Weighing in on the kudos race with the Spirit Award nominations, the indie sector added to the momentum of Michel Hazanavicius’ “The Artist” and put the spotlight on Jeff Nichols’ doomsday tale “Take Shelter.”

The disparate dramas led the nominations pack with five bids apiece, including mentions in the best feature and directing categories.

Rounding out the top feature category were cancer comedy “50-50,” family dramas “Beginners” and “The Descendants” and actioner “Drive.” To be eligible for Film Independent’s Spirit kudos, a film must be made by a U.S. producer for under $20 million. The noms were unveiled Tuesday at the London West Hollywood by Anthony Mackie and Kate Beckinsale.

Fox Searchlight led all distribs with 14 noms hauled in by “The Descendants,” “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” “Cedar Rapids,” “Another Earth,” “Win Win” and “Shame.” (Searchlight’s “Tree of Life” was not eligible because of its budget.) Sony Pictures Classics followed with nine, while the Weinstein Co. and Focus took six apiece.

“Beginners,” “The Descendants,” “Martha Marcy May Marlene” and “Drive” each scored four noms, and “50-50” drew three.

Notable omissions of eligible pics from the Spirits’ best pic race include the romantic drama “Like Crazy” and Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris,” though the latter pic landed a supporting actor nom for Corey Stoll and a cinematography bid for Darius Khondji.

Joining Hazanavicius and Nichols in the helmer heat are Mike Mills (“Beginners”), Alexander Payne (“The Descendants”) and Nicolas Winding Refn (“Drive”).

As usual, the Spirit noms helped raise the kudos-season profile of thesps from smaller pics, including Demian Bichir for his work in Chris Weitz’s immigration drama “A Better Life.” His competish in the category is Jean Dujardin of “The Artist,” Ryan Gosling for “Drive,” Woody Harrelson for “Rampart” and Michael Shannon for “Take Shelter.”

Lead actress contenders are Lauren Ambrose (“Think of Me”), Rachael Harris (“Natural Selection”), Adepero Oduye (“Pariah”), Elizabeth Olsen (“Martha Marcy May Marlene”) and Michelle Williams (“My Week With Marilyn”).

J.C. Chandor’s “Margin Call” took the Robert Altman Award — given to one film for director, casting director and ensemble cast.

The 49-member Film Independent committee screened 277 submissions, with 44 pics ultimately receiving nominations.

The 27th edition of the Spirit Awards will be presented Feb. 25 — the day before the Oscars — at its usual location in a beachside tent in Santa Monica. “Black Swan” won the top feature prize at the Spirits last February.

View the multiple nominations gallery

(Award given to the producer; executive producers are not listed)
Producers: Evan Goldberg, Ben Karlin, Seth Rogen
Producers: Miranda de Pencier, Lars Knudsen, Leslie Urdang, Dean Vanech, Jay Van Hoy
Producers: Michel Litvak, John Palermo, Marc Platt, Gigi Pritzker, Adam Siegel
“Take Shelter”
Producers: Tyler Davidson, Sophia Lin
“The Artist”
Producer: Thomas Langmann
“The Descendants”
Producers: Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor

Demián Bichir
“A Better Life”
Jean Dujardin
“The Artist”
Ryan Gosling
Woody Harrelson
Michael Shannon
“Take Shelter”

Lauren Ambrose
“Think of Me”
Rachael Harris
“Natural Selection”
Adepero Oduye
Elizabeth Olsen
“Martha Marcy May Marlene”
Michelle Williams
“My Week with Marilyn”

Albert Brooks
John Hawkes
“Martha Marcy May Marlene”
Christopher Plummer
John C. Reilly
“Cedar Rapids”
Corey Stoll
“Midnight in Paris”

Jessica Chastain
“Take Shelter”
Anjelica Huston
Janet McTeer
“Albert Nobbs”
Harmony Santana
“Gun Hill Road”
Shailene Woodley
“The Descendants”

Michel Hazanavicius
“The Artist
Mike Mills
Jeff Nichols
“Take Shelter
Alexander Payne
“The Descendants
Nicolas Winding
“Refn Drive

Joseph Cedar
Michel Hazanavicius
“The Artist”
Tom McCarthy
“Win Win”
Mike Mills
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
“The Descendants”

(Award given to the director and producer)
“Another Earth”
Director: Mike Cahill
Producers: Mike Cahill, Hunter Gray, Brit Marling, Nicholas Shumaker
“In the Family”
Director: Patrick Wang
Producers: Robert Tonino, Andrew van den Houten, Patrick Wang
“Margin Call”
Director: J.C. Chandor
Producers: Robert Ogden Barnum, Michael Benaroya, Neal Dodson, Joe Jenckes, Corey Moosa, Zachary Quinto
“Martha Marcy May Marlene”
Director: Sean Durkin
Producers: Antonio Campos, Patrick Cunningham, Chris Maybach, Josh Mond
“Natural Selection
Director: Robbie Pickering
Producers: Brion Hambel, Paul Jensen

Mike Cahill, Brit Marling
“Another Earth”
J.C. Chandor
“Margin Call”
Patrick deWitt
Phil Johnston
“Cedar Rapids”
Will Reiser

Given to the best feature made for under $500,000. Award given to the writer, director and producer. Executive producers are not listed
Writer/Director: Evan Glodell
Producers: Evan Glodell, Vincent Grashaw
Writer/Director: Maryam Keshavarz
Producers: Karin Chien, Maryam Keshavarz, Melissa M. Lee
“Hello Lonesome”
Writer/Director/Producer: Adam Reid
Writer/Director: Dee Rees
Producer: Nekisa Cooper
The Dynamiter
Writer: Brad Inglesby
Director: Matthew Gordon
Producers: Kevin Abrams, Matthew Gordon, Merilee Holt, Art Jones, Mike Jones, Nate Tuck, Amile Wilson

Joel Hodge
Benjamin Kasulke
“The Off Hours
Darius Khondji
“Midnight in Paris
Guillaume Schiffman
“The Artist
Jeffrey Waldron
“The Dynamiter

DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director)
“An African Election”
Director/Producer: Jarreth Merz
“Bill Cunningham New York”
Director: Richard Press; Producer: Philip Gefter
“The Interrupters”
Director/Producer: Steve James; Producer: Alex Kotlowitz
“The Redemption of General Butt Naked”
Director/Producers: Eric Strauss, Daniele Anastasion
“We Were Here”
Director/Producer: David Weissman

FOREIGN FILM (Award given to the director)
“A Separation”(Iran)
Director: Asghar Farhadi
“Melancholia” (Denmark/Sweden/France/Germany)
Director: Lars von Trier
“Shame” (UK)
Director: Steve McQueen
“The Kid With a Bike” (Belgium/France/Italy)
Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
“Tyrannosaur” (UK)
Director: Paddy Considine

(The 18th 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.)
Simon Arthur
“Silver Tongues”
Mark Jackson
Nicholas Ozeki

(The 15th 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.)
Chad Burris
“Mosquita y Mari”
Sophia Lin
“Take Shelter”
Josh Mond
“Martha Marcy May Marlene”

(The 17th 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.)
Heather Courtney
“Where Soldiers Come From”
Danfung Dennis
“Hell and Back Again”
Alma Har’el
“Bombay Beach”

(Given to one film’s director, casting director, and its ensemble cast)
“Margin Call”
Director: J.C. Chandor
Casting Director: Tiffany Little Canfield, Bernard Telsey
Ensemble Cast: Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore, Zachary Quinto, Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci

View the multiple nominations gallery