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The first big bash of the awards season took place last night as the 19th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards gave out top honors to The Hurt Locker, Food Inc. and Big Fan director Robert Siegel. Best Feature went to The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow, director; Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier, Greg Shapiro, producers) which also won Best Ensemble Performance. Best Documentary deservedly went to Food, Inc. (Robert Kenner, director; Robert Kenner, Elise Pearlstein, producers) and the Breakthrough Director award went to Siegel.

After the break, nominations for the Independent Spirit Awards and the animation-oriented Annies.

Today the nominations for the 25th Anniversary Independent Spirit Awards were announced; awards will be given out in Los Angeles on March 5, 2010. Big nods went to Precious (5 noms, including Feature, Director and Actress) and The Last Station (5 noms, including Feature, Director, Actor and Actress) while (500) Days of Summer and Sin Nombre have good presence as well. Fantastic news on the latter, and though it’s probably a dark horse I’d endorse it for both Feature and Director. (But I haven’t yet seen The Last Station.)

If you’re looking at the list (see below) and thinking, “where the hell is The Hurt Locker,” the answer is that it was nominated for Spirit awards in ’08 after playing festivals last year. Not a snub, just a fluke of release patterns. There are some snubs, however: the Best Actor category is empty without A Serious Man‘s Michael Stuhlbarg and That Evening Sun‘s Hal Holbrook. And where’s The Cove?

Finally, the International Animated Film Society has announced nominations for the 2010 Annies, and the field of six Best Animated Feature nominees could well be indicative of what we’ll see on the Oscar ballot. They are as follows (check the ASIFA site for the full list of nominations):

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs — Sony Pictures Animation
Coraline — Laika
Fantastic Mr. Fox — 20th Century Fox
The Princess and the Frog — Walt Disney Animation Studios
The Secret of Kells — Cartoon Saloon
Up — Pixar Animation Studios

Full Independent Spirit noms:

BEST FEATURE (Award given to the Producer)
“(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

BEST DIRECTOR
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, “A Serious Man”
Lee Daniels, “Precious”
Cary Joji Fukunaga, “Sin Nombre”
James Gray, “Two Lovers”
Michael Hoffman, “The Last Station”

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

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD
(Given to the best feature made for under $500,000; award given to the writer, director, and producer)
“Big Fan” Writer/Director: Robert Siegel; Producers: Elan Bogarin, Jean Kouremetis
“Humpday” Writer/Director/Producer: Lynn Sheldon
“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: Josee Lajoie, Hilal Ahmed Langoo, Tariq Tapa

BEST SCREENPLAY
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 SCREENPLAY
Sophie Barthes, “Cold Souls”
Scott Cooper, “Crazy Heart”
Cherien Dabis, “Amreeka”
Geoffrey Fletcher, “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire”
Tom Ford, David Scearce, “A Single Man”

BEST FEMALE LEAD
Maria Bello, “Downloading Nancy”
Helen Mirren, “The Last Station”
Gwentyth Paltrow, “Two Lovers”
Gabourey Sidibe, “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire”
Nisreen Faour, “Amreeka”

BEST MALE LEAD
Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart”
Colin Firth, “A Single Man”
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, “(500) Days Of Summer”
Souléymane Sy Savané, “Goodbye Solo”
Adam Scott, “The Vicious Kind”

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Dina Korzun, “Cold Souls”
Mo’Nique, “Precious”
Samantha Morton, “The Messenger”
Natalie Press, “Fifty Dead Men Walking”
Mia Wasikowska, “That Evening Sun”

BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Jemaine Clement, “Gentleman Broncos”
Woody Harrelson, “The Messenger”
Christian McKay, “Me and Orson Welles”
Raymond McKinnon, “That Evening Sun”
Christopher Plummer, “The Last Station”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
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: Sebastian Silva

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD
(Given to one film’s director, casting director, and its ensemble cast)
Robert Altman Award
“A Serious Man”
Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Casting Directors: Ellen Chenoweth, Rachel Tenner
Cast: Richard Kind, Sari Lennick, Jessica McManus, Michael Stuhlbarg, Aaron Wolff

PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD
Karin Chien, “The Exploding Girl,” “Santa Mesa”
Larry Fessenden, “I Sell the Dead,” “The House of the Devil”
Dia Sokol, “Beeswax,” “Nights & Weekends”

SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD
Kyle Patrick Alvarez, “Easier With Practice”
Asiel Norton, “Redland”
Tariq Tapa, “Zero Bridge”

TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD
NNatalia Almada, “El General”
Jessica Oreck, “Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo”
Bill Ross, Turner Ross, “45365”

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