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raymac Written by raymac
Dec. 1, 2009 | 9:16 PM

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LOS ANGELES (December 1, 2009) - 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

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

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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 Piovesan
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 Duvall

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: Jos?e 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
Soul?ymane Sy Savan? - 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 Palmieri
Which Way Home - Director: Rebecca Cammisa

BEST FOREIGN FILM (Award given to the director)
A Prophet (France) - Director: Jacques Audiard
An Education (UK/France)- Director: Lone Scherfig
Everlasting Moments (Sweden) - Director: Jan Troell
Mother (South Korea) -Director: Bong Joon-Ho
The Maid (Chile) - Director: Sebasti?n 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


Fox Searchlight - (500) Days Of Summer, Crazy Heart, Gentlemen Broncos -7
Sony Pictures Classics - An Education, The Last Station, A Prophet - 7
Focus Features - A Serious Man, Sin Nombre - 6
Lionsgate - More Than A Game, Precious - 6
Oscilloscope Laboratories - The Messenger, Treeless Mountain - 6
Magnolia Pictures - Food, Inc., Humpday, Mother, Two Lovers - 5
Freestyle Releasing - Me and Orson Welles, 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
Abramaorama Films - Anvil! The Story of Anvil - 1
Carnivaleque Films - The New Year Parade - 1
Elephant Eye Films - The Maid - 1
First Independent Pictures - Big Fan - 1
First Look Pictures - Bad Lieutenant: Port of 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


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

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