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The nominations for the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards have been announced today, with Steve McQueen's acclaimed drama 12 Years a Slave leading the field with 7 nods, including Best Feature, Best Director, Best Male Lead (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Best Supporting Female (Lupita Nyong'o) and Best Supporting Male (Michael Fassbender).
12 Years a Slave will content the Best Feature award against All Is Lost, Frances Ha, Inside Llewyn Davis and Nebraska, while McQueen is joined in the directing field by J.C. Chandor (All Is Lost), Alexander Payne (Nebraska), Shane Carruth (Upstream Color) and Jeff Nichols (Mud). Mud is also set to receive the pretigious Robert Altman Award, while is presented to the director, the casting director and the ensemble cast.
Check out the full list of nominations here...
'12 Years a Slave'
- Gary Collinson
In its commitment to recognizing the importance of below the line contributions to the art of filmmaking, Film Independent has now introduced, for the first year, the Best Editing category in the Spirit Awards.
Winners will be announced at the Spirit Awards on Saturday, March 1, 2014. The awards ceremony will be held as a daytime luncheon in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica, with the premiere broadcast airing later that evening »
- Michelle McCue
Team Fox Searchlight should be returning to the winner’s circle at the next edition of the Indie Spirits awards. After winning with Black Swan three years back, and losing out in the Best Feature category with Beasts of the Southern Wild and The Descendants, Fox Searchlight’s 12 Years a Slave leads all other films with seven nominations Best Feature, Director, Screenplay, Cinematography and three of the four acting categories. Alexander Payne’s Nebraska follows with six noms. Both Sundance (Fruitvale Station) and SXSW (Short Term 12) winners figure among the noms, but they weren’t as plentiful with only three noms a piece. Among our favorite titles for 2013 which were left off the scorecard, David Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and Andrew Dosunmu’s Mother of George Saints got no recognition, while Eliza Hittman’s It Felt Like Love would have got my vote for the Annual Someone To Watch Award. »
- Eric Lavallee
Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" led the pack of the nominations for the 29th Annual Film Independent Spirit Award. The film received 7 nominations including best feature, director, and acting noms for Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong'o, and Michael Fassbender.
Winners of the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards will be announced on Saturday, March 1st at a daytime luncheon in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica with the premiere broadcast airing later that evening at 10:00 pm Et/Pt exclusively on IFC.
Congrats and good luck to all the nominees!
Here's the complete list of the nominees of the 2014 Spirit Awards:
Best Feature (Award given to the Producer, Executive Producers are not awarded)
12 Years a Slave
Not surprisingly given the strength and depth of this awards season, the categories are strong across the board.
Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty is among a mighty crop of international contenders that includes Abdellatif Kechiche’s Palme d’Or winner Blue Is The Warmest Colour, Sebastian Lelio’s Gloria, Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt and A Touch Of Sin from China’s Jia Zhang-Ke.
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
High-profile studios pics mingled with small-scale indies as Fox Searchlight’s “12 Years a Slave” led nominations for the 29th Independent Spirit Awards with seven followed by Paramount Vantage’s “Nebraska” with six.
In a year chock full of worth films, Film Indpendent voters spread the wealth among titles that are serious Oscar contenders as well as true indies with minimal budgets and a lack of marquee names.
“12 Years” was tapped for best feature, director for Steve McQueen, best actor for Chiwetel Ejiofer, supporting actress for Lupita Nyong’o, supporting actor for Michael Fassbender, cinematography for Sean Bobbit and screenplay by John Ridley. Nominated “12 Years” producers are Dede Gardner, Anthony Katagas, Jeremy Kleiner, McQueen, Arnon Milchan, Brad Pitt and Bill Pohlad.
“12 Years” has grossed $29 million in the U.S. since its launch on Oct. 18.
- Dave McNary
The 2014 Independent Spirit Award nominations were announced this morning and it was a big day for 12 Years a Slave leading the way with seven nominations followed by Alexander Payne's Nebraska with six and All is Lost with four. Those three films were joined by Fruitvale Station and Frances Ha in the Best Feature category as I felt the nominations were nicely spread around with very worthy titles getting attention. I didn't notice too many surprises and Short Term 12 certainly had a nice showing with three nominations including noms for both Brie Larson and Keith Stanfield. I love seeing the nomination for Melonie Diaz for Fruitvale Station as it seems Octavia Spencer is going to get most of the Oscar attention for that film despite the fact Diaz is the more deserving of the two. I guess if you did want to say there was a surprise I would »
- Brad Brevet
To say I have been all over Austin Film Festival would be an understatement. Although this is my third festival to attend, it is the first year that I have gone as a writer instead of an Aff staff member.
