'Silver Linings Playbook,' 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' grab key nods

Independent film Goliaths strode tall at Tuesday’s nominations for the 28th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards, but a few Davids were still able to slingshot their way to success.

Moonrise Kingdom” and “Silver Linings Playbook” led the way with five noms apiece for the kudofest (scheduled for Feb. 23 in Santa Monica), followed by “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Middle of Nowhere” and “Keep the Lights On” with four each. Though mostly ballyhooed films led in the major categories, nearly 50 of the 299 Indie Spirit submissions earned at least one nomination.

“Beasts,” ” Moonrise” and “Silver Linings” were all nominated for top feature, as were Jack Black showcase “Bernie” and lesser known “Keep the Lights On,” which has grossed less than $300,000 since its early September release.

Wes Anderson, David O. Russell, Ira Sachs and Benh Zeitlin were tapped for directing their nominated films, with the only deviation being Julia Loktev for “The Loneliest Planet” over Richard Linklater of “Bernie.”

Russell, Sachs and Anderson (sharing with Roman Coppola) also received screenplay noms, along with Martin McDonagh (“Seven Psychopaths”) and Zoe Kazan (“Ruby Sparks”).

“Silver Linings,” was the only film to get two lead acting nods, which went to Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. The former will vie against Black, John Hawkes (“The Sessions”), Thure Lindhardt (“Keep”), Matthew McConaughey (“Killer Joe”) and Wendell Pierce (“Four”).

McConaughey actually scored two acting noms on his own, picking up a supporting male nod as well for “Magic Mike.” Also selected in that category were David Oyelowo (one of three acting noms for “Middle of Nowhere”), Michael Pena (“End of Watch”), Sam Rockwell (“Seven Psychopaths”) and Bruce Willis (“Moonrise”).

Nommed alongside Lawrence for lead actress were Linda Cardellini (“Return”), Emayatzy Corinealdi (“Middle”), Quvenzhane Wallis (“Beasts”) and Mary Elizabeth Winstead (“Smashed”). In supporting actress, noms went to Rosemarie DeWitt (“Your Sister’s Sister”), Ann Dowd (“Compliance”), Helen Hunt (“The Sessions”), Brit Marling (“Sound of My Voice”) and Lorraine Toussaint (“Middle”).

Though there isn’t much correlation between independent film honors and the Oscars, “Moonrise Kingdom” and Corinealdi are kindling greater interest this week, with their nominations — along with documentary “How To Survive a Plague” — following Gotham Awards victories Monday. Perhaps the noteworthy film to be left out by the Indie Spirits was Yaron Zilberman’s “A Late Quartet,” with a cast featuring Christopher Walken, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener.

Sundance Selects/IFC Films prexy Jonathan Sehring, who could boast about noms for “Loneliest Planet,” “You’re Sister’s Sister,” “Central Park Five,” “Gimme The Loot” and “How To Survive a Plague,” said every bit of recognition counts, especially for the relative unknowns.

“The filmmakers work so hard making these movies, and we work really hard trying to find audiences for these movies,” Sehring told Variety . “It acknowledges their work, (and) it elevates their profile.”

In addition to its acting trifecta, “Middle of Nowhere” earned a nomination for the John Cassavetes Award for feature made under $500,000, next to “Breakfast with Cutis,” “Mosquita y Mari,” “Starlet” and “The Color Wheel.” “Starlet” also was honored with the Robert Altman Award, given to director Sean Baker, casting director Julia Kim and an ensemble cast including Dree Hemingway and James Ransone.

Indie Spirit noms for first feature went to Rama Burshtein’s “Fill the Void,” Adam Leon’s “Gimme the Loot,” Colin Trevorrow’s “Safety Not Guaranteed,” Zal Batmanglij’s “Sound of My Voice” and Stephen Chobosky’s “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”

Burshtein also snagged a first screenplay nomination, as did “Safety” writer Derek Connolly, Christopher Ford (“Robot and Frank”), Rashida Jones and Will McCormack (“Celeste and Jesse Forever”) and Jonathan Lisecki (“Gayby”).

Finalists in the cinematography category are Yoni Brook (“Valley of Saints”) Lol Crawley (“Here”), Ben Richardson (“Beasts”), Roman Vasyanov (“End of Watch”) and Robert Yeoman (“Moonrise”).

“Amour,” “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia,” “Rust and Bone,” “Sister” and “War Witch” all will compete for top international film, while “Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present,” “The Central Park Five,” “The Invisible War” and “The Waiting Room” joined “How To Survive a Plague” with documentary noms.

“Waiting Room” director Peter Nicks also received a Stella Artois Truer Than Fiction nomination, as did Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel (“Leviathan”) and Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims (“Only the Young”).

Three were nominated for the Piaget Award for emerging producers: Alicia Van Couvering (“Nobody Walks”), Derrick Tseng (“Prince Avalanche”) and Mynette Louie (“Stones in the Sun”), while David Fenster (“Pincus”), Adam Leon (“Gimme the Loot”) and Rebecca Thomas (“Electrick Children”) earned Someone to Watch award noms.

