro to burgeoning filmmakers, (like newly minted Gotham winner,) Celine Song. In fact, Song was not the only API to take home a hefty accolade — the night was filled with wins for the community across film and TV. 

Netflix series, “Beef,” created, written and directed by Lee Sung Jin and starring Ali Wong and Steven Yeun brought home the “Breakthrough Television Under 40 Minutes” award. Lee gave thanks to his collaborators in his acceptance speech, “One of the only things that’s truly helped me is creating with friends who accept you as you are, so thank you to everyone up here onstage,” he said, gesturing to Wong, Yeun and co-director Jake Schreier

In addition to the Breakthrough Television win, the series brought home an acting award with Wong winning “Outstanding Performance in a New Series.” During her acceptance, the actor gave an emotional speech about her time in the series. “Working on ‘Beef’ was the most fulfilling and challenging experience of my life,” Wong said.

In the film sphere, two of the most prestigious awards went home with those of API descent. Director Todd Haynes’ “May December” stars Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore and “Riverdale’s” Charles Melton, the latter of which has been garnering unanimous praise for his pitch-perfect performance as the emotionally-stunted Joe. Solidifying his performance as outstandingly good was last night’s “Outstanding Supporting Performance,” which went to Melton — his first ever major acting award. “This is heavy, this is awesome,” said Melton during his acceptance speech. “I think about the 23 days we spent in Savannah, Georgia filming it. It was the greatest experience in my career.” 

Finally, the biggest award of the night, “Best Feature,” went to none other than Celine Song for her A24 project, “Past Lives.” Starring Greta Lee and Teo Yoo, the film takes us through a childhood friendship and adulthood dissolution, and has been lauded by many as one of the best films of the year. “Thank you Gotham for this award,” said Song. “It’s such an honor. It really means the world to receive it with our independent film [and] my debut, which is set in New York City.”

Read the full list of winners, here