Actress Tessa Thompson and Ana Lily Amirpour were early winners at the 2014 Gotham Independent Film Awards in New York on Monday night (01Dec14).

Thompson picked up the Breakthrough Actor honour for her role in Dear White People and Amirpour collected the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award for A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.

Meanwhile, Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo were honoured with a Special Jury Award Ensemble Performance for their new film Foxcatcher.

Carell picked up the honour on behalf of the trio and joked about the fact Meryl Streep was on hand to give him the trophy, stating, "They got Meryl Streep to come here and give us this award. Suck on that!"

He then poked fun at his absent co-stars.

Richard Linklater's Boyhood led all nominees going into the ceremony, with four.

The event was held at Cipriani Wall Street in New York.