2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards nominations announced
Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the The Independent Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, announced nominations for the 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards this morning. Anthony Mackie and Kate Beckinsale served as presenters. Nominees for Best Feature include 50/50, Beginners, Drive, Take Shelter and The Artist.

Margin Call was selected to receive the annual Robert Altman Award, which is bestowed upon one film's director, casting director and ensemble cast.

"The Independent Spirit Awards recognize the finest artistic achievements across the broad spectrum of independent filmmaking-from emerging talent working on a shoestring budget to established auteurs," said Film Independent Senior Director Sean Mc Manus. "The 2012 nominees tell their stories in such an authentic way and reflect the inclusive nature of the independent filmmaking community. We are delighted to support them and expand the audience for their work."

"Sean Mc Manus focuses primarily on American independents, so it was an honor to serve alongside an esteemed and dedicated group of indie film colleagues to determine many of the 2012 nominees," said producer and Chair of the American Narrative Feature Nominating Committee Gail Mutrux. "It was an invigorating process-experiencing first-hand the vast array of storytelling that defines independent film, and discovering many new talents whose films inspired us."

Winners will be announced at The Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, February 25, 2012. The 27th annual awards ceremony will be held as a daytime luncheon in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica, and the premiere broadcast will air later that evening at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on IFC. Winners of the Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grants will be highlighted during the awards ceremony and announced at the Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominee Brunch on Saturday, January 14, 2012 at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood.

The Spirit Awards Nominating Committees selected nominees from 277 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 & individual compensation), and percentage of financing from independent sources.

Best Feature (Award given to the Producer, Executive Producers are not listed)

Best First Feature (Award given to the director and producer)

Best First Screenplay

John Cassavetes Award - Given to the best feature made for under $500,000. Award given to the writer, director, and producer. Executive Producers are not listed

  • Bellflower - Writer/Director: Evan Glodell Producers: Evan Glodell, Vincent Grashaw
  • Circumstance - Writer/Director: Maryam Keshavarz Producers: Karin Chien, Maryam Keshavarz, Melissa M. Lee
  • Hello Lonesome - Writer/Director/Producer: Adam Reid
  • Pariah - Writer/Director: Dee Rees Producer: Nekisa Cooper
  • The Dynamiter - Writer: Brad Inglesby Director: Matthew Gordon Producers: Kevin Abrams, Matthew Gordon, Merilee Holt, Art Jones, Mike Jones, Nate Tuck, Amile Wilson

Best Cinematography

Best Documentary (Award given to the director and producer)

  • An African Election - Director/Producer: Jarreth J. Merz
  • Bill Cunningham New York - Director: Richard Press Producer: Philip Gefter
  • The Interrupters - Director/Producer: Steve James Producer: Alex Kotlowitz
  • The Redemption of General Butt Naked - Director/Producers: Eric Strauss, Daniele Anastasion
  • We Were Here - Director/Producer: David Weissman

Best International Film (Award given to the director)

Piage Producers Award - The 15th annual Piaget Producers Award honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources demonstrate the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality, independent films. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.

Someone To Watch Award - The 18th annual Someone to Watch Award recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.

  • Simon Arthur - Silver Tongues
  • Mark Jackson - Without
  • Nicholas Ozeki - Mamitas

Truer Than Fiction Award - The 17th annual Truer Than Fiction Award is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.

  • Heather Courtney - Where Soldiers Come From
  • Danfung Dennis - Hell and Back Again
  • Alma Har'el - Bombay Beach

Robert Altman Award - (Given to one film's director, casting director, and its ensemble cast)