The 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards nominees were announced earlier today, and, as we expected, Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave is well represented, with nominations in 7 different categories, including Best Feature, Best Director, Best Screenplay (John Ridley), Best Male Lead (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Best Supporting Female (Lupita Nyong'o), Best Supporting Male (Michael Fassbender) and Best Cinematography (Sean Bobbitt).
Other notable nominees, with respect to this blog's interests, include Blue Caprice, Fruitvale Station, and Una Noche, all in the Best First Feature category, for directors Alexandre Moors, Ryan Coogler and Lucy Mulloy, respectively.
Michael Starrbury picked up a nomination in the Best First Screenplay category for his work on The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete.
Joining Chiwetel Ejiofor in the Best Male Lead category is Michael B. Jordan, for his starring role in Fruitvale Station.
And joining Lupita Nyong'o in the Best Supporting Female category are Melonie Diaz (Fruitvale Station) and Yolonda Ross, for her work in John Sayles' latest, Go For Sisters (which is currently in theatrical release by the way).
In the Best Documentary category, Morgan Neville's 20 Feet From Stardom, Dawn Porter's Gideon’s Army, and Jehane Noujaim's The Square are all nominees.
A tip of the hat goes to Newlyweeds director Shaka King, for his Someone To Watch Award nomination, as well as Jason Osder's Let the Fire Burn, which picked up a Stella Artois Truer Than Fiction Award nomination.
Notable omissions that I immediately thought of as I browsed the below list of nominees: Mother Of George received absolutely no nods in any category. At the very least, I would've expected a nomination for Best Cinematography, given that the film's stunningly sumptuous photography was one of its most appreciated and discussed elements. In fact, having seen 3 of the 5 films nominated in that category, I have absolutely no qualms saying that the work Bradford Young did in shooting Andrew Dosunmu's Mother Of George, tops the cinematography of those 3 films. I'd go even further to say that Bradford's work, shooting black bodies in a way that black bodies typically aren't viewed and consumed on screen, just might be that much more of a challenge for the other DPs in that category.
It's easily the most beautifully-intriguing film I've seen all year.
Alas, I'm not on the Film Independent selection committee, and such is the nature of competitive Awards like this one. With typically 5 slots per category, there are, and will always be disagreements.
The full list of nominees follows below:
12 Years a Slave, All Is Lost, Francis Ha, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska
Shane Carruth, Upstream Color; J.C. Chandor; All Is Lost; Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave; Jeff Nichols, Mud; Alexander Payne, Nebraska
Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine; Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke & Richard Linklater Before Midnight;Nicole Holofcener Enough Said; Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, The Spectacular Now; John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
Best First Feature
Blue Caprice, Director/Producer: Alexandre Moors; Producers: Kim Jackson, Brian O’Carroll, Isen Robbins, Will Rowbotham, Ron Simons, Aimee Schoof, Stephen Tedeschi; Concussion,Director: Stacie Passon, Producer: Rose Troche; Fruitvale Station, Director: Ryan Coogler; Producers: Nina Yang Bongiovi, Forest Whitaker; Una Noche, Director/Producer: Lucy Mulloy, Producers: Sandy Pérez Aguila, Maite Artieda, Daniel Mulloy, Yunior Santiago; Wadjda, Director: Haifaa Al Mansour, Producers: Gerhard Meixner, Roman Paul
Best First Screenplay
Lake Bell, In A World; Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Don Jon; Bob Nelson, Nebraska; Jill Soloway,Afternoon Delight; Michael Starrbury, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete
John Cassavetes Award (best feature made for under $500,000)
Computer Chess, Writer/Director: Andrew Bujalski, Producers: Houston King & Alex Lipschultz;Crystal Fairy, Writer/Director: Sebastiàn Silva, Producers: Juan de Dios Larraín & Pablo Larraín; Museum Hours, Writer/Director: Jem Cohen, Producers: Paolo Calamita & Gabriele Kranzelbinder; Pit Stop, Writer/Director: Yen Tan, Writer: David Lowery, Producers: Jonathan Duffy, James M. Johnston, Eric Steele, Kelly Williams; This is Martin Bonner, Writer/Director: Chad Hartigan, Producer: Cherie Saulter
Best Female Lead
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine; Julie Delpy, Before Midnight; Gaby Hoffmann, Crystal Fairy; Brie Larson, Short Term 12; Shailene Woodley, The Spectacular Now
Best Male Lead
Bruce Dern, Nebraska; Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave; Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis; Michael B. Jordan, Fruitvale Station; Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club; Robert Redford, All Is Lost
Best Supporting Female
Melonie Diaz, Fruitvale Station; Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine; Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave;Yolonda Ross, Go For Sisters; June Squibb, Nebraska
Best Supporting Male
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave; Will Forte, Nebraska; James Gandolfini, Enough Said; Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club; Keith Stanfield, Short Term 12
Sean Bobbitt, 12 Years a Slave; Benoit Debie, Spring Breakers; Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis; Frank G. DeMarco, All Is Lost; Matthias Grunsky, Computer Chess
Shane Carruth & David Lowery, Upstream Color; Jem Cohen & Marc Vives, Museum Hours;Jennifer Lame, Frances Ha; Cindy Lee, Una Noche; Nat Sanders, Short Term 12
20 Feet From Stardom, Director/Producer: Morgan Neville, Producers: Gil Friesen & Caitrin Rogers; After Tiller, Directors/Producers: Martha Shane & Lana Wilson; Gideon’s Army,Diretor/Producer: Dawn Porter, Producer: Julie Goldman; The Act of Killing, Director/Producer: Joshua Oppenheimer, Producers: Joram Ten Brink, Christine Cynn, Anne Köhncke, Signe Byrge Sørensen, Michael Uwemedimo, The Square, Director: Jehane Noujaim, Producer: Karim Amer
Best International Film
A Touch of Sin, (China), Director: Jia Zhang-Ke; Blue is the Warmest Color, (France), Director: Abdellatif Kechiche; Gloria, (Chile), Director: Sebastián Lelio; The Great Beauty, (Italy), Director: Paolo Sorrentino; The Hunt, (Denmark), Director: Thomas Vinterberg
17th Annual Piaget Producers Award
Toby Halbrooks & James M. Johnston, Jacob Jaffke, Andrea Roa, Frederick Thornton
20th Annual Someone To Watch Award
My Sister’s Quinceañera, Director: Aaron Douglas Johnston; Newlyweeds, Director: Shaka King; The Foxy Merkins, Director: Madeline Olnek
19th Annual Stella Artois Truer Than Fiction Award
Kalyanee Mam, A River Changes Course; Jason Osder, Let the Fire Burn; Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez, Manakamana
Robert Altman Award
Mud, Director: Jeff Nichols, Casting Director: Francine Maisler, Ensemble Cast: Joe Don Baker, Jacob Lofland, Matthew McConaughey, Ray McKinnon, Sarah Paulson, Michael Shannon, Sam Shepard, Tye Sheridan, Paul Sparks, Bonnie Sturdivant, Reese Witherspoon