AWARDS SEASON: “127 Hours”, “Black Swan” “Kids Are All Right” get major attention, while several deserving films are completely shut out of 2010 Spirit Award noms

Well. the 2010 Spirit Awards nominees have been announced, and i'm NOT a happy camper…and from a quick buzz around the net, neither is anyone else…

The awards are dominated by the "indie" releases by the major studios – Sony Classics, Fox Searchlight, and their brethern.

What's missing COMPLETELY – and I'm EXTREMELY PISSED OFF about:  Animal Kingdom, A Film Unfinished, and It's Kind Of A Funny Story…what a crock… three of the BEST FILMS of the year, and they completely get blown off…

I will rant A LOT about this on this weekend's edition of Subject:CINEMA…and I'm happy for The Kids Are All Right, which deserves the noms…but 127 Hours and Black Swan, I'm not so sure, since they both had rather wide releases…

Anyway, here's the official Press Release…


LOS ANGELES (November 30, 2010) – Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, announced nominations this morning for the 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards.  Eva Mendes and Jeremy Renner served as presenters and 2011 Spirit Awards host Joel McHale was also on hand.  Nominees for Best Feature include 127 Hours, Black Swan, Greenberg, The Kids Are All Right and Winter’s Bone.

Please Give was selected for the Robert Altman Award, which is given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast.

“The artistic side of independent film is stronger than ever, and it’s especially impressive to see the developed craft of extraordinary independent filmmakers who have only gotten better over the years.  Past nominees such as Darren Aronofsky, Noah Baumbach, Danny Boyle, Lisa Cholodenko, Debra Granik, Nicole Holofcener and John Cameron Mitchell continue to create original and compelling films that move and amaze us.” said Film Independent Executive Director Dawn Hudson.

Selected from 220 submissions, this year’s winners will be announced at the Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, February 26, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. on the beach in Santa Monica.  The 26th annual awards show will air exclusively that night on IFC at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.  Winners of the Filmmaker Grants will be highlighted during the Spirit Awards and announced at the 2011 Spirit Awards Nominee Brunch celebration on Saturday, January 15th at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood.

On Wednesday, February 23, a selection of Spirit Award nominees will discuss their films and their craft at Film Independent’s Directors Close-Up, a 5-week series that features conversations with directors and their collaborators.

The Jameson FIND Your Audience Award, a new filmmaker grant, was established this year to help make it possible for one Spirit Award-nominated film to find a broader audience.  Spirit Award-nominated films in need of expanding their marketing and distribution efforts will be considered.  The award includes a $50,000 marketing and distribution grant, funded by Jameson Irish Whiskey.  The grant was designed to meet independent filmmakers’ biggest challenge today: How to get their films out into the marketplace.  A blue-ribbon committee will determine the winner.

2011 SPIRIT AWARD NOMINATIONS BEST FEATURE (Award given to the Producer, Executive Producers are not listed)

127 Hours  Producers: Danny Boyle, Christian Colson, John Smithson
Black Swan  Producers: Scott Franklin, Mike Medavoy, Arnold W. Messer, Brian Oliver
Greenberg  Producers: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Scott Rudin
The Kids Are All Right  Producers: Gary Gilbert, Philippe Hellmann, Jordan Horowitz, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Celine Rattray, Daniela Taplin Lundberg
Winter’s Bone  Producers: Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Anne Rosellini


Darren Aronofsky Black Swan 
Danny Boyle 127 Hours 
Lisa Cholodenko The Kids Are All Right 
Debra Granik Winter’s Bone 
John Cameron Mitchell Rabbit Hole 


Stuart Blumberg, Lisa Cholodenko The Kids Are All Right 
Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini Winter’s Bone 
Nicole Holofcener Please Give 
David Lindsay-Abaire Rabbit Hole 
Todd Solondz Life During Wartime 

