2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominations The Film Independent Spirit Awards are very close to my heart as they're essentially the Oscars for indies and often foretell some of those awards as well. For the past several years many of the films which were nominated for (and eventually won) Spirit Awards went on to dominate the Academy Awards.

You can count on an irreverent 27th Anniversary ceremony on Saturday, February 25. Unlike the staid Academy Awards taking place the following night, this event is a no-holds barred party held in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica. The program airs on IFC. The nominations were announced this morning by Kate Beckinsale and Anthony Mackie. Awards are given in the following categories: Best Feature, Best First Feature, John Cassavetes Award (given to the best feature made for a budget under $500,000), Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best First Screenplay, Best Male Lead, Best Female Lead, Best Supporting Male, Best Supporting Female, Best Cinematography, Best Foreign Film, Best Documentary, and the Robert Altman Award (given to one film's director, casting director, and its ensemble cast). "49 Spirit Awards nominee committee members watched hundreds of hours of film to put together the nomination list," said Film Independent.

Taking top honors were Take Shelter and The Artist with five each. I was especially happy to see 50/50 (Toronto), Another Earth (Sundance), Win Win (SXSW), and Take Shelter (Toronto) on the list which I selected as Top Picks after attending their premieres at the festivals indicated.


Film Independent is an open enrollment and non-profit membership organization that champions independent film and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation, and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds the audience for their projects, and works to diversify the film industry. Anyone passionate about film can become a member, whether you are a filmmaker, film industry leader, or a film lover. In the interest of full disclosure, although I am a member of Film Independent, I did not participate in the nomination process. I will, however, be voting for the winners.

The official press release follows the list.

Here are the nominees:


Best Screenplay

Joseph Cedar (Footnote)
Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)
Tom McCarthy (Win Win)
Mike Mills (Beginners)
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash (The Descendants)


Best First Screenplay

Mike Cahill and Brit Marling (Another Earth)
J.C. Chandor (Margin Call)
Patrick DeWitt (Terri)
Phil Johnston (Cedar Rapids)
Will Reiser (50/50)


Best Cinematography

Joel Hodge (Bellflower)
Benjamin Kuh-Sulk (The Off Hours)
Darius Kond-Jee (Midnight in Paris)
Gui-omme Shiffman (The Artist)
Jeffrey Waldron (The Dynamiter)


Best Foreign Film (Award given to the director)

A Separation
Melancholia
Shame
The Kid With a Bike
Tyrannosaur



Best Documentary (Award given to the director)

An African Selection
Bill Cunningham New York
The Interrupters
The Redemption of General Butt Naked
We Were Here



John Cassavetes Award (Films made for under $500,000; award given to the writer, director, and producer)

Bellflower
Circumstance
Hello Lonesome
Pariah (Project Involve!)
The Dynamiter



Best Supporting Female

Jessica Chastain (Take Shelter)
Angelica Huston (50/50)
Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs)
Harmony Santana (Gun Hll Road)
Shaileen Woodley (The Descendants)


Best Supporting Male

Albert Brooks (Drive)
John Hawkes (Martha Marcy May Marlene)
Christopher Plummer (Beginners)
John C. Reilly (Cedar Rapids)
Corey Stoll (Midnight in Paris)


Best Female Lead

Lauren Ambrose (Think of Me)
Rachel Harris (Natural Selection)
Adepero Oduye (Pariah)
Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene)
Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn)


Best Male Lead

Demian Bichir (A Better Life)
Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
Ryan Gosling (Drive)
Woody Harrelson (Rampart)
Michael Shannon (Take Shelter)


Best First Feature

Another Earth
In The Family
Margin Call
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Natural Selection



Best Director

Mike Mills (Beginners)
Nicholas W Refn (Drive)
Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter)
Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)
Alexander Payne (The Descendants)


Best Feature

50/50
Beginners
Drive
Take Shelter
The Artist
The Descendants



FILMMAKER GRANT AWARDS


Someone to Watch

Simon Arthur, Mark Jackson, and Nicholas Ozeki


Piaget Producers Award

Chad Burris, Sophia Lin, and Josh Mond


Truer Than Fiction

Bombay Beach
Hell and Back Again
Where Soldiers Come From


Robert Altman Award (for one film's director, casting director, and ensemble)

Margin Call


2012 FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARD NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED

LOS ANGELES (November 29, 2011) – Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, announced nominations for the 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards this morning. Anthony Mackie and Kate Beckinsale served as presenters. Nominees for Best Feature include 50/50, Beginners, Drive, Take Shelter and The Artist.

Margin Call was selected to receive the annual Robert Altman Award, which is bestowed upon one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast.

“The Film Independent Spirit Awards recognize the finest artistic achievements across the broad spectrum of independent filmmaking—from emerging talent working on a shoestring budget to established auteurs,” said Film Independent Senior Director Sean Mc Manus. “The 2012 nominees tell their stories in such an authentic way and reflect the inclusive nature of the independent filmmaking community. We are delighted to support them and expand the audience for their work.”

“The Spirit Awards focuses primarily on American independents, so it was an honor to serve alongside an esteemed and dedicated group of indie film colleagues to determine many of the 2012 nominees,” said producer and Chair of the American Narrative Feature Nominating Committee Gail Mutrux. “It was an invigorating process—experiencing first-hand the vast array of storytelling that defines independent film, and discovering many new talents whose films inspired us.”

Winners will be announced at the Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, February 25, 2012. The 27th annual awards ceremony will be held as a daytime luncheon in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica, and the premiere broadcast will air later that evening at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on IFC. Winners of the Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grants will be highlighted during the awards ceremony and announced at the Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominee Brunch on Saturday, January 14, 2012 at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood.

