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by Indiewire
February 24, 2007 3:22 AM
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Spirits and Oscars on Tap This Weekend

Its awards weekend in Los Angeles, with the Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday afternoon and the Academy Awards on Sunday.

"Half Nelson" and "Little Miss Sunshine," a pair of first features by American filmmaking duos, lead the list of nominees for Film Independent's Spirit Award -- both films are nominated for best feature along with "American Gun," "The Dead Girl," and "Pan's Labyrinth." "Half Nelson" from Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden and "Little Miss Sunshine" by Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris are also nominated for best director, with Fleck singled out for "Nelson" and video directors Dayton & Faris nominated for "Sunshine." Each film received five competitive nominations, while "Nelson" producers Alex Orlovsky and Jamie Patricof were also singled out as finalists for the Axium Producers Award. This year's Spirit nominations showcase a wide range of films and filmmakers, along with "Half Nelson" and "Little Miss Sunshine," singling out both high-profile Indiewood movies ("A Prairie Home Companion," "Pan's Labyrinth," "Little Miss Sunshine") and lower-budgeted indie films ("Old Joy," "Quinceanera," "Four Eyed Monsters"), some without U.S. theatrical distribution deals ("Chalk," "Wristcutters: A Love Story"). The complete list of nominees is available here at indieWIRE.com.

Meanwhile at the Oscars, Bill Condon's "Dreamgirls" led the nominations for the 79h Academy Awards with eight. Nominated for best picture of the year are: "Babel," "The Departed," "Letters From Iwo Jima," "Little Miss Sunshine," and "The Queen." "Babel," from Paramount Vantage, received seven nominations and "The Queen" from Miramax received six. A big surprise was the strong performance by Guillermo Del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth" which received six nominations, including a nod for best foreign language film of the year. The complete list of nominees is available here at indieWIRE.com.

Get the latest in indieWIRE's Awards Watch section.

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