Independent Spirit Awards Announces Nominations

The Independent Spirit Awards announced nominations on Tuesday and some unexpected contenders showed up on the list. Both high profile, all star cast films such as “The Silver Linings Playbook” and “Moonrise Kingdom” received 5 nominations each. Other more lesser known indie movies to receive four nominations include “Keep the Lights On,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” and “Middle of Nowhere.”


Here is the list of all the nominees:





Beasts of the Southern Wild
Keep the Lights On
Moonrise Kingdom
Silver Linings Playbook



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


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

Fill the Void
Gimme the Loot
Safety Not Guaranteed
Sound of My Voice
The Perks of Being a Wallflower



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



Breakfast with Curtis, WRITER/DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Laura Colella
Middle of Nowhere, WRITER/DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Ava DuVernay, PRODUCERS: Howard Barish, Paul Garnes,
Mosquita y Mari, WRITER/DIRECTOR: Aurora Guerrero, PRODUCER: Chad Burris
Starlet, WRITER/DIRECTOR: Sean Baker, PRODUCERS: Blake Ashman-Kipervaser, Kevin Chinoy, Patrick Cunningham, Chris Maybach, Francesca Silvestri
The Color Wheel, WRITER/DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Alex Ross Perry, WRITER: Carlen Altman



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


BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director and producer)

How to Survive a Plague
DIRECTOR: David France
PRODUCERS: David France, Howard Gertler

Marina Abramoviæ: The Artist is Present
DIRECTOR: Matthew Akers
PRODUCERS: Maro Chermayeff, Jeff Dupre

The Central Park Five
DIRECTORS/PRODUCERS: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon

The Invisible War
DIRECTOR: Kirby Dick
PRODUCERS: Tanner King Barklow, Amy Ziering

The Waiting Room
PRODUCERS: Linda Davis, William B. Hirsch


BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (Award given to the director)

Once Upon A Time in Anatolia
Rust And Bone
War Witch


Some things worth noting:
-The term ‘indie’ is vague considering “Moonrise Kingdom,” “The Silver Linings Playbook,” and yes, “Magic Mike” received nominations alongside movies like “Your Sisters Sister,” “How To Survive A Plague,” and “Keep the Lights On.” The requirements are the budget must be under $20 million. A gritty, art house movie such as “The Master” is ineligible due to its budget.


-“Middle of Nowhere” received four nominations out of nowhere. Well, the buzz has been growing for this gritty indie film with an all African American cast playing in a very limited release. Former publicist now filmmaker Ava DuVernay funded the movie herself…making it a true indie movie.


-The summer indie mini-hit “Beasts of The Southern Wild” received nominations for acting, directing, writing. This puts it back into the awards conversation to compete with the big blockbuster films from large studios who will poor millions of dollars into campaigning. Good for them!
-The rather barren Best Supporting Actress Race for Awards Season now has some serious contenders from smaller films. Besides Helen Hunt in “The Sessions” which was an Oscar sure shot, keep an eye on Rosemarie DeWitt in “Your Sister’s Sister” and Ann Dowd in “Compliance” These were two overlooked performances from the summer that had audiences buzzing and could be competitive at years end.


– Nominations for First Time Screenplays went to some small summer time gems that I loved: Derek Connolly for his quirky crowdpleaser “Safety Not Guaranteed,” Christopher Ford for the sweetly sentimental “Robot & Frank” and Rashida Jones & Will McCormack for their edgy Rom Com “Celeste and Jesse Forever.” These are films worth catching up on and hope garner more attention during award season.


-As always, there were some neglected movies including “Samsara” and “Sleepwalk With Me.” These movie performed strongly in limited release and deserved some Indie Spirit love!



About Kenny Miles

Whether something is overlooked by Hollywood or whatever business trend has captured the Entertainment Industry’s attention, Kenny Miles loves to talk about movies (especially the cultural impact of a film). He covers various aspects of movies including specialty genre films, limited release, independent, foreign language, documentary features, and THE much infamous "awards season." Also, he likes to offer his opinion on the business of film, marketing strategy, and branding.He currently resides in Denver, Colorado and is a member of the Denver Film Critics Society critics group. You can follow him on Twitter @kmiles723.