25th Film Independent Spirit Award Nominations Announced

- Filmmaker Grant Nominees Also Unveiled -

Dec 01, 2009, 11:30 ET from Film Independent

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, announced nominations this morning for the 25th Film Independent Spirit Awards. Nominees for Best Feature include (500) Days Of Summer, Amreeka, Precious, Sin Nombre and The Last Station. Taraji P. Henson and Matt Dillon also announced finalists for the Acura Someone to Watch Award, the Truer Than Fiction Award, and the Piaget Producers Award.

A Serious Man was selected for the Robert Altman Award, which is given to one film's director, casting director and ensemble cast.

"It's astonishing to look back upon the wealth of fresh and diverse filmmaking talent that has been nominated over the past 25 years," said Film Independent's Executive Director Dawn Hudson. "This year's nominees continue to uphold that independent spirit, and have created exceptional work that we are proud to spotlight and celebrate."

"It is exciting to be able to recognize this diverse group of filmmakers, who despite the challenging times, continue to create meaningful and original work," said Stephanie Allain, Chair of the American Narrative Feature Nominating Committee.

Selected from 240 submissions, this year's winners will be unveiled at a late-night celebration on Friday, March 5, 2010, at LA Live's panoramic event deck in downtown Los Angeles. The 25th Film Independent Spirit Awards ceremony will air live and uncut on Friday, March 5, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. PST/11:00 p.m. EST on IFC (Independent Film Channel). Premier Sponsors IFC, ELLE, Piaget, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Acura, Stella Artois and Principal Sponsor Netflix sponsor this year's event. American Airlines is the Official Airline Partner and On3 Productions is the Official Presenter Gift Lounge Producer. Wire Image is the Official Photographer and PR Newswire is the Official Breaking News Service of Film Independent.

On Wednesday, March 3, a selection of Spirit Award nominees will discuss their films and their craft at Film Independent's Directors Close-Up, a 5-week series that features conversations with directors and their collaborators.

The Spirit Awards Nominating Committee applies uniqueness of vision, original & provocative subject matter, economy of means (with particular attention paid to total production cost & individual compensation), and percentage of financing from independent sources as guidelines when making its selections. The Committee was composed of the following sub-committees:

The 14-person American Narrative Nominating Committee included Chair, producer Stephanie Allain; producers, Nina Jacobson, Gail Mutrux, Heather Rae; writer/director Mora Stephens; writer/director/producer Larry Karaszewski; director John Singleton; actors Melonie Diaz, S. Epatha Merkerson, Andre Royo; casting director Jeanne McCarthy; film critic Elvis Mitchell playwright; Bernard Weinraub; and Los Angeles Film Festival Artistic Director David Ansen.

The 8-person Documentary Feature Nominating Committee included Co-Chairs, film marketing veteran Laura Kim and Toronto International Film Festival documentary programmer Thom Powers; filmmakers Scott Kennedy, Marina Zenovich, Patrick Creadon, Stefan Forbes; cinematographer Ellen Kuras; and producer Chiemi Karasawa.

The 8-person Foreign Feature Nominating Committee included Chair, writer/director/producer Mary Sweeney; writer/directors Goran Dukic, Neil LaBute, Kasi Lemmons; past Director of the UCLA Film & Television Archive, Tim Kittleson; Sidney Kimmel Entertainment President of Creative Affairs, Bingham Ray; San Francisco Film Society Director of Programming, Rachel Rosen; and Los Angeles Times Film Critic Kenneth Turan.

The 5-person Acura Someone to Watch Nominating Committee included Chair, filmmaker and Austin Film Society's Director of Artist Series, Bryan Poyser; filmmakers Rodney Evans, Barry Jenkins; Denver Post Film Critic Lisa Kennedy; and festival programmer Mike Plante.

The 5-person Truer Than Fiction Nominating Committee included Chair, filmmaker AJ Schnack; filmmakers Thomas Allen Harris, Darius Marder, Laura Poitras; and Sundance Institute's Director of Documentary Film Program, Cara Mertes.

The 5-person Piaget Producer's Award Nominating Committee included Chair, producer Effie T. Brown; producers Amy Hobby, Paul Mezey; Film Finances Inc. Vice President, Paula Schmit; and New York University film professor Karl Bardosh.

