Ceremony nabs customary slot before Oscars

Film Independent has set its Spirit Awards ceremonies for Feb. 23, in its customary slot of one day prior to the Academy Awards.

Nominations will be announced Nov. 27. The org also said its accepting submissions with the early deadline of Sept. 17 and final deadline of Oct. 9.

The Spirit Awards take place each year inside a beachfront tent in Santa Monica. Awards go for Best Feature, first feature, the John Cassavetes Award (feature made for under $500,000), director, screenplay, male and female leads, male and female supporting, first screenplay, cinematography, documentary and foreign film.

The event will also see the first presentation of the Robert Altman Award to one film’s director and ensemble cast.

Selections are made by Film Independent members with voting privileges extended to IFP members.

Eligible films must be at least 70 minutes long, and the cost of the completed film, including post-production, must be under $20 million.

Additionally, films must have been shown in a commercial theater for at least one week during 2007 or shown at one of the following festivals in 2007: the Los Angeles Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, New York, Sundance, Telluride, or Toronto.

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