Spirit Awards Nominations Announced

Nominees for Best Feature are Fox Searchlight’s Beasts Of The Southern Wild, Millennium Entertainment’s Bernie, Music Box Films’ Keep The Lights On, Gotham Award best picture winner Moonrise Kingdom from Focus Features and The Weinstein Company’s Silver Linings Playbook. Sean Baker’s Starlet will receive the Robert Altman Award, given to a film’s director, casting director, and ensemble cast. Among distributors, Searchlight leads the way with nine nominations overall, followed by Music Box with seven and IFC Films, Focus and Sony Pictures Classics with six apiece. Winners will be announced at the 28th Annual Spirit Awards on February 23. The full list of nominees follows:

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Michael Gottwald, Dan Janvey & Josh Penn (producers)
Liz Glotzer, Richard Linklater, David McFadzean, Dete Meserve, Judd Payne, Celine Rattray, Martin Shafer, Ginger Sledge, Matt Williams (producers)
Keep the Lights On
Marie Therese Guirgis, Lucas Joaquin, Ira Sachs (producers)
Moonrise Kingdom
Wes Anderson, Jeremy Dawson, Steven Rales, Scott Rudin (producers)
Silver Linings Playbook
Bruce Cohen, Donna Gigliotti, Jonathan Gordon (producers)

Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom
Julia Loktev, The Loneliest Planet
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Ira Sachs, Keep the Lights On
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom
Zoe Kazan, Ruby Sparks
Martin McDonagh, Seven Psychopaths
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Ira Sachs, Keep the Lights On

(Award given to the director and producer)
Fill the Void
Rama Burshtein (director); Assaf Amir (producer)
Gimme the Loot
Adam Leon (director); Dominic Buchanan, Natalie Difford, Jamund Washington (producers)
Safety Not Guaranteed
Colin Trevorrow (director); Derek Connolly, Stephanie Langhoff, Peter Saraf, Colin Trevorrow, Marc Turtletaub (producers)
Sound of My Voice
Zal Batmanglij (director); Brit Marling, Hans Ritter, Shelley Surpin (producers)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Stephen Chbosky (director);  Lianne Halfon, John Malkovich, Russell Smith (producers)

Rama Burshtein, Fill the Void
Derek Connolly, Safety Not Guaranteed
Christopher Ford, Robot & Frank
Rashida Jones & Will McCormack, Celeste and Jesse Forever
Jonathan Lisecki, Gayby

(Given to the best feature made for under $500,000. Award given to the writer, director, and producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.)
Breakfast with Curtis
Laura Colella (writer-director-producer)
Middle of Nowhere
Ava DuVernay (writer-director-producer); Howard Barish, Paul Garnes (producers)
Mosquita y Mari
Aurora Guerrero (writer-director); Chad Burris (producer)
Sean Baker (writer-director); Chris Bergoch (writer); Blake Ashman-Kipervaser, Kevin Chinoy, Patrick Cunningham, Chris Maybach, Francesca Silvestri (producers)
The Color Wheel
Alex Ross Perry (writer-director-producer); Carlen Altman (writer)

Linda Cardellini, Return
Emayatzy Corinealdi, Middle of Nowhere
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Smashed

Jack Black, Bernie
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Thure Lindhardt, Keep the Lights On
Matthew McConaughey, Killer Joe
Wendell Pierce, Four

Rosemarie DeWitt, Your Sister’s Sister
Ann Dowd, Compliance
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Brit Marling, Sound of My Voice
Lorraine Toussaint, Middle of Nowhere

Matthew McConaughey, Magic Mike
David Oyelowo, Middle of Nowhere
Michael Péna, End of Watch
Sam Rockwell, Seven Psychopaths
Bruce Willis, Moonrise Kingdom

Yoni Brook, Valley of Saints
Lol Crawley, Here
Ben Richardson, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Roman Vasyanov, End of Watch
Robert Yeoman, Moonrise Kingdom

