‘Winter’s Bone’ leads Film Independent Spirit Awards nominations

HollywoodNews.com: 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.

“It is an honor and a privilege to work with an organization that is passionate about the advancement of independent film. This dedication and thoroughness was evident every step of the way during the nominee selection process,” said Ted Mundorff, Chair of the American Narrative Feature Nominating Committee. “The wide-ranging spectrum of talent, storylines and innovative filmmaking has once again raised the bar for independent film.”

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 Spirit Awards Nominating Committee applies uniqueness of vision, original & provocative subject matter, economy of means (with particular attention paid to total production cost & individual compensation), and percentage of financing from independent sources as guidelines when making its selections. The Committee was composed of the following sub-committees:

The 13-person American Narrative Nominating Committee included Chair, CEO Landmark Theatres Ted Mundorff; actress Melonie Diaz; producers Jennifer Fox, Jennifer Todd; author/filmmaker Nelson George; director Karyn Kusama; writer/director/producers Larry Karaszewski, Edgar Wright; filmmaker Kasi Lemmons; film critic and host of KCRW’s “The Treatment” Elvis Mitchell; actor/producers Andre Royo, Adam Scott; and screenwriter Daniel Waters.

The 7-person Documentary Feature Nominating Committee included Chair, San Francisco Film Society Director of Programming Rachel Rosen; directors Nanette Burstein, Laura Gabbert; director/producer RJ Cutler; film critic Alonso Duralde; The Boston Globe film critic Wesley Morris; and filmmaker Marina Zenovich.

The 7-person Foreign Feature Nominating Committee included Chair, filmmaker Mary Sweeney; writer/director/producer Julie Dash; writer/director Neil LaBute; producer Gail Mutrux; director Patricia Riggen; writer Howard A. Rodman; and Los Angeles Times and NPR’s “Morning Edition” film critic Kenneth Turan.

The 5-person Acura Someone to Watch Award Nominating Committee included Chair, producer Alison Dickey; writer/director Kyle Patrick Alvarez; Dallas Film Society Artistic Director James Faust; Sarasota Film Festival Artistic Director Tom Hall; and NPR.org film critic Ella Taylor.

The 5-person Piaget Producer’s Award Nominating Committee included Chair, producer Karin Chien; producers Seth Caplan, Lisa Cortes, Amy Kaufman, and Barry Mendel.

The 5-person AVEENO® Truer Than Fiction Award Nominating Committee included Chair, filmmaker Darius Marder; producer Lesley Chilcott; editor Geeta Ghandbir; LincolnFilm Society’s Director of Digital Strategy Eugene Hernandez; and aspen FILM Artistic Director Laura Thielen.

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.

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