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


Film Independent is a 501 (c)(3) 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, are 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 leader, or a film lover.

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 offers free Filmmaker Labs for selected writers, directors, and producers; provides cut-rate services for filmmakers; and presents year-round networking opportunities. Film Independent's mentorship and job placement program, Project:Involve, pairs emerging culturally diverse filmmakers with film industry professionals.

Film Independent produces the Los Angeles Film Festival, celebrating the best of American and international cinema and the Spirit Awards, a celebration honoring films and filmmakers that embody independence and originality.

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


BEST FEATURE (Award given to the Producer, Executive Producers are not listed)

(500) Days Of Summer             Producers: Mason Novick, Jessica
                                  Tuchinsky, Mark Waters, Steven J. Wolfe
--------------------             ---------------------------------------
Amreeka                          Producers: Paul Barkin, Christina
-------                          ---------------------------------
Precious                         Producers: Lee Daniels, Gary Magness,
                                  Sarah Siegel-Magness
--------                         -------------------------------------
Sin Nombre                       Producer: Amy Kaufman
----------                       ---------------------
The Last Station                 Producers: Bonnie Arnold, Chris Curling,
                                  Jens Meuer
----------------                 ----------------------------------------


Ethan Coen, Joel Coen            A Serious Man
---------------------            -------------
Lee Daniels                      Precious
-----------                      --------
Cary Joji Fukunaga               Sin Nombre
------------------               ----------
James Gray                       Two Lovers
----------                       ----------
Michael Hoffman                  The Last Station
---------------                  ----------------


Alessandro Camon, Oren
 Moverman                       The Messenger
----------------------          -------------
Michael Hoffman                 The Last Station
---------------                 ----------------
Lee Toland Krieger              The Vicious Kind
------------------              ----------------
Greg Mottola                    Adventureland
------------                    -------------
Scott Neustadter, Michael H.
 Weber                          (500) Days Of Summer
----------------------------    --------------------

BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer)

A Single Man                    Director: Tom Ford
                                Producers: Tom Ford, Andrew Miano, Robert
                                Salerno, Chris Weitz
------------                    -----------------------------------------
Crazy Heart                     Director: Scott Cooper
                                Producers: T Bone Burnett, Judy Cairo,
                                 Rob Carliner, Scott Cooper, Robert
-----------                     --------------------------------------
Easier With Practice            Director: Kyle Patrick Alvarez
                                Producer: Cookie Carosella
--------------------            --------------------------
Paranormal Activity             Director: Oren Peli
                                Producer: Jason Blum, Oren Peli
-------------------             -------------------------------
The Messenger                   Director: Oren Moverman
                                Producers: Mark Gordon, Lawrence Inglee,
                                 Zach Miller
-------------                   ----------------------------------------


Sophie Barthes                   Cold Souls
--------------                   ----------
Scott Cooper                     Crazy Heart
------------                     -----------
Cherien Dabis                    Amreeka
-------------                    -------
Geoffrey Fletcher                Precious
-----------------                --------
Tom Ford, David Scearce          A Single Man
-----------------------          ------------

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD - Given to the best feature made for under $500,000. Award given to the writer, director, and producer. Executive Producers are not listed

Big Fan                          Writer/Director: Robert Siegel
                                 Producers: Elan Bogarin, Jean Kouremetis
-------                          ----------------------------------------
Humpday                          Writer/Director/Producer: Lynn Shelton
-------                          --------------------------------------
The New Year Parade              Writer/Director: Tom Quinn
                                 Producers: Steve Beal, Tom Quinn
-------------------              --------------------------------
Treeless Mountain                Writer/Director: So Yong Kim
                                 Producers: Bradley Rust Gray, Ben Howe,
                                  So Yong Kim, Lars Knudsen, Jay Van Hoy
-----------------                ---------------------------------------
Zero Bridge                      Writer/Director: Tariq Tapa
                                 Producers: Josee Lajoie, Hilal Ahmed
                                  Langoo, Tariq Tapa
-----------                      ------------------------------------


