A pair of highly personal films exploring the family stories of their filmmakers shared an early awards season honor.

With the jury unable to choose just one film, Mike Mills’ Beginners and Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life both won the best picture prize at IFP’s Gotham Independent Film Awards ceremony. Monday night’s New York City gala kicked off a run of announcements and ceremonies that will continue for another three months through Oscar night in Los Angeles.

Mike Mills’ Beginners also won the prize for best ensemble cast honoring the work of Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Melanie Laurent, Goran Visnjic, Kai Lennox, Mary Page Keller, Keegan Boos. 

Dee Rees won the breakthrough director award for Pariah and Felicity Jones won the breakthrough actor award for Like Crazy. Both American indie movies got their start at the Sundance Film Festival back in January where they were acquired by studio  distribution companies. 

The best documentary award went to Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega’s Better This World, while Blue Hadaegh and Grover Babcock’s Scenes of a Crime won the award for Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You. The prize comes with a cash award and a week long theatrical run in New York City.