Spirit Awards set pic budget limit

Event will be carried live on IFC, rebroadcast on AMC

The budget ceiling for films vying for the Independent Spirit Awards has officially been set at $20 million to clarify the submission process.

In the past, the ceiling was set on an ad hoc basis each year, causing no small amount of consternation in the film community.

New guideline is effective immediately, according to Film Independent — formerly IFP/Los Angeles — which administers the awards program.

Nominations for the 2006 Independent Spirit Awards will be announced Nov. 29, with the awards ceremony set for March 4.

Event will be carried live on IFC and rebroadcast on AMC. The 2006 red-carpet show will air on WE.

Deadline for submitting eligible films is Oct. 14.

Film Independent executive director Dawn Hudson said the new budget ceiling would give the nominating committee “wide latitude in choosing original, provocative films that are still made with an economy of means.

“Having just celebrated our 20th anniversary … we feel more focused and committed than ever that the Spirit Awards celebrate the best in original filmmaking and further increase an audience and awareness for these films,” Hudson said.

Winners of the Independent Spirit Awards are chosen by Film Independent members, with voting privileges extended to IFP members.

Eligible films must be at least 70 minutes long; have played in a commercial theater for at least one week in calendar 2005; or shown at the Los Angeles, New Directors/New Films, New York, Sundance, Telluride or Toronto film festivals.

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