Thursday, November 23, 2017

2018 Film Independent Spirit Award Nominations

Recently organizers announced the nominations and perhaps the most interesting situation is what is written in the first paragraph of the official nominations press release which reads as follows:

The past couple months of entertainment news have not been the cheeriest, to say the least. But as the necessary work of righting longstanding injustices continues, the importance of elevating new and diverse voices inside the film industry remains. And while awards shows may seem like small potatoes in the face of larger global events, the fact remains: championing creative independence and supporting a diverse community of unique, innovative artists remains vitally important—sowing the seeds via pop culture of a better, more equitable future.

Yes we are in turbulent times as finally rocks are being turned and the dirtiest dirt is being exposed, no doubt what's going on affects all kind of occupations in all kind of industries, but no doubt that the one that's being hit the hardest is the entertainment business and yes, I'm glad so many women have the courage to make public what they were forced to keep silent.  Let's hope creativity could flourish even more now when women could stop being afraid of speaking out.

So on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 Lily Collins and Tessa Thompson at the Jeremy hotel in West Hollywood unveiled the nominees in a year where I believe where too-many good indie films and many were bound to be left out and so it happened.  Perhaps the most notorious are the absence of best film nod for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, no nods at all for much-honored Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water and gee, Greta Gerwig opera prima gets no directorial nod, not even in the debut category.  Another annoying absence is Noah Baumbach's The Meyerowitz Stories.  Know Yorgos Lanthimos is not for all audiences but imagined more honors for this film, including perhaps a nod for Colin Farrell.

On the other side of the nods, can't understand the fuzz for Beatriz at Dinner, a film that was so-terrible had to stop watching, sigh.  Movie got a best actress nod that perhaps belonged to Rooney Mara in Ghost Story or many other great performances.

Perhaps a bit surprising due to the controversy it has generated mainly in "good-old-USA" Luca Guadagnino's Call Me By Your Name leads with six (6) nominations followed closely by Get Out and Good Time with 5 nods each and Lady Bird with four nominations.

These are the nominees

Best Feature
Call Me By Your Name, Luca Guadagnino
The Florida Project, Sean Baker
Get Out, Jordan Peele
Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig
The Rider, Chloé Zhao

Best First Feature
Columbus, Kogonada
Ingrid Goes West, Matt Spicer
Menashe, Joshua Z. Weinstein
Oh Lucy!, Atsuko Hirayanagi
Patti Cake$, Geremy Jasper

Best International Film
BPM (Beats per Minute), Robin Campillo, France
A Fantastic Woman, Sebastian Lelio, Chile
I Am Not A Witch, Rungano Nyoni, UK
Lady Macbeth, William Oldroyd, UK
Loveless, Andrey Zvyagintsev, Russia

Best Documentary
The Departure, Lana Wilson
Faces Places, Agnes Varda and JR
Last Men in Aleppo, Feras Fayyad
Motherland, Ramona S. Diaz
Quest, Jonathan Olshefski

Best Director
Sean Baker for The Florida Project
Jonas Carpignano for A Ciambra
Luca Guadagnino for Call Me by Your Name
Jordan Peele for Get Out
Ben Safdie and Josh Safdie for Good Time
Chloé Zhao for The Rider

Best Screenplay
Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird
Azazel Jacobs for The Lovers
Martin McDonagh for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Jordan Peele for Get Out
Mike White for Beatriz at Dinner

Best First Screenplay
Kris Avendisian, Kyle Espeleta and Jesse Wakeman for Donald Cried
Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani for The Big Stick
Ingrid Jungermann for Women Who Kill
Kogonada for Columbus
David Smith and Matt Spicer for Ingrid Goes West

John Cassavetes Award
Dayveon, Amman Abbasi
A Ghost Story, David Lowery
Life and Nothing More, Antonio Mendez Esparza
Most Beautiful Island, Ana Asensio
The Transfiguration, Michael O'Shea

Best Female Lead
Salma Hayek in Beatriz at Dinner
Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Margot Robbie in I, Tonya
Saorise Ronan in Lady Bird
Regina Williams in Life and Nothing More
Shinobu Terajima in Oh Lucy!

Best Supporting Female
Holly Hunter in The Big Sick
Allison Janney in I, Tonya
Laurie Metcalf in Lady Bird
Lois Smith in Marjorie Prime
Taliah Lennice Webster in Good Time

Best Male Lead
Harris Dickinson in Beach Rats
Timothée Chalamet in Call Me by Your Name
Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out
Robert Pattinson in Good Time
James Franco in The Disaster Artist

Best Supporting Male
Nnamdi Asomugha in Crown Heights
Arnie Hammer in Call Me by Your Name
Barry Keoghan in The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Sam Rockwell in Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
Benny Safdie in Good Time

Best Cinematography
Thimios Bakatakis for The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Elisha Christian for Columbus
Hélène Louvart for Beach Rats
Sayombhu Mukdeeprom for Call Me by Your Name
Joshua James Richards for The Rider

Best Editing
Ronald Bronstein and Benny Safdie for Good Time
Walter Fasano for Call Me by Your Name
Alex O'Flinn for The Rider
Gregory Plotkin for Get Out
Tatiana S. Riegel for I, Tonya

Robert Altman Award
Given to one film's director, casting director and ensemble cast
Director: Dee Rees
Casting Directors: Billy Hopkins and Ashley Ingram
Ensemble Cast: Jonathan Banks, Mary J. Blige, Jason Clarke, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Mitchell, Rob Morgan and Carey Mulligan

Truer Than Fiction Award
Presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition
Jeff Unay for The Cage Fighter
Shevaun Mizrahi for Distant Constellation
Jonathan Olshefski for Quest

Someone To Watch Award
Recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition
Amman Abbasi for Dayveon
Justin Chon for Gook
Kevin Phillips for Super Dark Times

Producers Award
Honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources demonstrate creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality, independent films.
Giulia Caruso and Ki Jin Kim
Ben LeClair
Summer Shelton

Bonnie Award
Recognizes a mid-career female director
So Yong Kim
Lynn Shelton
Chloé Zhao

Now Film Independent members have to vote to select winners in each category.  Awards ceremony  will be in the beach in Santa Monica on March 3, 2018 and will be broadcast live on IFC at 2p PT/5 ET. Hosts are Nick Kroll and John Mulaney.

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