My experience has been a little different than that of my fellow Slackerwood contributors. I kicked off the festival Thursday afternoon in the OnStory Press Room, assisting in taping interviews for the television show's upcoming fourth season. We had a pretty packed schedule over the first four days of the conference, so I wasn't sure how being in that room for the majority of the festival would affect my overall experience.
It ended up being the time of my life. Even though I was just asking a certain set of questions for the show, I got to chat face-to-face with some great writers such as David Lowery, Rian Johnson, Vince Gilligan, »
- Marcelena Mayhorn
The Live Action Short Film category has colored the cinematic canvas of the Academy Awards for almost as long as the lavish ceremony has erupted onto the streets of Hollywood. Despite intermittent name and structure changes over the years, this category has brought the best in short form storytelling into the limelight. With the pre-Oscar buzz in full swing, here's a look back at the Live Action Short Films that have colored the cinematic landscape of the Academy Awards since 1931: Vimeo and Youtube streaming links to the films: The Music Box (1932) - Hal Roach La Cucaracha (1934) - Kenneth McGowan Stairway to Light (1945) - Herbert Moulton Happy Anniversary (1962) - Pierre Etaix Boys and Girls (1983) - Janice L. Platt Syrup (1993) - Paul Unwin, Nick Vivian Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life (1994) - Peter Capaldi The Accountant (2001) - Ray McKinnon Copy Shop (2001) - Virgil Widrich Fait d'Hiver (2002) - Dirk Belien I'll Just Wait for the Next One. »
- Ramzi De Coster
Written and Directed by Jeff Nichols.
Two young boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the bounty hunters on his trail and to reunite him with his true love.
Matthew McConaughey has had quite the resurgence over the last couple of years. With films like The Lincoln Lawyer, Magic Mike and Killer Joe under his belt it's safe to say that McConaughey is done with the romantic comedies and is back to serious acting. Mud sees him teaming up with Jeff Nichols, who directed the great Take Shelter in 2011, and after watching this there's no doubt that Mud is one of the best films of the year.
- Flickering Myth
Mike Nichols's excellent rite-of-passage drama channels Whistle Down The Wind, Stand By Me and, mainly, Huckleberry Finn. Two 14-year-olds, Ellis and Neckbone, unearth a charismatic fugitive, Mud (Matthew McConaughey), hiding out near the Mississippi river. He impresses the noble Ellis, in particular, with his enduring love for a childhood sweetheart (Reese Witherspoon), so he promises to reunite Mud with her. There are some strong cameos here from Sam Shepard and Ray McKinnon, but it's the relationship between the boys, played by the impressive Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland, and Mud that captivates. »
Steven Soderbergh, Jane Campion, Olivier Assayas, Lena Dunham, Agnieszka Holland and Ray McKinnon are all filmmakers who owe their careers to early film festival support, and it comes as no surprise that all of them have had their most recent productions play at the world’s top fests. Yet unlike the glut of filmmakers hustling to tie up distribution deals at festivals, all of their works screened with distribution already in place — on television.
As the lines between television and film continue to blur, film festivals have become an increasingly reliable venue for TV movies and series. Soderbergh’s “Behind the Candelabra” had a showcase premiere at this year’s Cannes fest before bowing on HBO, and Campion’s “Top of the Lake” became the first TV miniseries to screen at Sundance last spring. Dunham’s HBO series “Girls” preemed at South by Southwest in 2012, paving the way for A »
- Andrew Barker
Chicago – Maybe it’s the indeterminate time period that doesn’t rely on modern pop culture references or technology. Maybe it’s the sense that we’re watching a great Young Adult novel turned into a film. Maybe it’s the timeless themes of rebellion, love, and loss. Whatever it is, “Mud” already feels like a classic.
It’s a film, as proven by its incredible word-of-mouth success at the box office and Ridiculous 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, that everybody likes and many love. That word-of-mouth should continue on Blu-ray and DVD as more and more people watch a film that already feels like it will hold up for decades.