2013 FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARD NOMINATIONS

BEST FEATURE
“Beasts of the Southern Wild” – Producers: Michael Gottwald, Dan Janvey & Josh Penn
“Bernie” – Producers: Liz Glotzer, Richard Linklater, David McFadzean, Dete Meserve, Judd Payne, Celine Rattray, Martin Shafer, Ginger Sledge, Matt Williams
“Keep the Lights On” – Producers: Marie Therese Guirgis, Lucas Joaquin, Ira Sachs
“Moonrise Kingdom” – Producers: Wes Anderson, Jeremy Dawson, Steven Rales, Scott Rudin
“Silver Linings Playbook” – Producers: Bruce Cohen, Donna Gigliotti, Jonathan Gordon

BEST DIRECTOR
Wes Anderson – “Moonrise Kingdom”
Julia Loktev – “The Loneliest Planet”
David O. Russell – “Silver Linings Playbook”
Ira Sachs – “Keep the Lights On”
Benh Zeitlin – “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

BEST SCREENPLAY
Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola – “Moonrise Kingdom”
Zoe Kazan – “Ruby Sparks”
Martin McDonagh – “Seven Psychopaths”
David O. Russell – “Silver Linings Playbook”
Ira Sachs – “Keep the Lights On”

BEST FIRST FEATURE
“Fill the Void” – Director: Rama Burshtein, Producer: Assaf Amir
“Gimme the Loot” – Director: Adam Leon, Producers: Dominic Buchanan, Natalie Difford, Jamund Washington
“Safety Not Guaranteed” – Director: Colin Trevorrow, Producers: Derek Connolly, Stephanie Langhoff, Peter Saraf, Colin Trevorrow, Marc Turtletaub
“Sound of My Voice” – Director: Zal Batmanglij, Producers: Brit Marling, Hans Ritter, Shelley Surpin
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” – Director: Stephen Chbosky, Producers: Lianne Halfon, John Malkovich, Russell Smith

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Rama Burshtein – “Fill the Void”
Derek Connolly – “Safety Not Guaranteed”
Christopher Ford – “Robot & Frank”
Rashida Jones & Will McCormack – “Celeste and Jesse Forever
Jonathan Lisecki – “Gayby”

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 awarded.
“Breakfast with Curtis” – Writer/Director/Producer: Laura Colella,
“Middle of Nowhere” – Writer/Director/Producer: Ava DuVernay, Producers: Howard Barish, Paul Garnes
“Mosquita y Mari” – Writer/Director: Aurora Guerrero, Producer: Chad Burris
“Starlet” – Director: Sean Baker. Writers: Baker, Chris Bergoch. Producers: Blake Ashman-Kipervaser, Kevin Chinoy, Patrick Cunningham, Chris Maybach, Francesca Silvestri.
“The Color Wheel” – Writer/Director/Producer: Alex Ross Perry, Writer: Carlen Altman

BEST FEMALE
LEAD

Linda Cardellini – “Return”
Emayatzy Corinealdi – “Middle of Nowhere”
Jennifer Lawrence – “Silver Linings Playbook”
Quvenzhané Wallis – “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Mary Elizabeth Winstead – “Smashed”

BEST MALE LEAD
Jack Black – “Bernie”
Bradley Cooper – “Silver Linings Playbook”
John Hawkes – “The Sessions”
Thure Lindhardt – “Keep the Lights On”
Matthew McConaughey – “Killer Joe”
Wendell Pierce – “Four”

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Rosemarie DeWitt – “Your Sister’s Sister”
Ann Dowd – “Compliance”
Helen Hunt – “The Sessions”
Brit Marling – “Sound of My Voice”
Lorraine Toussaint – “Middle of Nowhere”

BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Matthew McConaughey – “Magic Mike”
David Oyelowo – “Middle of Nowhere”
Michael Péna – “End of Watch”
Sam Rockwell – “Seven Psychopaths”
Bruce Willis – “Moonrise Kingdom”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Yoni Brook – “Valley of Saints”
Lol Crawley – “Here”
Ben Richardson – “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Roman Vasyanov – “End of Watch”
Robert Yeoman – “Moonrise Kingdom”

BEST DOCUMENTARY
(Award given to the Director and producer)
“How to Survive a Plague” – Director: David France, Producers: David France, Howard Gertler
“Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present” – Director: Matthew Akers, Producers: Maro Chermayeff, Jeff Dupre
“The Central Park Five DirectorS/Producers: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon
“The Invisible War” – Director: Kirby Dick, Producers: Tanner King Barklow, Amy Ziering
“The Waiting Room Director/Producer: Peter Nicks, Producers: Linda Davis, William B. Hirsch

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM
(Award given to the Director)
“Amour” (France) Director: Michael Haneke
“Once Upon A Time in Anatolia” (Turkey) Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
“Rust And Bone” (France/Belgium) Director: Jacques Audiard
“Sister” (Switzerland)” – Director: Ursula Meier
“War Witch” (Democratic Republic of Congo)” – Director: Kim Nguyen

16th ANNUAL PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD
The 16th 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.
“Nobody Walks” – Producer: Alicia Van Couvering
“Prince Avalanche” – Producer: Derrick Tseng
“Stones in the Sun” – Producer: Mynette Louie

19th ANNUAL SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD
The 19th 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.
“Pincus” – Director: David Fenster
“Gimme the Loot” – Director: Adam Leon
“Electrick Children” – Director: Rebecca Thomas

STELLA ARTOIS TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD
The 18th 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.
“Leviathan” – Director: Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel
“The Waiting Room” – Director: Peter Nicks
“Only the Young” – Director: Jason Tippet & Elizabeth Mims

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD
(Given to one film’s Director, casting Director, and its ensemble cast)
“Starlet” – Director: Sean Baker
Casting Director: Julia Kim
Ensemble Cast: Dree Hemingway, Besedka Johnson, Karren Karagulian, Stella Maeve, James Ransone

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