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“Sideways” and “Maria Full of Grace” Lead Spirit Award Nominations

"Sideways" and "Maria Full of Grace" Lead Spirit Award Nominations

“Sideways” and “Maria Full of Grace” Lead Spirit Award Nominations

by Eugene Hernandez

Sandra Oh, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen and Paul Giamatti in Alexander Payne’s “Sideways.” Photo © Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Alexander Payne‘s “Sideways” received six nominations and Joshua Marston‘s “Maria Full of Grace” was nominated five times for the Independent Spirit Awards, presented by the IFP/Los Angeles. Other films leading the pack this year include Rodney Evans“Brother to Brother” with four nominations and Shane Carruth‘s “Primer,” Mario F. de la Vega‘s “Robbing Peter,” and Bill Condon‘s “Kinsey” all with four as well.

“Over the last 20 years, the Spirit Awards have consistently celebrated the most talented artists – known and unknown – working in independent film. We’ve honored many filmmakers and artists at the beginning of their careers, and this year is no different,” said Dawn Hudson, Executive Director of IFP/Los Angeles, in a statement. “Six of the nominated films haven’t even received theatrical distribution, and several more have had only the most-narrow distribution. We’re proud to recognize the outstanding work done by independent veterans alongside the exciting new voices in film.”

Nominated movies are selected by a committee based on the following criteria: “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.” For consideration, films must have shown in a commercial theater or screened at one of seven film festivals (the Los Angeles Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, New York, Seattle, Sundance, Telluride, or Toronto).

The winners will be chosen by IFP members and the Spirit Awards will air on IFC at 5 p.m. on February 26th, the day before the Academy Awards.

COMPLETE LIST OF NOMINEES (information provided by IFP/Los Angeles):

BEST FEATURE (Award given to the Producer)

* Executive Producers are not listed.

“Baadasssss!,” Producer: Mario Van Peebles

“Kinsey,” Producer: Gail Mutrux

“Maria Full of Grace,” Producer: Paul Mezey

“Primer,” Producer: Shane Carruth

“Sideways,” Producer: Michael London


Shane Carruth, “Primer”

Joshua Marston, “Maria Full of Grace”

Alexander Payne, “Sideways”

Walter Salles, “The Motorcycle Diaries”

Mario Van Peebles, “Baadasssss!”


“Baadasssss!,” Writers: Mario Van Peebles & Dennis

“Before Sunset,” Writers: Richard Linklater, Julie
, Ethan Hawke

“The Door in the Floor,” Writer: Tod Williams

“Kinsey,” Writer: Bill Condon

“Sideways,” Writers: Alexander Payne & Jim

BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the Director and Producer)

“Brother to Brother,” Director: Rodney Evans

Producers: Rodney Evans, Jim McKay, Isen Robbins, and
Aimee Schoof

“Garden State,” Director: Zach Braff

Producers: Pamela Abdy, Gary Gilbert, Dan Halsted, and
Richard Klubeck

“Napoleon Dynamite,” Director: Jared Hess

Producers: Jeremy Coon, Sean C. Covel, and Chris

“Saints and Soldiers,” Director: Ryan Little

Producers: Adam Abel and Ryan Little

“The Woodsman,” Director: Nicole Kassell

Producer: Lee Daniels


“Brother to Brother,” Writer: Rodney Evans

“Garden State,” Writer: Zach Braff

“Maria Full of Grace,” Writer: Joshua Marston

“Primer,” Writer: Shane Carruth

“Robbing Peter,” Writer: Mario F. de la Vega

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

* Executive Producers are not listed.

“Down to the Bone”

Director: Debra Granik

Writers: Debra Granik and Richard Lieske

Producers: Susan Leber, Anne Rosellini

“Mean Creek”

Writer/Director: Jacob Aaron Estes

Producers: Susan Johnson, Rick Rosenthal, Hagai

“On the Outs”

Directors: Lori Silverbush and Michael Skolnik

Writer: Lori Silverbush

Producers: Lori Silverbush, Michael Skolnik

“Robbing Peter”

Writer/Director: Mario F. de la Vega

Producers: T. Todd Flinchum, Lisa Y. Garibay, and Mario F.
de la Vega

“Unknown Soldier”

Writer/Director: Ferenc Toth

Producers: Sean Bachrodt, Seth Eisman, Chachi Senior,
and Ferenc Toth

BEST DEBUT PERFORMANCE (Actors in their first significant role in
a feature film)

Anthony Mackie, “Brother to Brother”

Louie Olivos, Jr., “Robbing Peter”

Hannah Pilkes, “The Woodsman”

Rodrigo de la Serna, “The Motorcycle Diaries”

David Sullivan, “Primer”


Cate Blanchett, “Coffee and Cigarettes”

Loretta Devine, “Woman Thou Art Loosed”

Virginia Madsen, “Sideways”

Robin Simmons, “Robbing Peter”

Yenny Paola Vega, “Maria Full of Grace”


Thomas Haden Church, “Sideways”

Jon Gries, “Napoleon Dynamite”

Aidan Quinn, “Cavedweller”

Roger Robinson, “Brother to Brother”

Peter Sarsgaard, “Kinsey”


Kimberly Elise, “Woman Thou Art Loosed”

Vera Farmiga, “Down to the Bone”

Judy Marte, “On the Outs”

Catalina Sandino Moreno, “Maria Full of Grace”

Kyra Sedgwick, “Cavedweller”


Kevin Bacon, “The Woodsman”

Jeff Bridges, “The Door in the Floor”

Jamie Foxx, “Redemption”

Paul Giamatti, “Sideways”

Liam Neeson, “Kinsey”


“Dandelion,” Tim Orr

“The Motorcycle Diaries,” Eric Gautier

“Redemption,” David Greene

“Saints and Soldiers,” Ryan Little

“We Don’t Live Here Anymore,” Maryse Alberti

BEST FOREIGN FILM (Award given to the Director)

“Bad Education” – Spain, Director: Pedro

“Oasis” – South Korea, Director: Lee Chang-Dong

“Red Lights” – France, Director: Cédric Kahn

“The Sea Inside” – Spain, Director: Alejandro

“Yesterday” – South Africa, Director: Darrell James Roodt

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the Director)

“Bright Leaves,” Director: Ross McElwee

“Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed,” Director: Shola

“Hiding and Seeking: Faith and Tolerance After the Holocaust,”
Directors: Menachem Daum and Oren Rudavsky

“Metallica: Some Kind of Monster,” Directors: Joe Berlinger
& Bruce Sinofsky

“Tarnation,” Director: Jonathan Caouette


Ensemble Cast: “Mean Creek”

Rory Culkin, Ryan Kelley, Scott Mechlowicz, Trevor
, Josh Peck, Carly Schroeder

Turning Leaf Someone to Watch Award

Jem Cohen, director of “Chain”

Bryan Poyser, director of “Dear Pillow”

Jennifer Reeves, director of “The Time We Killed”

DIRECTV/IFC Truer Than Fiction Award

Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman for “Born Into

Shola Lynch for “Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed”

Jehane Noujaim for “Control Room”

Carlos Sandoval and Catherine Tambini for

Bravo/American Express Producers Award

Gina Kwon, producer of “The Good Girl” and “Me and You
and Everyone We Know”

Danielle Renfrew, producer of “November” and

Sean C. Covel and Chris Wyatt, producers of “Napoleon
and “Think Tank”

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