2023 Gotham Awards to Present Bradley Cooper’s “Maestro” With the Cultural Icon & Creator Tribute


The Gotham Awards Will Take Place in NYC on Monday, November 27, 2023

New York ( October 19, 2023 ) -

The Gotham Film & Media Institute announced today that “Maestro,” the upcoming Netflix film by Bradley Cooper, will receive the Cultural Icon & Creator Tribute at the 33rd annual Gotham Awards Ceremony, taking place live and in person on Monday, November 27, 2023 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. Nominees for the Gotham Awards will be announced on Tuesday, October 24th.

The Icon & Creator Tribute was created for this year’s Gotham Awards in order to recognize cultural icons and the filmmakers responsible for bringing that icon’s story to life. With the Cultural Icon & Creator Tribute, The Gotham will honor New York legend Leonard Bernstein, the acclaimed musician, conductor, composer, teacher, and author, while celebrating Cooper and his masterful effort cinematically capturing his story.

“With ‘Maestro,’ Bradley Cooper and the film’s entire creative team have vividly brought to life the story of an almost mythical figure in popular culture,” said Jeffrey Sharp, Executive Director of The Gotham Film & Media Institute. “Cooper has crafted a powerful story that highlights the ecstatic highs and anguished lows that come with a life pursuing love, family, and art. It is our privilege to honor Bernstein, Cooper, and this spectacular film.”

“Maestro” is a towering and fearless love story chronicling the lifelong relationship between Leonard Bernstein and Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein. A love letter to life and art, “Maestro” at its core is an emotionally epic portrayal of family and love. The film was written by Cooper and Josh Singer (“Spotlight,” “The Post”) with Cooper, Steven Spielberg, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Fred Berner, Amy Durning, and Martin Scorsese serving as producers.

Born in 1918, Leonard “Lenny” Bernstein was appointed to his first permanent conducting post at the age of 25 in 1943, as Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic. On November 14, 1943, Bernstein substituted on a few hours’ notice for the ailing Bruno Walter at a Carnegie Hall concert, which was broadcast nationally on radio, receiving critical acclaim. Soon orchestras worldwide sought him out as a guest conductor. Bernstein became Music Director of the New York Philharmonic in 1958. From then until 1969, he led more concerts with the orchestra than any previous conductor. Bernstein also contributed substantially to the Broadway musical stage. In 1957 he collaborated with Jerome Robbins, Stephen Sondheim, and Arthur Laurents, on the landmark musical West Side Story, which was also made into an Academy Award-winning film. Festivals of Bernstein’s music have been produced throughout the world. With his wife Felicia Montealegre Cohn, Bernstein was the father of three children — Jamie, Alexander, and Nina, who proved to be the greatest asset of the film’s production. They were generous with their time, memories, and actual home in Connecticut, where the film shot several key sequences.

“From the beginning of the filmmaking process, Bradley and Carey spent as much time with us as they could, learning about our parents. Along the way, we came to realize how Lenny-like Bradley actually was — not only in his intensity, open-heartedness, and constant striving for perfection; but also in his ability to absorb and reflect the culture around him. Our father did it with music; Bradley does it through his filmmaking. Their combined marks on history are indelible. As for Carey, she astounded us with her brilliant portrayal of our mother: the subtle, graceful Felicia. We are so grateful to Carey, and to Bradley, for bringing our mother and father back to us through the screen,” said Alexander, Nina and Jamie Bernstein.

Following a premiere at the Venice International Film Festival, Netflix will release “Maestro” in select U.S. theaters on November 22, 2023 and globally on Netflix on December 20, 2023.

Winners of the 33rd annual Gotham Awards will be honored at the awards ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street on Monday, November 27th. The Premier Sponsor of the 2023 Gotham Awards is Vanity Fair. Cadillac will serve as the Official Vehicle and FIJI Water will serve as the Official Water for the Awards.

About The Gotham Film & Media Institute
The Gotham celebrates and nurtures independent film and media creators, providing career-building resources, access to industry influencers, and pathways to wider recognition. The organization, under the leadership of Executive Director and award-winning producer Jeffrey Sharp, fosters a vibrant and sustainable independent storytelling community through its year-round programs, which include Gotham Week, Gotham Labs, Filmmaker Magazine, the Gotham Awards, Gotham EDU, Owning It, and Expanding Communities.

About the Gotham Awards
The Gotham Awards, one of the leading honors for independent film and television, provides early acknowledgement to groundbreaking independent films and television series. Selected by distinguished juries and presented in New York City, the home of independent film, the Gotham Awards are the first honors of the film awards season. This public showcase honors the filmmaking community, expands the audience for independent films, and supports the work that The Gotham Film & Media Institute does behind the scenes throughout the year to bring such films to fruition.