Maria Bello                      Downloading Nancy
-----------                      -----------------
Nisreen Faour                    Amreeka
-------------                    -------
Helen Mirren                     The Last Station
------------                     ----------------
Gwyneth Paltrow                  Two Lovers
---------------                  ----------
Gabourey Sidibe                  Precious
---------------                  --------


Jeff Bridges                     Crazy Heart
------------                     -----------
Colin Firth                      A Single Man
-----------                      ------------
Joseph Gordon-Levitt             (500) Days Of Summer
--------------------             --------------------
Souleymane Sy Savane             Goodbye Solo
--------------------             ------------
Adam Scott                       The Vicious Kind
----------                       ----------------


Dina Korzun                      Cold Souls
-----------                      ----------
Mo'Nique                         Precious
--------                         --------
Samantha Morton                  The Messenger
---------------                  -------------
Natalie Press                    Fifty Dead Men Walking
-------------                    ----------------------
Mia Wasikowska                   That Evening Sun
--------------                   ----------------


Jemaine Clement                  Gentlemen Broncos
---------------                  -----------------
Woody Harrelson                  The Messenger
---------------                  -------------
Christian McKay                  Me and Orson Welles
---------------                  -------------------
Raymond McKinnon                 That Evening Sun
----------------                 ----------------
Christopher Plummer              The Last Station
-------------------              ----------------


Roger Deakins                    A Serious Man
-------------                    -------------
Adriano Goldman                  Sin Nombre
---------------                  ----------
Anne Misawa                      Treeless Mountain
-----------                      -----------------
Andrij Parekh                    Cold Souls
-------------                    ----------
Peter Zeitlinger                 Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
----------------                 ----------------------------------------

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director)

Anvil! The Story of Anvil        Director: Sacha Gervasi
-------------------------        -----------------------
Food, Inc.                       Director: Robert Kenner
----------                       -----------------------
More Than A Game                 Director: Kristopher Belman
----------------                 ---------------------------
October Country                  Directors: Donal Mosher, Michael
---------------                  --------------------------------
Which Way Home                   Director: Rebecca Cammisa
--------------                   -------------------------

BEST FOREIGN FILM (Award given to the director)

A Prophet                        Director: Jacques Audiard
--------                         -------------------------
An Education                     Director: Lone Scherfig
-----------                      -----------------------
Everlasting Moments              Director: Jan Troell
--------                         --------------------
Mother                           Director: Bong Joon-Ho
(South Korea)
-------------                    ----------------------
The Maid                         Director: Sebastian Silva
-------                          -------------------------

ACURA SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD - The 16th annual Acura Someone to Watch Award recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Acura.

Kyle Patrick Alvarez             Easier With Practice
--------------------             --------------------
Asiel Norton                     Redland
------------                     -------
Tariq Tapa                       Zero Bridge
----------                       -----------

TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD - The 15th annual Truer Than Fiction Award is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.

Natalia Almada                   El General
--------------                   ----------
Jessica Oreck                    Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo
-------------                    ---------------------------
Bill Ross, Turner Ross           45365
----------------------           -----

PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD - The 13th annual Piaget Producers Award honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources demonstrate the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality, independent films. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.

Karin Chien                      The Exploding Girl, Santa Mesa
-----------                      ------------------------------
Larry Fessenden                  I Sell the Dead, The House of the Devil
---------------                  ---------------------------------------
Dia Sokol                        Beeswax, Nights & Weekends
---------                        --------------------------

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD - (Given to one film's director, casting director, and its ensemble cast)

A Serious Man                    Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
-------------                    --------------------------------
                                 Casting Directors: Ellen Chenoweth,
                                  Rachel Tenner
                                 Ensemble Cast: Richard Kind, Sari
                                  Lennick, Jessica McManus, Fred Melamed,
                                  Michael Stuhlbarg, Aaron Wolff