The Spirit Awards Nominating Committees selected nominees from 277 submissions this year and applied the following guidelines in determining the nominations: uniqueness of vision, original and provocative subject matter, economy of means (with particular attention paid to total production cost & individual compensation), and percentage of financing from independent sources. The Spirit Awards Nominating Committee was comprised of the following committees:

The American Narrative Nominating Committee was chaired by producer Gail Mutrux and included: film critic/journalist Robert Abele; writer Dustin Lance Black; producers Stuart Cornfeld, Barry Mendel; actors Dale Dickey, André Royo, Souléymane Sy Savané; cinematographers Paula Huidobro, Stephen Goldblatt; writer/directors Courtney Hunt, Robert D. Siegel; writer/director/producer Malcolm D. Lee; director Floria Sigismondi; casting director Margery Simkin; and writer Dan Waters.

The Documentary Feature Nominating Committee was chaired by CEO Landmark Theatres Ted Mundorff and included: producer Lesley Chilcott; KCET’s Juan Devis; director Laura Gabbert; author/filmmaker Nelson George; filmmaker John Maringouin; San Francisco Film Society’s Director of Programming Rachel Rosen; and Los Angeles Times and NPR’s “Morning Edition” film critic Kenneth Turan.

The International Feature Nominating Committee was chaired by filmmaker Mary Sweeney and included: actors Shohreh Aghdashloo, Demián Bichir; Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Director of Digital Strategy Eugene Hernandez; director Leon Ichaso; writer/director Larry Karaszewski; producer/director Hossein Keshavarz; cinematographer Ellen Kuras; composer Cliff Martinez; and producer Frida Torresblanco.

The Piaget Producers Award Nominating Committee was chaired by producer Brian Udovich and included: producers Anish Savjani, Lynette Howell and Amy Kaufman.

The Someone to Watch Award Nominating Committee was chaired by producer Alison Dickey and included: filmmaker Jay Duplass; Dallas Film Society Artistic Director James Faust; Denver Post film critic Lisa Kennedy; and writer/director Daniel Stamm.

The Truer Than Fiction Award Nominating Committee was chaired by film critic Wesley Morris and included: filmmakers Ava DuVernay, Laura Poitras; filmmaker/cinematographer PJ Raval; and programmer Laura Thielen.

As the first event to exclusively honor independent film, the Film Independent Spirit Awards has made a name for itself as the premier awards show for the independent film community. Artists who have received industry recognition first at the Spirit Awards include Joel & Ethan Coen, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone, Ashley Judd, Robert Rodriguez, David O. Russell, Edward Burns, Aaron Eckhart, Neil LaBute, Darren Aronofsky, Spike Jonze, Charlie Kaufman, Hilary Swank, Marc Forster, Todd Field, Christopher Nolan, Zach Braff, Amy Adams, Lena Dunham and many more.

The Film Independent Spirit Awards are sponsored by Premier Sponsors ELLE, Piaget and Jamesonâ Irish Whiskey. WireImage is the Official Photographer and PR Newswire is the Official Breaking News Service of Film Independent.

For more information on submission guidelines, voting, media and publicist credentials, and the history of the Spirit Awards, please visit SpiritAwards.com.


ABOUT THE FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS

Now in its 27th year, the Film Independent Spirit Awards is an annual celebration honoring artist-driven films made with an economy of means by filmmakers who embody independence and originality. The Spirit Awards recognizes the achievements of American independent filmmakers and promotes the finest independent films of the year to a wider audience.

Awards are given in the following categories: Best Feature, Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay, Best Director, Best Screenplay, John Cassavetes Award (given to the best feature made for a budget under $500,000), Best Male Lead, Best Female Lead, Best Supporting Male, Best Supporting Female, Best Cinematography, Best International Film, Best Documentary, and the Robert Altman Award. The Filmmaker Grants include the Piaget Producers Award, Someone to Watch Award, Truer Than Fiction Award and Jameson FIND Your Audience Award.


ABOUT FILM INDEPENDENT

Film Independent is a non-profit arts organization that champions independent film and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation, and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds an audience for their projects, and works to diversify the film industry. Film Independent’s Board of Directors, filmmakers, staff, and constituents, is comprised of an inclusive community of individuals across ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation. Anyone passionate about film can become a member, whether you are a filmmaker, industry professional, or a film lover.

Film Independent produces the Spirit Awards, the annual celebration honoring artist-driven films and recognizing the finest achievements of American independent filmmakers. Film Independent also produces the Los Angeles Film Festival, showcasing the best of American and international cinema and the Film Independent at LACMA Film Series, a year-round, weekly program that offers unique cinematic experiences for the Los Angeles creative community and the general public.

With over 250 annual screenings and events, Film Independent provides access to a network of like-minded artists who are driving creativity in the film industry. Film Independent’s Artist Development program offers free Labs for selected writers, directors, producers and documentary filmmakers and presents year-round networking opportunities. Project:Involve is Film Independent’s signature program dedicated to fostering the careers of talented filmmakers from communities traditionally underrepresented in the film industry.

For more information or to become a member, visit FilmIndependent.org.


Author

Larry Richman

Larry Richman

For 20 years I was a professional in the entertainment industry, from commercial broadcast radio in America's fourth largest market to band management to record production. But my passion is independent film, and I spend much of the year traveling to film festivals to see indies and meet the actors, directors, and others responsible for creating them. I'm a writer, photographer, and videographer, currently serving as Senior Vice President for Media & Technology and Public Relations at PROnetworks as well as Editor at Larry411.com

Comments (0)

There have not been any comments submitted for this entry to date.


Leave a Comment

You need sign in to comment on entries on Larry411.