The Independent Spirit Award nominees were just announced.
Of note, Lance Hammer's Ballast was nominated for Best Feature, and Barry Jenkins' Medicine For Melancholy was nominated for Best First Feature.
Both Hammer and Jenkins are also Best Director nominees.
Steve McQueen's Hunger is a nominee in the Best Foreign Film category.
And Sean Baker's Prince Of Broadway is up for the John Cassavetes Award, for best feature made for under $500,000.
The Independent Spirit Awards ceremony is currently in its 23rd year, and the event will take place on February 21, 2009, in Santa Monica, CA.
The entire list of nominees follows below. One thing that irks me about it is the number of studio financed, produced, and/or distributed films on the list - after all, the event is called the Independent Spirit Awards.
I suppose "independent spirit" could have several interpretations. But, when I think about what the phrase means to me, films like The Wrestler, Synecdoche NY, Rachel Getting Married, Vicky Christina Barcelona, and Milk don't quite register, for obvious reasons. I'd much rather see truly independently films, minus "name" actors/actresses assuming roles, especially starring roles. And films like the 5 I just mentioned, don't meet one or both criteria.
BEST FIRST FEATURE
BEST MALE LEAD
BEST FEMALE LEAD
BEST SUPPORTING MALE
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD (Given to the best feature made for under $500,000; award given to the writer, director, and producer)
Prince of Broadway (Sean Baker, Darren Dean)
Take Out (Sean Baker, Shih-Ching Tsou)
The Signal (David Bruckner, Dan Bush, Jacob Gentry, Alexander Motlagh)
Turn the River (Chris Eigeman, Ami Armstrong)
In Search of a Midnight Kiss (Alex Holdridge, Seth Caplan, Scoot McNairy)
For more on the Independent Spirit Awards, and information on how to become a member, visit FilmIndependent.org. For those who really love discovering great independent film and previously unseen talent, it is a great organization to be a part of.