Searchlight’s ‘In America’ tops IFP noms

Pic contenders include 'Splendor,' 'Translation,' 'Glass'

Fox Searchlight’s “In America” topped nominations for the 2004 IFP Independent Spirit Awards with six, followed by five each for HBO Films/Fine Line Features’ “American Splendor” and the Samuel Goldwyn Films/Fireworks release “Raising Victor Vargas.”

Winners will be named Feb. 28 at the IFP Independent Spirit Awards ceremony.

Best feature noms went to “American Splendor,” “In America,” Focus Features’ “Lost in Translation,” “Raising Victor Vargas” and Lions Gate Films’ “Shattered Glass.”

The IFP doled out noms with an even hand between distribs, with “Lost in Translation” and “Shattered Glass” both receiving four.

Taking three noms each were DreamWorks’ “The House of Sand and Fog,” Newmarket Films’ “Monster,” United Artists’ “Pieces of April,” Fox Searchlight’s “Thirteen” and Miramax Films’ “The Station Agent.”

Double nominees were Miramax’s “Blue Car,” HBO/Fine Line’s “Elephant,” Sony Pictures Classics’ “Laurel Canyon” and Showtime Networks’ “Soldier’s Girl.” “Anne B. Real” and “Virgin” do not have distributors.

‘Grams’ kudos

The 2004 Spirit Awards nominating committee extended a special distinction award to Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “21 Grams” for its “uniqueness of vision, bold conception and direction, the honesty of its screenwriting, bravery of its performances and achievement on every level of filmmaking.”

Due to Spirit Awards guidelines, however, “21 Grams” was ineligible for nomination. Made for a budget in the neighborhood of $20 million, it was modest by the standards of mainstream Hollywood but exceeded the IFP committee’s interpreted criteria for “economy of means.”

Fox Searchlight topped distributors with nine nominations. Second place went to “no distributor,” with eight noms spread among five such films.

The nominating committee, chaired by Jeff Kleeman, screened more than 190 films over six weeks in order to determine which pics made the cut. Films were selected on the basis of original and provocative subject matter; uniqueness of vision; economy of means with particular attention paid to total budget and individual compensation; and percentage of independent financing.

Committee members were IFP/Los Angeles executive director Dawn Hudson, cinematographer John Bailey, director Tony Bui, director Patricia Cardoso, casting director Aisha Coley, actor Daryl Hannah, producer Meg LaFauve, screenwriter Jose Rivera, producer Stacy Sher, documentary filmmaker David Siegel and Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan.

Members vote

Winners are voted on by the IFP national membership, which includes a national base of 9,000 members.

Eligible films must have shown at a commercial theater during the 2003 calendar year or have played at the IFP Los Angeles Film Festival, or the New Directors/New Films, New York, Seattle, Sundance, Telluride or Toronto film festivals.

Diana Zahn-Storey will produce the event for the 10th consecutive year.

And the nominees are…

“American Splendor”Ted Hope, producer.
“In America” — Jim Sheridan, Arthur Lappin, producers.
“Lost in Translation” — Sofia Coppola, Ross Katz, producers.
“Raising Victor Vargas” — Alain de la Mata, Robin O’Hara, Scott Macaulay, Peter Sollett, producers.
“Shattered Glass” — Craig Baumgarten, Tove Christensen, Gaye Hirsch, Adam Merims, producers.

Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini — “American Splendor”
Sofia Coppola — “Lost in Translation”
Jim Sheridan — “In America”
Peter Sollett — “Raising Victor Vargas”
Gus Van Sant — “Elephant”

Sofia Coppola — “Lost in Translation”
Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy and cast — “A Mighty Wind”
Peter Hedges — “Pieces of April”
Billy Ray — “Shattered Glass”
Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini — “American Splendor”

“Bomb the System”Adam Bhala Lough, director; Ben Rekhi, Sol Tryon, producers.
“House of Sand and Fog”Vadim Perelman, director; Michael London, Perelman, producers.
“Monster”Patty Jenkins, director; Mark Damon, Donald Kushner, Clark Peterson, Charlize Theron, Brad Wyman, producers.
Quattro Noza” — Joey Curtis, director; Fredric King, producer.
“Thirteen” — Catherine Hardwicke, director; Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Michael London, producers.

