12-years-a-slave-TIFF-review

The best award set of the season is usually the Independent Spirit Awards — that’s the ceremony where filmmakers cut loose, and it’s the set of awards that is most likely to highlight actual achievement, rather than doling out statues to whoever campaigned the hardest for their Oscar.

Today the nominations of for the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards were announced, and they spread recognition out to a wide array of films. 12 Years a Slave scored the most nominations, but this year’s crop of films is diverse and excellent; if you spent the rest of 2013 catching up with everything you’ve yet to see on this list, it would be a great end-of-year movie run.

The Nominees for the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards:

BEST FEATURE
(Award given to the Producer, Executive Producers are not awarded)

12 Years a Slave (Producers Dede Gardner, Anthony Katagas, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen, Arnon Milchan, Brad Pitt, Bill Pohlad)
All Is Lost (Producers: Neal Dodson, Anna Gerb)
Frances Ha (Producers: Noah Baumbach, Scott Rudin, Rodrigo Teixeira, Lila Yacoub)
Inside Llewyn Davis (Producers: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Scott Rudin)
Nebraska (Producers: Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa)

BEST DIRECTOR

Shane CarruthUpstream Color
J.C. ChandorAll Is Lost
Steve McQueen12 Years a Slave
Jeff NicholsMud
Alexander PayneNebraska

BEST SCREENPLAY

Woody AllenBlue Jasmine
Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke & Richard LinklaterBefore Midnight
Nicole Holofcener, Enough Said
Scott Neustadter & Michael H. WeberThe Spectacular Now
John Ridley12 Years a Slave

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

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 BellIn A World
Joseph Gordon-LevittDon Jon
Bob NelsonNebraska
Jill SolowayAfternoon Delight
Michael StarrburyThe Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD
Given to the best feature made for under $500,000.  Award given to the writer, director, and producer.  Executive Producers are not awarded.

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 DernNebraska
Chiwetel Ejiofor12 Years a Slave
Oscar IsaacInside Llewyn Davis
Michael B. JordanFruitvale Station
Matthew McConaugheyDallas 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

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

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

BEST EDITING

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

BEST DOCUMENTARY
(Award given to the director and producer)

20 Feet From Stardom
DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Morgan Neville
PRODUCERS: Gil Friesen & Caitrin Rogers
After Tiller
DIRECTORS/PRODUCERS: Martha Shane & Lana Wilson
Gideon’s Army
DIRECTOR/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
(Award given to the director)

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)

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD
(Given to one film’s director, casting director, and its ensemble cast)

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

17th ANNUAL PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD
(The 17th annual Producers Award, sponsored by Piaget, 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.)

Toby Halbrooks & James M. Johnston
Jacob Jaffke
Andrea Roa
Frederick Thornton

20th ANNUAL SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD
(The 20th annual Someone to Watch Award recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition.)

Aaron Douglas Johnston, My Sister’s Quinceañera
Shaka King, Newlyweeds
Madeline Olnek, The Foxy Merkins

19th ANNUAL STELLA ARTOIS TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD
(The 19th annual Truer Than Fiction Award, sponsored by Stella Artois, 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.)

Kalyanee MamA River Changes Course
Jason OsderLet the Fire Burn
Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez, Manakamana

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