2011 Film Independent Spirt Awards Nominations

Nominations for the 26th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards were revealed today. The awards show, which has bestowed honors to filmmakers like Darren Aronofsky, Danny Boyle and John Cameron Mitchell in the past, spotlights the best in independent cinema in a calendar year. These are the films that don’t get much play in the major theatre chains, unless the theatre has a large number of screens, devoting only a few screens to independent releases. And unless a film is a hit, rarely do they get an expansion outside of the arthouse scene.

In the case of this year’s Spirit Awards we get a variety of titles. Some are destined to be the talk of Oscar, while others made their impact on the festival circuit earlier this year.

BEST FEATURE
127 Hours
Black Swan
Greenberg
The Kids Are All Right
Winter’s Bone

BEST DIRECTOR
Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)
Danny Boyle (127 Hours)
Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right)
Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone)
John Cameron Mitchell (Rabbit Hole)

BEST SCREENPLAY

Stuart Blumberg, Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right)
Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini (Winter’s Bone)
Nicole Holofcener (Please Give)
David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole)
Todd Solondz (Life During Wartime)

BEST FIRST FEATURE
Everything Strange and New
Get Low
Night Catches Us
The Last Exorcism
Tiny Furniture

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Diane Bell (Obselidia)
Lena Dunham (Tiny Furniture)
Nik Fackler (Lovely, Still)
Bob Glaudini (Jack Goes Boating)
Dana Adam Shapiro, Evan M. Wiener (Monogamy)

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD – Given to the best feature made for under $500,000.
Daddy Longlegs
Lbs.
Lovers of Hate
Obselidia
The Exploding Girl

BEST FEMALE LEAD
Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right)
Greta Gerwig (Greenberg)
Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole)
Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone)
Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)

BEST MALE LEAD
Ronald Bronstein (Daddy Longlegs)
Aaron Eckhart (Rabbit Hole)
James Franco (127 Hours)
John C. Reilly (Cyrus)
Ben Stiller (Greenberg)

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE

Ashley Bell (The Last Exorcism)
Dale Dickey (Winter’s Bone)
Allison Janney (Life During Wartime)
Daphne Rubin-Vega (Jack Goes Boating)
Naomi Watts (Mother and Child)

BEST SUPPORTING MALE
John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone)
Samuel L. Jackson (Mother and Child)
Bill Murray (Get Low)
John Ortiz (Jack Goes Boating)
Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Adam Kimmel (Never Let Me Go)
Matthew Libatique (Black Swan)
Jody Lee Lipes (Tiny Furniture)
Michael McDonough (Winter’s Bone)
Harris Savides (Greenberg)

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Exit Through the Gift Shop
Marwencol
Restrepo
Sweetgrass
Thunder Soul

BEST FOREIGN FILM
Kisses (Ireland)
Mademoiselle Chambon (France)
Of Gods and Men (Morocco)
The King’s Speech (United Kingdom)
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Thailand)

ACURA SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The 17th 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.

Hossein Keshavarz (Dog Sweat)
Laurel Nakadate (The Wolf Knife)
Mike Ott (Littlerock)

PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD – The 14th 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.

In-Ah Lee (Au Revoir Taipei)
Adele Romanski (The Myth of the American Sleepover)
Anish Savjani (Meek’s Cutoff)

AVEENO® TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The 16th annual AVEENO® 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 funded by AVEENO®.

Ilisa Barbash, Lucien Castaing-Taylor (Sweetgrass)
Jeff Malmberg (Marwencol)
Lynn True, Nelson Walker (Summer Pasture)

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

Please Give
Director: Nicole Holofcener
Casting Director: Jeanne McCarthy
Ensemble Cast: Ann Guilbert, Rebecca Hall, Catherine Keener, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Lois Smith, Sarah Steele

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