Catherine Hardwicke, Nikki Reed — “Thirteen”
Patty Jenkins — “Monster”
Thomas McCarthy — “The Station Agent”
Karen Moncrieff — “Blue Car”
Peter Sollett, Eva Vives — “Raising Victor Vargas”

Agnes Bruckner — “Blue Car”
Zooey Deschanel — “All the Real Girls”
Samantha Morton — “In America”
Elisabeth Moss — “Virgin”
Charlize Theron — “Monster”

Peter Dinklage — “The Station Agent”
Paul Giamatti — “American Splendor”
Ben Kingsley — “House of Sand and Fog”
Bill Murray — “Lost in Translation”
Lee Pace — “Soldier’s Girl”

Shohreh Aghdashloo — “House of Sand and Fog”
Sarah Bolger — “In America”
Patricia Clarkson — “Pieces of April”
Hope Davis — “The Secret Lives of Dentists”
Frances McDormand — “Laurel Canyon”

Judah Friedlander — “American Splendor”
Troy Garity — “Soldier’s Girl”
Djimon Hounsou — “In America”
Alessandro Nivola — “Laurel Canyon”
Peter Sarsgaard — “Shattered Glass”

Anna Kendrick — “Camp”
Judy Marte — “Raising Victor Vargas”
Victor Rasuk — “Raising Victor Vargas”
Nikki Reed — “Thirteen”
Janice Richardson — “Anne B. Real”

Derek Cianfrance — “Quattro Noza”
M. David Mullen — “Northfork”
Declan Quinn — “In America”
Harris Savides — “Elephant”
Mandy Walker — “Shattered Glass”

“City of God” — Fernando Meirelles, director (Brazil)
“Lilya 4-Ever” — Lukas Moodysson, director (Denmark)
“The Magdalene Sisters” — Peter Mullan, director (England/Ireland)
“The Triplets of Belleville” — Sylvain Chomet, director (France)
Whale Rider — Niki Caro, director (New Zealand)

“The Fog of War — Errol Morris, director
“Mayor of the Sunset Strip” — George Hickenlooper, director
“My Architect” — Nathaniel Kahn, director
“OT: Our Town” — Scott Hamilton Kennedy, director
“Power Trip” — Paul Devlin, director

“Anne B. Real” — Lisa France, director; France, Antonio Macia, writers; Josselyne Herman, Luis Moro, Jeanine Rohn, producers
“Better Luck Tomorrow” — Justin Lin, director; Ernesto M. Foronda, Lin, Fabian Marquez, writers; Julie Asato, Foronda, Lin, producers
“Pieces of April” — Peter Hedges, writer-director; Alexis Alexanian, John S. Lyons, Gary Winick, producers
“The Station Agent” — Thomas McCarthy, writer-director; Mary Jane Skalski, Robert May, Kathryn Tucker, producers
“Virgin” — Deborah Kampmeier, writer-director; Sarah Schenck, producer

Andrew Bujalski — “Funny Ha Ha”
Ben Coccio — “Zero Day”
Ryan Eslinger — “Madness and Genius”

Linda Goode Bryant, Laura Poitras — “Flag Wars”
Nathaniel Kahn — “My Architect”
Robb Moss — “The Same River Twice”
Megan Mylan, Jon Shenk — “Lost Boys of Sudan”

Callum Greene, Anthony Katagas –“Happy Here and Now” and “Homework”
Lauren Moews — “Cabin Fever” and “Briar Patch”
Mary Jane Skalski –“The Station Agent” and “The Jimmy Show”