Some have complained about overwriting in “Mud,” an argument that I understand but with which I don’t really agree. Yes, there’s a lot going on here and the final act gets a bit clunky in its narrative but »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Two boys, river-rats on the mighty Mississippi, run smack into adulthood when they encounter and befriend a fugitive from the law. Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn echoes throughout every frame of Jeff Nichol’s Mud, the festival hit that became one of the summer’s under-the-radar hits. An Arkansas native, Nichols was mesmerized by the river and all that it represents, both in literature and its geographic importance, and his modern-day tale conjures up all the the familiar rhythms, drawls, and characters that filled Twain’s pages. Matthew McConaughey stars as the mysterious rascal whose name is literally Mud, »
- Jeff Labrecque
Ray McKinnon's "rectify" on Sundance was one of the happy surprises of last year. The series is languid and taut, riveting and contemplative. The cast is served well by actress Abigail Spencer, who plays the sister of a wrongly convicted man in .Rectify." Abigail Spencer is cast as Amantha, sister to Daniel Holden (Aden Young) a man who has spent 19 years on Death Row for the rape and murder of his teenage girlfriend. He was vindicated, his conviction was overturned due to new DNA evidence. Now Daniel is going back to his small Georgia hometown. A town that draws lines over the belief that he is guilty, and those who believe in his innocence. Actor Ray McKinnon - »
- April Neale
Tensions are mounting in the small town of Paulie, Georgia as a convicted rapist and murderer is being released from death row after almost two decades of imprisonment. Due to new developments in DNA evidence, his sentence is vacated—although a new investigation is inevitable. Such is the jumping-off point that creator Ray McKinnon used for the series Rectify to tell a story about a man who has lived in a box and must suddenly face the world around him. Certainly an intriguing premise for a character study, but how well does it translate into a television series?
- John Keith
2013 is only halfway done, but there’s a fair chance that, in a television context, it might well be looked back upon as the year any and all accepted rules of “quality television” became utterly meaningless and the promise of great things arrived in all shapes and sizes, from all directions. Consider Netflix’s House of Cards and the resurrected Arrested Development: existing properties, incredible casts, and a novel delivery method to boot. Consider HBO’s increasingly epic and brutal Game of Thrones and the way it’s managed to capture the zeitgeist despite firmly belonging to a long-derided genre. Consider the continued reign of FX’s animated spy comedy Archer, complete with the best rapid-fire humor on TV. Consider Mad Men, still relevant as it heads into its final season. Consider the wildly popular The Walking Dead and the long-form horror that is sure to follow in its wake. »
- Simon Howell
Chicago – As excellent as the current state of writing is in television, even our best programs often fit neatly into genres. It’s a three-party system — drama, comedy, and reality. And some of our most critically-acclaimed shows are so because of how they play within audience expectations (“Homeland,” “Parks & Recreation”) and not how they push them.
“Louie” notably redefines comedy and I would argue that “Rectify,” while clearly a drama, feels like nothing else on TV. Someone (and I would credit if I could remember who) called this the “independent cinema” of TV and that’s right. Indie films take thematic and character risks that mainstream ones do not. It makes sense that the first breakthrough drama for The Sundance Channel would be a show as creatively unique as “Rectify,” recently released on DVD.
“Rectify” may sound generic. A guy gets out of jail. He has to reengage with society. »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Between now and June 28, the deadline for Emmy voters to submit nomination ballots, EW.com will feature interviews with some of the actors and actresses whose names we hope to hear when nominations are announced on July 18.
When you first see Abigail Spencer on screen in Sundance’s strong miniseries Rectify, she’s a chain-smoking ball of nervous energy. Over the course of the six-parter, her character, Amantha, becomes the foil to her brother Daniel (Aden Young), who went from death row to freedom. As he is quiet and still, she’s electric, right down to the you-can’t-tame-me mane of hers. »
- Jessica Shaw
Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Rectify Daniel Holden (Aden Young) is released from prison after serving 19 years on death row for the rape and murder of a teenage girl, but his return home opens up a world of troubled complications for everyone involved. The small, Southern community is divided on the issue of his innocence as the DNA evidence seems at odds with his own confession, and those doubts are just some of the issues he now faces. Character actor Ray McKinnon moves behind the camera here as the show’s creator, and the result is easily one of the year’s finest and most affecting shows. The story shares some thematic similarities to the brilliant Boy A, but it quickly finds its own rhythms and strengths thanks to a smart ensemble filled with heartbreaking performances and characters. It »
- Rob Hunter
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