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“The Squid and the Whale” Leads List of Independent Spirit Awards Nominations

"The Squid and the Whale" Leads List of Independent Spirit Awards Nominations

Noah Baumbach’s “The Squid and the Whale,” which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January and was later acquired by Samuel Goldwyn Films and Sony Pictures Entertainment, leads this year’s list of Independent Spirit Award nominations, Film Independent announced this morning at an event in Los Angeles. The film received six nominations, including best feature, best director and best screenplay (Noah Baumbach), best male lead (Jeff Daniels), best female lead (Laura Linney), and best supporting actor (Jesse Eisenberg).

Among other nominees, four films received four nominations each, including “Brokeback Mountain,” “Capote,” “Good Night, and Good Luck,” and “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.” Nominees were chosen by committees assembled by Film Independent; the groups considered some 200 films that were submitted for consideration. The prizes will be awarded on March 4, 2006, the day before the annual Academy Awards (a live broadcast will again air on IFC).

Aside from the competitive prizes, three separate Spirit Awards committees also choose nominees for special cash awards. Ian Gamazon and Neill Dela Llana (“Cavite”), Robinson Devor (“Police Beat”), and Jay Duplass (“The Puffy Chair”) were nominated for the IFC/Acura Someone to Watch Award which honors unrecognized narrative filmmakers; Rachel Boynton (“Our Brand is Crisis”), Garrett Scott & Ian Olds (“Occupation: Dreamland”), Mark Becker (“Romantico”), and Thomas Allen Harris (“Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela”) were nominated for the Truer Than Fiction Award singling out unrecognized documentary filmmakers; and producers Caroline Baron (“Capote”, “Monsoon Wedding”), Ram Bergman (“Brick”, “Conversations with Other Women”), and Mike S. Ryan (“Junebug”, “Palindromes”) were nominated for the AMC/American Express Producers Award which honors an emerging producer. The winner of each prize will receive $25,000.

Calling this year’s roster a “set of nominations that represent the spectrum of independent filmmaking in 2005,” committee chair Jeff Kleeman added in a statement, “In years to come, anybody who wants an overview of the state of our art in 2005 will find that these nominations can guide them to a full understanding of the wonderfully wide range of ideas and techniques that our filmmakers our currently exploring.”

Criteria for the annual Independent Spirit Awards includes, in the words of Film Independent: “Original, provocative subject matter; Uniqueness of vision; Economy of means with particular attention paid to total budget and individual compensation; and Percentage of independent financing.” Films must have received a week-long commercial theatrical release or must have screened at festivals including the Los Angeles Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, New York, Sundance, Telluride, or Toronto. The group also recently announced a maximum budget cap of $20 million for nominees.

Winners of the awards are chosen by members of Film Independent and the IFP; members are eligible to receive free film screeners from Netflix.

The complete list of nominees follows:

(Award given to the Producer)

Brokeback Mountain
Producers: Diana Ossana, James Schamus

Producers: Caroline Baron, William Vince, Michael Ohoven

Good Night, and Good Luck.
Producer: Grant Heslov

The Squid and the Whale
Producers: Wes Anderson, Peter Newman, Charles Corwin, Clara Markowicz

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
Producers: Michael Fitzgerald, Tommy Lee Jones


Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain

George Clooney, Good Night, and Good Luck.

Gregg Araki, Mysterious Skin

Rodrigo Garcia, Nine Lives

Noah Baumbach, The Squid and the Whale

(Award given to the Director and Producer)

Director: Paul Haggis, Producers: Cathy Schulman, Don Cheadle, Bob Yari, Mark R. Harris, Bobby Moresco, Paul Haggis

Lackawanna Blues
Director: George C. Wolfe, Producer: Nellie Nugiel

Me and You and Everyone We Know
Director: Miranda July, Producer: Gina Kwon

Director: Mike Mills, Producers: Anthony Bregman, Bob Stephenson

Director: Duncan Tucker, Producers: Rene Bastian, Sebastian Dungan, Linda Moran

(Given to the best feature made for under $500,000; Award given to the writer, director, and producer)

Director/Writer: Rian Johnson, Producers: Ram Bergman and Mark G. Mathis

Director: Mora Stephens, Producer: Joel Viertel, Writers: Mora Stephens and Joel Viertel

Director/Writer/Producer: Mark Banning

The Puffy Chair
Director: Jay Duplass, Producer: Mark Duplass, Writers: Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass

Director/Writer: Kyle Henry, Producers: Allen Bain, Darren Goldberg, Jesse Scolaro


Ayad Akhtar, Joseph Castelo, Tom Glynn, The War Within

Guillermo Arriaga, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

Noah Baumbach, The Squid and the Whale

Dan Futterman, Capote

Rodrigo Garcia, Nine Lives


Kenneth Hanes, Fixing Frank

Miranda July, Me and You and Everyone We Know

Angus MacLachlan, Junebug

Sabina Murray, The Beautiful Country

Duncan Tucker, Transamerica


Amy Adams, Junebug

Maggie Gyllenhaal, Happy Endings

Allison Janney, Our Very Own

Michelle Williams, Brokeback Mountain

Robin Wright Penn, Nine Lives


Firdous Bamji, The War Within

Matt Dillon, Crash

Jesse Eisenberg, The Squid and the Whale

Barry Pepper, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

Jeffrey Wright, Broken Flowers


Felicity Huffman, Transamerica

Dina Korzun, Forty Shades of Blue

Laura Linney, The Squid and the Whale

S. Epatha Merkerson, Lackawanna Blues

Cyndi Williams, Room


Jeff Daniels, The Squid and the Whale

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote

Terrence Howard, Hustle & Flow

Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain

David Strathairn, Good Night, and Good Luck.


Robert Elswit, Good Night, and Good Luck.

John Foster, Keane

Adam Kimmel, Capote

Chris Menges, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

Harris Savides, Last Days

(Award given to the Director)

The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Romania)
Director: Cristi Puiu

Duck Season (Mexico)
Director: Fernando Eimbcke

Head-On (Germany/Turkey)
Director: Fatih Akin

Paradise Now (Palestine/Netherlands/Germany/France)
Director: Hany Abu-Assad

Tony Takitani (Japan)
Director: Jun Ichikawa

(Award given to the Director)

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Director: Alex Gibney

Grizzly Man, Director: Werner Herzog

La Sierra, Directors: Scott Dalton & Margarita Martinez

Romantico, Director: Mark Becker

Sir! No Sir!, Director: David Zeiger

IFC/Acura Someone to Watch Award

The 12th annual IFC/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 IFC and Acura. The Finalists are:

Ian Gamazon and Neill Dela Llana, director of “Cavite”

Robinson Devor, director of “Police Beat”

Jay Duplass, director of “The Puffy Chair”

Truer Than Fiction Award
The 10th annual Truer Than Fiction Award is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant attention. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant. The Finalists are:

Rachel Boynton for “Our Brand is Crisis”

Garrett Scott & Ian Olds for “Occupation: Dreamland”

Mark Becker for “Romantico”

Thomas Allen Harris for “Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela”

AMC/American Express Producers Award
The 9th annual AMC/American Express 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 AMC and American Express. The Finalists are:

>Caroline Baron, producer of “Capote” and “Monsoon Wedding”

Ram Bergman, producer of “Brick” and “Conversations with Other Women”

Mike S. Ryan, producer of “Junebug” and “Palindromes”

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