         DISTRIBUTOR               FILM TITLE(S)         # OF NOMINATIONS
         -----------               -------------         ----------------
                               (500) Days Of Summer,
                               Crazy Heart, Gentlemen
       Fox Searchlight                 Broncos                   7
       ---------------        ----------------------            ---
                               An Education, The Last
   Sony Pictures Classics        Station, A Prophet              7
   ----------------------     ----------------------            ---
                                 A Serious Man, Sin
       Focus Features                  Nombre                    6
       --------------            ------------------             ---
                                  More Than A Game,
          Lionsgate                   Precious                   6
          ---------              -----------------              ---
                               The Messenger, Treeless
  Oscilloscope Laboratories           Mountain                   6
  -------------------------   -----------------------           ---
                                Food, Inc., Humpday,
      Magnolia Pictures          Mother, Two Lovers              5
      -----------------         --------------------            ---
                                Me and Orson Welles,
     Freestyle Releasing          That Evening Sun               3
     -------------------        --------------------            ---
     National Geographic
        Entertainment                 Amreeka                    3
     -------------------              -------                   ---
    Samuel Goldwyn Films             Cold Souls                  3
    --------------------             ----------                 ---
    The Weinstein Company           A Single Man                 3
    ---------------------           ------------                ---
   72nd Street Productions        The Vicious Kind               2
   -----------------------        ----------------              ---
                                 Anvil! The Story of
      Abramaorama Films                 Anvil                    1
      -----------------         -------------------             ---
     Carnivaleque Films         The New Year Parade              1
     ------------------         -------------------             ---
     Elephant Eye Films               The Maid                   1
     ------------------               --------                  ---
 First Independent Pictures           Big Fan                    1
 --------------------------           -------                   ---
                               Bad Lieutenant: Port of
     First Look Pictures          Call New Orleans               1
     -------------------      -----------------------           ---
          IFC Films             Everlasting Moments              1
          ---------             -------------------             ---
    HBO Documentary Films          Which Way Home                1
    ---------------------          --------------               ---
           Miramax                 Adventureland                 1
           -------                 -------------                ---
     Paramount Pictures         Paranormal Activity              1
     ------------------         -------------------             ---
        Phase 4 Films         Fifty Dead Men Walking             1
        -------------         ----------------------            ---
    Roadside Attractions            Goodbye Solo                 1
    --------------------            ------------                ---
      Strand Releasing           Downloading Nancy               1
      ----------------           -----------------              ---
       No Distributor             October Country                1
       --------------             ---------------               ---
       No Distributor           Easier With Practice             1
       --------------           --------------------            ---
       No Distributor               Zero Bridge                  1
       --------------               -----------                 ---



FILM TITLE                                      # OF NOMINATIONS
----------                                      ----------------
The Last Station                                        5
----------------                                       ---
Precious                                                5
--------                                               ---
The Messenger                                           4
-------------                                          ---
(500) Days Of Summer                                    3
--------------------                                   ---
Amreeka                                                 3
-------                                                ---
Cold Souls                                              3
----------                                             ---
Crazy Heart                                             3
-----------                                            ---
A Serious Man                                           3
-------------                                          ---
A Single Man                                            3
------------                                           ---
Sin Nombre                                              3
----------                                             ---
That Evening Sun                                        2
----------------                                       ---
Treeless Mountain                                       2
-----------------                                      ---
Two Lovers                                              2
----------                                             ---
The Vicious Kind                                        2
----------------                                       ---
Fifty Dead Men Walking                                  1
----------------------                                 ---
Adventureland                                           1
-------------                                          ---
An Education                                            1
------------                                           ---
Anvil! The Story of Anvil                               1
-------------------------                              ---
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans                1
----------------------------------------               ---
Big Fan                                                 1
-------                                                ---
Downloading Nancy                                       1
-----------------                                      ---
Easier With Practice                                    1
--------------------                                   ---
Everlasting Moments                                     1
-------------------                                    ---
Food, Inc.                                              1
----------                                             ---
Gentlemen Broncos                                       1
-----------------                                      ---
Goodbye Solo                                            1
------------                                           ---
Humpday                                                 1
-------                                                ---
The Maid                                                1
--------                                               ---
Me and Orson Welles                                     1
-------------------                                    ---
More Than A Game                                        1
----------------                                       ---
Mother                                                  1
------                                                 ---
The New Year Parade                                     1
-------------------                                    ---
October Country                                         1
---------------                                        ---
Paranormal Activity                                     1
-------------------                                    ---
A Prophet                                               1
---------                                              ---
Which Way Home                                          1
--------------                                         ---
Zero Bridge                                             1
-----------                                            ---

SOURCE Film Independent