$75,000 in grants to be awarded to filmmakers
Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards, the Los Angeles Film Festival and Film Independent at LACMA, announced nominations for the 2015 Spirit Awards this morning. Film Independent President Josh Welsh presided over the press conference held at the W Hollywood, with actors Rosario Dawson and Diego Luna presenting the nominations. Nominees for Best Feature included Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance),Boyhood, Love is Strange, Selma and Whiplash.
Now in its 30th year, the Film Independent Spirit Awards is an annual celebration honoring artist-driven films made with an economy of means by filmmakers whose films embody independence and originality. The Spirit Awards recognizes the achievements of American independent filmmakers and promotes the finest independent films of the year to a wider audience. The winners of the Spirit Awards are voted upon by Film Independent and IFP Members. Awards are given in the following categories: Best Feature, Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay, Best Director, Best Screenplay, John Cassavetes Award (given to the best feature made for a budget under $500,000), Best Male Lead, Best Female Lead, Best Supporting Male, Best Supporting Female, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best International Film, Best Documentary and the Robert Altman Award. The Filmmaker Grants include the Piaget Producers Award, the LensCrafters Truer Than Fiction Award, and the Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award. The Film Independent Spirit Awards are sponsored by Premier Sponsors Piaget, The Lincoln Motor Company, Bank of America, Heineken and IFC. FIJI Water is the Official Water of the 2015 Spirit Awards. WireImage is the Official Photographer of Film Independent.
“As we celebrate 30 years of great independent film,” said Josh Welsh, President of Film Independent, “this year’s nominees are an astonishingly strong group of films and filmmakers which demonstrate the uniqueness of vision we honor at this show.”
Inherent Vice was selected to receive the Robert Altman Award, which is bestowed upon one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast. The Altman Award was created in 2008 in honor of legendary director Robert Altman who was known for creating extraordinary ensemble casts.
“Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice is a testament to the spirit of Altman’s tradition of artistic collaboration,” said Welsh. “The film features an exquisite ensemble of actors masterfully directed and cast.”
Film Independent also awarded a Special Distinction Award to Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher for its uniqueness of vision, honesty of direction and screenwriting, superb acting and achievement on every level of filmmaking. Due to Spirit Awards guidelines, Inherent Viceand Foxcatcher werenot eligible for individual nominations.
Winners will be announced at the Spirit Awards on Saturday, February 21, 2015. The awards ceremony will be held as a daytime luncheon in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica. This year the show will broadcast live exclusively on IFC at 2:00 PM PT/ 5:00 PM ET.
Winners of the Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grants will be highlighted during the awards ceremony and announced at the Film Independent Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grants and Nominee Brunch on Saturday, January 10, 2015, at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood.
The Spirit Awards Nominating Committees selected nominees from 341 submissions this year and applied the following guidelines in determining the nominations: uniqueness of vision, original and provocative subject matter, economy of means (with particular attention paid to total production cost and individual compensation) and percentage of financing from independent sources. The Spirit Awards Nominating Committees are comprised of writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, editors, actors, critics, casting directors, film festival programmers and other working film professionals.
Over the past 30 years the Film Independent Spirit Awards has made a name for itself as the premiere awards show for the independent film community. Artists who have received industry recognition first at the Spirit Awards include Joel and Ethan Coen, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone, Ashley Judd, Robert Rodriguez, David O. Russell, Edward Burns, Aaron Eckhart, Neil LaBute, Darren Aronofsky, Spike Jonze, Charlie Kaufman, Hilary Swank, Marc Forster, Todd Field, Christopher Nolan, Zach Braff, Amy Adams, Lena Dunham and many more.
The Film Independent Spirit Awards are sponsored by Premier Sponsors Piaget, The Lincoln Motor Company, Bank of America, Heineken and IFC. T-Mobile is the Official Arrivals Show Sponsor and FIJI Water is the Official Water of the 2015 Spirit Awards. WireImage is the Official Photographer of Film Independent.
The Spirit Awards is the primary fundraiser for Film Independent’s year-round programs. For more information on submission guidelines, voting, media and publicist credentials, and the history of the Spirit Awards, please visit spiritawards.com.
2015 FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARD NOMINATIONS
BEST FEATURE (Award given to the producer; executive producers are not awarded.)
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Producers: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, Arnon Milchan, James W. Skotchdopole
Producers: Richard Linklater, Jonathan Sehring, John Sloss, Cathleen Sutherland
Love is Strange
Producers: Lucas Joaquin, Lars Knudsen, Ira Sachs, Jayne Baron Sherman, Jay Van Hoy
Producers: Christian Colson, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Oprah Winfrey
Producers: Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, David Lancaster, Michel Litvak