Weird not being in Austin when two big announcements came out this week: the 2006 Sundance lineup and the 2006 Independent Spirit Award nominees. The Spirits (the indie Oscars) have chosen a solid lineup of nominees for the March 4 ceremony, led by frontrunner The Squid and the Whale. Yet, I was really happy to see several SXSW filmmakers make the cut. Among the SXSW 2005 alumni: Ian Gamazon & Neill Dela Llana (Cavite) and Jay Duplass (The Puffy Chair) will battle it out for the coveted “Someone to Watch” Award. And, for what it’s worth, the third nominee in that category (Robinsor Devor for Police Beat), had his last film (The Woman Chaser) win an award at SXSW 2000. Meanwhile, on the doc side with the “Truer than Fiction” award, Rachel Boynton’s Our Brand is Crisis is up against Occupation: Dreamland, directed by Garrett Scott & Ian Olds. In addition, Scott Dalton & Margarita Martinez (La Sierra) face off with Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) for “Best Documentary.” Best of luck and congrats to all the SXSW alumni!
And hey, Austin’s own Kyle Henry is nominated for the “John Cassavetes Award” for his feature, Room, a film that was going to play SXSW this year but had to hold off due to Cannes invitation following Sundance. We understood. If you wanna see the complete list of nominees (and there are some really great films on that list), check out the indieWIRE story here.