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

Everything Strange and New  Director: Frazer Bradshaw

Producers: A.D. Liano, Laura Techera Francia

Get Low  Director: Aaron Schneider
Producers: David Gundlach, Dean Zanuck
Night Catches Us  Director: Tanya Hamilton
Producers: Sean Costello, Jason Orans, Ronald Simons
The Last Exorcism  Director: Daniel Stamm
Producers: Marc Abraham, Tom Bliss, Eric Newman, Eli Roth
Tiny Furniture  Director: Lena Dunham
Producers: Kyle Martin, Alicia Van Couvering


Diane Bell Obselidia 
Lena Dunham Tiny Furniture 
Nik Fackler Lovely, Still 
Bob Glaudini Jack Goes Boating 
Dana Adam Shapiro, Evan M. Wiener Monogamy 

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 listed

Daddy Longlegs  Writer/Directors: Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie

Producers: Casey Neistat, Tom Scott

Lbs.  Director: Matthew Bonifacio

Writer/Producers: Matthew Bonifacio, Carmine Famiglietti

Lovers of Hate  Writer/Director: Bryan Poyser

Producer: Megan Gilbride

Obselidia  Writer/Director: Diane Bell

Producers: Chris Byrne, Mathew Medlin

The Exploding Girl  Writer/Director: Bradley Rust Gray

Producers: Karin Chien, Ben Howe, So Yong Kim


Annette Bening The Kids Are All Right 
Greta Gerwig Greenberg 
Nicole Kidman Rabbit Hole 
Jennifer Lawrence Winter’s Bone 
Natalie Portman Black Swan 
Michelle Williams Blue Valentine 


Ronald Bronstein Daddy Longlegs 
Aaron Eckhart Rabbit Hole 
James Franco 127 Hours 
John C. Reilly Cyrus 
Ben Stiller Greenberg 

Ashley Bell The Last Exorcism 
Dale Dickey Winter’s Bone 
Allison Janney Life During Wartime 
Daphne Rubin-Vega Jack Goes Boating 
Naomi Watts Mother and Child

John Hawkes Winter’s Bone 
Samuel L. Jackson Mother and Child 
Bill Murray Get Low 
John Ortiz Jack Goes Boating 
Mark Ruffalo The Kids Are All Right 

Adam Kimmel Never Let Me Go 
Matthew Libatique Black Swan 
Jody Lee Lipes Tiny Furniture 
Michael McDonough Winter’s Bone 
Harris Savides Greenberg 

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director)

Exit Through the Gift Shop  Director: Banksy
Marwencol  Director: Jeff Malmberg
Restrepo  Directors: Tim Hetherington, Sebastian Junger
Sweetgrass  Directors: Ilisa Barbash, Lucien Castaing-Taylor
Thunder Soul  Director: Mark Landsman

BEST FOREIGN FILM (Award given to the director)

(Ireland)  Director: Lance Daly
Mademoiselle Chambon
(France)  Director: Stéphane Brizé
Of Gods and Men
(Morocco)  Director: Xavier Beauvois
The King’s Speech

(United Kingdom)
 Director: Tom Hooper
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His
Past Lives
(Thailand)  Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul

ACURA SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The 17th annual Acura Someone to Watch Award recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Acura.

Hossein Keshavarz Dog Sweat 
Laurel Nakadate The Wolf Knife 
Mike Ott Littlerock 

PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD – The 14th annual Piaget Producers Award 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.

In-Ah Lee Au Revoir Taipei 
Adele Romanski The Myth of the American Sleepover 
Anish Savjani Meek’s Cutoff 

AVEENO® TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The 16th annual AVEENO® Truer Than Fiction Award 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 funded by AVEENO®.

Ilisa Barbash, Lucien Castaing-Taylor Sweetgrass 
Jeff Malmberg Marwencol 
Lynn True, Nelson Walker Summer Pasture 

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

Please Give  Director: Nicole Holofcener
 Casting Director: Jeanne McCarthy
 Ensemble Cast: Ann Guilbert, Rebecca Hall, Catherine Keener, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Lois Smith, Sarah Steele