The awards are reserved for the very best in independent filmmaking over the past year as well as rising newcomers within the field, giving awards for Best First Feature, First Screenplay etc as well as usuals like Best Film, Director, Actor and the rest.
With that said, it looks like director Steve McQueen’s hotly-tipped 12 Years A Slave leads the field with seven nominations including Best Film, Best Director, Best Male Lead (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Best Supporting Male (Michael Fassbender), Best Supporting Female (Lupita Nyong’o), Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography.
Following closely behind is Alexander Payne with six nominations for his latest odyssey Nebraska. It will compete against 12 Years A Slave for Best Film, Best Director, Best Male Lead (Bruce Dern), Best Supporting Male (Will Forte) and Best Supporting Female (June Squibb), while also receiving a nomination for Bob Nelson’s debut screenplay in the Best First Screenplay category.
Rounding up the Best Film category are J.C. Chandor’s All Is Lost, nominated for a further three awards including Best Director and Best Actor (Robert Redford); Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha, which aside from one further Editing nom was otherwise shut out; and the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis, which also scored a Best Male Lead nomination for Oscar Isaac as well as a Cinematography nod.
Also worth mentioning are the three nominations received for Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, including one for Allen’s screenplay and two for actresses Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins (for Best Female Lead and Best Supporting Female respectively).
This year’s recipient of the Robert Altman Award, which honours a film’s director, ensemble cast and casting director, is Jeff Nichols’ Mud starring Matthew McConaughey (himself nominated for Best Male Lead for separate film Dallas Buyers Club) and Reese Witherspoon. Nichols also received a nomination for Best Director, but gathered no further nominations elsewhere.
The awards are a significant placement within the awards season, being amongst the first to signal the main frontrunners for bigger prizes like Oscar or BAFTA. This year, 12 Years A Slave has shown overwhelming support at film festivals and by film critics, so it is a safe bet for it to score well here. However, recent years have proven to be a commiseration prize to whatever film does NOT go on to win the Best Picture Oscar. Last year’s Silver Linings Playbook was a prime example of this, as were Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, Lee Daniels’ Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire, Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain over previous years. What this year has in store for its contenders is yet to be revealed, though it will be a while before we find out the answers.
The 29th Independent Spirit Awards will be held on March 1st 2014, keeping with tradition of it being held the evening before the Academy Awards.
A full list of nominations can be found below:
Best FeatureAll is Lost Frances Ha Inside Llewyn Davis Nebraska 12 Years a Slave
Best DirectorJ.C. Chandor, “All is Lost” Jeff Nichols, “Mud” Alexander Payne, “Nebraska” Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave” Shane Carruth, “Upstream Color”
Best First FeatureBlue Caprice Concussion Fruitvale Station Una Noche Wadjda
Best ScreenplayBefore Midnight Blue Jasmine Enough Said The Spectacular Now 12 Years a Slave
Best First ScreenplayAfternoon Delight Don Jon In a World The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pet Nebraska
Best Female LeadCate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine” Julie Delpy, “Before Midnight” Gaby Hoffman, “Crystal Fairy” Brie Larson, “Short Term 12” Shailene Woodley, “The Spectacular Now”
Best Male LeadBruce Dern, “Nebraska” Oscar Isaac, “Inside Llewyn Davis” Michael B. Jordan, “Fruitvale Station” Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club” Robert Redford, “All is Lost” Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”
Best Supporting FemaleMelonie Diaz, “Fruitvale Station” Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine” Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave” Yolonda Ross, “Go For Sisters” June Squibb, “Nebraska”
Best Supporting MaleMichael Fassbender, “12 Years a Slave” Will Forte, “Nebraska” James Gandolfini, “Enough Said” Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club” Keith Stanfield, “Short Term 12”
Best CinematographyAll is Lost Computer Chess Inside Llewyn Davis Spring Breakers 12 Years a Slave
Best EditingFrances Ha Museum Hours Short Term 12 Una Noche Upstream Color
Best DocumentaryThe Act of Killing After Tiller Gideon’s Army The Square 20 Feet from Stardom
Best International FilmBlue is the Warmest Color Gloria The Great Beauty The Hunt A Touch of Sin
Robert Altman AwardMud
John Cassavetes AwardComputer Chess Crystal Fairy Museum Hours Pit Stop This is Martin Bonner
Piaget Producers AwardToby Halbrooks & James M. Johnston Jacob Jaffke Andrea Roa Frederick Thornton
Someone to Watch AwardAaron Douglas Johnston, “My Sisters Quinceañera” Shaka King, “Newlyweeds” Madeline Olnek, “The Foxy Merkins”
Truer Than Fiction AwardKalyanee Mam, “A River Changes Course” Jason Osder, “Let the Fire Burn” Stephanie Spray & Pacho Valez, “Manakamana”
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Next week, the National Board of Review announces their annual cream of the crop, as do the New York Film Critics Circle and the Los Angeles Film Critics Circle; and the British Independent Film Awards reveal their winners also. Stay tuned for another exciting instalment of AWARDS FEEDER!