Paul Thomas Anderson's critically-acclaimed The Master and Wes Anderson's quirky Moonrise Kingdom will battle it out for the Best Feature title at the 2013 Gotham Independent Film Awards.
The two movies will face stiff competition from thriller The Loneliest Planet, drama Middle of Nowhere and director Richard Linklater's black comedy Bernie, which has also scored a nomination for Best Ensemble Performance.
Kiwi actress Melanie Lynskey, star of Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures, is up for the Breakthrough Actor award for her role in Hello, I Must Be Going.
The casts of Moonrise Kingdom, Safety Not Guaranteed, Your Sister's Sister and Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro's Silver Linings Playbook are also up for the top prize, although The Master, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman, is a surprise omission.
Quvenzhane Wallis' performance in Beasts of the Southern Wild has earned the child star a nod in the Breakthrough Actor category, while her director Benh Zeitlin will face off against the likes of Zal Batmanglij (Sound of My Voice), Jason Cortlund and Julia Halperin (Now, Forager) for the Breakthrough Director honour.
Meanwhile, Matt Damon, French actress Marion Cotillard and filmmaker David O'Russell will receive career tributes at the New York ceremony, which will take place on 26 November.
The Big Apple prizegiving traditionally kicks off the film world's awards season with winners often going on to land Academy Awards nominations and wins.
The nominees are:
The Loneliest Planet
Middle of Nowhere
How to Survive a Plague
Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present
The Waiting Room
Best Ensemble Performance
Safety Not Guaranteed
Silver Linings Playbook
Your Sister's Sister
Zal Batmanglij for Sound of My Voice
Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky for Francine
Jason Cortlund and Julia Halperin for Now, Forager
Antonio Méndez Esparza for Aquí y Allá (Here and There)
Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild
Mike Birbiglia in Sleepwalk with Me
Emayatzy Corinealdi in Middle of Nowhere
Thure Lindhardt in Keep the Lights On
Melanie Lynskey in Hello, I Must Be Going
Quvenzhané Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild
Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You
An Oversimplification of Her Beauty
Sun Don't Shine
Tiger Tail in Blue