Press Releases

Actress and Former Purchase Student Melissa Leo Wins Gotham Independent Film Award

Date Released: 12/8/2008

After years of appearing in small films, a stint in the soap opera "All My Children" and a prominent role on the television series "Homicide: Life on the Streets," Melissa Leo has a starring role in Courtney Hunt's film Frozen River and this week won the "breakthrough actor" award at the Gotham Independent Film Awards. 

She portrays a fiercely desperate mother, whose gambling husband deserted her, and  who wants to make good on a promise to her children, even if she must resort to smuggling illegal immigrants across the Canadian border to get a larger trailer by Christmas.

Ms. Leo was also nominated for Film Independent's Spirit Awards in the female lead category.  The awards will be presented the night before the Oscars.