Independent Spirit Awards Nominations Led By '12 Years A Slave'

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