December has begun, which means it's time for independent film fans to turn their attention to the many awards, nominations, and festival selections being rolled out on almost a daily basis. There is certainly no shortage of awards ceremonies but there is only one major event, Film Independent's Spirit Awards, which focuses solely on indies in America. Nominations will be announced tomorrow and can be seen live at I'll be posting them here as soon as they become available.

Elsewhere, the British Independent Film Awards were handed out last night at London's Old Billingsgate Market. Slumdog Millionaire took picture and director honors. The 2008 Hammer to Nail awards, honoring theatrical releases made for under one million dollars, were also announced over the weekend. And nominations for the International Animated Film Society's Annie award have just been released.

Over at indieWIRE, editor-in-chief Eugene Hernandez and assistant editor Peter Knegt had an instant messaging conversation about the upcoming Gotham Independent Film Awards and the box office performances of Milk and Slumdog Millionaire.

In the festival world, the announcements of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival program, along with Off Screen events including Conversations and Panels, Music Cafe, Opening and Closing Weekend celebrations, and information on all the theatres and venues will take place over the next few weeks. The 2009 festival will be held from January 15-25 in Park City, Utah. The Slamdance Film Festival, a smaller and spunkier event which takes place on Main Street during Sundance, will also be announcing its lineup soon.

Overlapping with Sundance, from January 22-February 1, is the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. It is one of only four events each year which I always attend sight unseen -- that is, regardless of what the lineup is (the others are SXSW, Toronto, and Tribeca). So you can rest assured I'll be eagerly awaiting their film lineup.


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

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  • Author: Larry Richman
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