(Award given to the director and producer)
How to Survive a Plague
David France (director); David France, Howard Gertler (producers)
Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present
Matthew Akers (director); Maro Chermayeff, Jeff Dupre (producers)
The Central Park Five
Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon (directors-producers)
The Invisible War
Kirby Dick (director); Tanner King Barklow, Amy Ziering (producers)
The Waiting Room
Peter Nicks (director-producer); Linda Davis, William B. Hirsch (producers)

(Award given to the director)
Amour (France), Michael Haneke
Once Upon A Time in Anatolia (Turkey), Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Rust And Bone (France/Belgium), Jacques Audiard
Sister (Switzerland), Ursula Meier
War Witch (Democratic Republic of Congo), Kim Nguyen

(The 16th 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.)
Nobody Walks, Alicia Van Couvering (producer)
Prince Avalanche, Derrick Tseng (producer)
Stones in the Sun, Mynette Louie (producer)

(The 19th annual 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.)
Pincus, David Fenster (director)
Gimme the Loot, Adam Leon (director)
Electrick Children, Rebecca Thomas (director)

(The 18th 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.)
Leviathan, Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel (directors)
The Waiting Room, Peter Nicks (director)
Only the Young, Jason Tippet & Elizabeth Mims (directors)

(Given to one film’s director, casting director, and its ensemble cast)
Starlet, Sean Baker (director); Julia Kim (casting director); Dree Hemingway, Besedka Johnson, Karren Karagulian, Stella Maeve, James Ransone (cast)

    1. Loved Bernie. And Beasts of Southern Wild. Those are the type of projects the Spirit Awards exist to recognize. At least in my opinion. Risky, inventive, auteur driven content that delivers. Congrats!

  1. So “Seven Psychopaths” and “Magic Mike” get nominations, but nothing for “The Master” or “Cloud Atlas”???

  2. The budget for SLP was over 20 million. The cutoff for the Spirits is supposed to be 20 million max. No comprende.

    1. Of course was independent- self-financed by Tatum and Soderbergh, acquired by Warner Bros. for $7 million.

  3. Why is Fox Searchlight pushing so hard for Beasts of the Southern Wild? I’ve heard absolutely no buzz on it and the one guy I know who saw it said it was just okay. It just seems like a bad horse to bet on with millions of Oscar-push dollars.

    1. You’ve been in the dark. “Beasts” won Camera d’Or at Cannes and Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, among many other accolades, got tons of critical acclaim, and earned $11 mil at the US box office, which is great for a low-budget indie with no stars and such unusual subject matter. You don’t call that buzz? And yes, all year long there’s been serious talk of Oscar nods for Best Actress and maybe Best Picture.

  4. Ann Dowd is GENIUS in COMPLIANCE!! She should be in the group of women who are nominated for an Academy Award for her phenomenal performance. This year’s Melissa Leo.

  5. Beast of the Southern Wild has to be one of the most overrated movies of the year, actually it’s more like promo footage for tourists than a movie.

    And the kid? Yeah, go watch Looper and that boy Pierce Gagnon KILLS it! He should be talked about and not that Beasts’s girl.

  6. Not sure I understand the nomination for Chbosky in Best First Feature. He wrote and directed a film in 1995 called The Four Corners of Nowhere. It helped put him on the map and likely got him his deal to write the book of Wallflowers. It was also nominated for a Jury Prize at that year’s Sundance FF. So how is Wallflowers his first feature?

  7. Loved the original script of Ruby Sparks, even watched it twice to make sure I didn’t miss anything. So glad to see Mary Elizabeth Winstead nominated! Her performance as a young alcoholic was everything a great performance should be.

  8. Kudos to Bob Yeoman for his photography in “Moonrise Kingdom.” Truly a great and unique cinematographer. He and Wes Anderson make magic.

    1. Movie looked great and the art direction was tops.

      Everything else lacked…

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