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Film Independent Announces the 22nd Annual Spirit Awards Nominees

The film award season has gotten under way this morning with the announcement of the 22nd Annual Spirit Awards. Presented by the non-profit group Film Independent, their members vote on the winners. Those wishing to add their voice to the outcome can join the group by December 1. The awards will be handed out on February 23, 2008 under a large tent on the beach in Santa Monica Beach. It will be telecast on IFC at 5:00 p.m. EST and an edited rebroadcast will air on AMC at 10:00 p.m.

The Best Feature nominees are Julian Schnabel’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, the true story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, who endures such a massive stroke his left eye is the only thing not paralyzed; Todd Haynes’ I'm Not There, a pseudo-biography of a few of the personae of Bob Dylan; Juno, a black comedy about teen pregnancy; A Mighty Heart, the true story of Mariane Pearl, whose husband, Wall Street Journal reporter Danny Pearl, was killed by terrorists in 2002; and Gus Van Sant’s Paranoid Park, a drama about a Portland skateboarder and his involvement in a security guard’s death.

Out of the five films, A Mighty Heart is the only Best Feature nominee which didn’t have its director, Michael Winterbottom, nominated for Best Director. The Savages’ Tamara Jenkins took that spot.

The nominees are:

BEST FEATURE (Award given to the producer)

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Producers: Kathleen Kennedy, Jon Kilik

I'm Not There
Producers: Christine Vachon, John Sloss, John Goldwyn, James D. Stern

Juno
Producers: Lianne Halfon, John Malkovich, Mason Novick, Russell Smith

A Mighty Heart
Producers: Dede Gardner, Andrew Eaton, Brad Pitt

Paranoid Park
Producers: Neil Kopp, David Cress

BEST DIRECTOR

Todd Haynes
I'm Not There

Tamara Jenkins
The Savages

Jason Reitman
Juno

Julian Schnabel
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Gus Van Sant
Paranoid Park

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

2 Days in Paris
Director: Julie Delpy
Producers: Julie Delpy, Christophe Mazodier, Thierry Potok

Great World of Sound
Director: Craig Zobel
Producers: Melissa Palmer, David Gordon Green, Richard Wright, Craig Zobel

The Lookout
Director: Scott Frank
Producers: Roger Birnbaum, Gary Barber, Laurence Mark, Walter Parkes

Rocket Science
Director: Jeffrey Blitz
Producers: Effie T. Brown, Sean Welch

Vanaja
Director: Rajnesh Domalpalli
Producer: Latha R. Domalapalli

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD

(Given to the best feature made for under $500,000; award given to the writer, director, and producer)

August Evening
Writer/Directpr: Chris Eska
Producers: Connie Hill, Jason Wehling

Owl and the Sparrow
Writer/Director: Stephane Gauger
Producers: Nguyen Van Quan, Doan Nhat Nam, Stephane Gauger

The Pool
Director: Chris Smith
Producer: Kate Noble
Writer: Chris Smith & Randy Russell

Quiet City
Director: Aaron Katz
Producers: Brendan McFadden, Ben Stambler
Writers: Aaron Katz, Erin Fisher, Cris Lankenau

Shotgun Stories
Writer/Director: Jeff Nichols
Producers: David Gordon Green, Lisa Muskat, Jeff Nichols

BEST SCREENPLAY

Ronald Harwood
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Tamara Jenkins
The Savages

Fred Parnes & Andrew Wagner
Starting Out in the Evening

Adrienne Shelly
Waitress

Mike White
Year of the Dog

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY

Jeffrey Blitz
Rocket Science

Zoe Cassavetes
Broken English

Diablo Cody
Juno

Kelly Masterson
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

John Orloff
A Mighty Heart

BEST FEMALE LEAD

Angelina Jolie
A Mighty Heart

Sienna Miller
Interview

Ellen Page
Juno

Parker Posey
Broken English

Tang Wei
Lust, Caution

BEST MALE LEAD

Pedro Castaneda
August Evening

Don Cheadle
Talk To Me

Philip Seymour Hoffman
The Savages

Frank Langella
Starting Out in the Evening

Tony Leung
Lust, Caution

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE

Cate Blanchett
I'm Not There

Anna Kendrick
Rocket Science

Jennifer Jason Leigh
Margot at the Wedding

Tamara Podemski
Four Sheets to the Wind

Marisa Tomei
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

BEST SUPPORTING MALE

Chiwetel Ejiofor
Talk To Me

Marcus Carl Franklin
I'm Not There

Kene Holliday
Great World of Sound

Irrfan Khan
The Namesake

Steve Zahn
Rescue Dawn

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Mott Hupfel
The Savages

Janusz Kaminski
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Milton Kam
Vanaja

Mihai Malaimare, Jr.
Youth Without Youth

Rodrigo Prieto
Lust, Caution

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director)

Crazy Love
Director: Dan Klores

Lake of Fire
Director: Tony Kaye

Manufactured Landscapes
Director: Jennifer Baichwal

The Monastery
Director: Pernille Rose Grønkjær

The Prisoner or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair
Directors: Petra Epperlein & Michael Tucker

BEST FOREIGN FILM (Award given to the director)

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
Director: Cristian Mungiu
(Romania)

The Band's Visit
Director: Eran Kolirin
(Israel)

Lady Chatterley
Director: Pascale Ferran
(France)

Once
Director: John Carney
(Ireland)

Persepolis
Directors: Vincent Paronnaud & Marjane Satrapi
(France)

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD

(Given to one film's director, casting director, and its ensemble cast)

I'm Not There
Director: Todd Haynes
Casting Director: Laura Rosenthal
Ensemble Cast: Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, Ben Whishaw, Marcus Carl Franklin, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Bruce Greenwood

FILMMAKER GRANT NOMINEES

IFC/Acura Someone to Watch Award

The 14th annual IFC/Acura Someone to Watch Award recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition.

Ramin Bahrani, director of Chop Shop
Ronnie Bronstein, director of Frownland
Lee Isaac Chung, director of Munyurangabo

IFC/Acura Someone to Watch Award Nominating Committee:
Scott Foundas (Chair), Effie T. Brown, Lisa Kennedy, Bryan Poyser, Maud Nadler

Truer Than Fiction Award

The 12th annual Truer Than Fiction Award is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant attention.

Laura Dunn for The Unforeseen
Gary Hustwit for Helvetica
John Maringouin for Running Stumbled

Truer Than Fiction Award Nominating Committee:
John Vanco (Chair), Cara Mertes, A.J. Schnack, Dennis Lim, Laura Poitras

Producers Award

The 11th annual Producers Award honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality, independent films.

Anne Clements, producer of Ping Pong Playa and Quinceañera
Alexis Ferris, producer of Cthulhu and Police Beat
Neil Kopp, producer of Paranoid Park and Old Joy

Producers Award Nominating Committee:
Scott Macaulay (Chair), Gina Kwon, Anne Walker-McBay, Lianne Halfon, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte

About Gordon S. Miller

Gordon S. Miller is the artist formerly known as El Bicho, the nom de plume he used when he first began reviewing movies online for The Masked Movie Snobs in 2003. Before the year was out, he became that site's publisher. Over the years, he has also contributed to a number of other sites as a writer and editor, such as FilmRadar, Film School Rejects, High Def Digest, and Blogcritics. He is the Publisher of Cinema Sentries. Some of his random thoughts can be found at twitter.com/ElBicho_CS

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