IFP keeping up Spirits alongside Oscar move

Nominees to be announced December 3

IFP/Los Angeles is inviting entries in 14 categories for the 19th annual Independent Spirit Awards, to be presented Feb. 28 in Santa Monica. IFP shares the February weekend with the Oscars.

Submissions for the Sept. 19 deadline must be at least 70 minutes in length and have played in a commercial theater for at least one day or shown in at least one of seven select film fests (IFP/Los Angeles Film Festival; New Directors/New Films; New York; Seattle; Sundance; Telluride; or Toronto) in the 2003 calendar year.

Eligible entries will be considered by the nominating committee in the 14 categories, which include feature, John Cassavetes (limited budget), first feature, helmer, screenplay and first screenplay.

Other categories are: male lead and supporting, female lead and supporting, debut perf, cinematography, foreign and docu.

Entries must demonstrate original, provocative subject matter and unique vision.

The committee will also note economy of means, with particular attention to total budget, individual compensation and percentage of indie financing.

Nominees will be announced Dec. 3.

In explaining the accelerated sked for the kudocast (to be shown on Bravo and Independent Film Channel), Dawn Hudson, exec director of IFP/Los Angeles, said: “Since its inception, the IFP Independent Spirit Awards have been held the weekend of the Oscars. It was natural to continue the tradition.”

Last year’s winners included “Far From Heaven,” which swept feature, helmer, female lead, male supporting and cinematographer; Derek Luke for male lead in “Antwone Fisher;” “The Good Girl” for screenplay; “Secretary” for first screenplay; “The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys” for first feature; and “Y tu mama tambien” for foreign-lingo pic.