Spirit Award nominations announced

'The Last Station,' 'Precious' lead with five each

"The Last Station," which looks at Russian author Leo Tolstoy's final days, and "Precious," the portrait of a troubled inner-city teenager, led the 2010 Spirit Award nominations, with five each.

Both movies were nominated Tuesday morning for best feature along with "(500) Days of Summer," "Amreeka" and "Sin Nombre."

The Coen brothers' "A Serious Man" was awarded the group's Robert Altman Award, which goes to the film's cast and its casting director. And the indie horror hit "Paranormal Activity" even made an appearance with a nomination as best first feature.

"The Hurt Locker," one of the higher-profile indie films of the year, did not figure in the nominations, since the Spirit Awards nominated it in two categories last year.

Among distributors, Fox Searchlight and Sony Pictures Classics led the parade with seven nominations each.

Presented by the indie film organization Film Independent, the Spirit Awards, celebrating their 25th anniversary, will be handed out March 5 at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles at ceremonies that will be broadcast live by IFC.

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The Spirit Awards set aside best male actor nominations for Jeff Bridges ("Crazy Heart"), Colin Firth ("A Single Man"), Joseph Gordon-Levitt ("Summer"), Souleymane Sy Savane ("Goodbye Solo") and Adam Scott ("The Vicious Kind").

Best female actress nominees are Maria Bello ("Downloading Nancy"), Nisreen Faour ("Amreeka"), Helen Mirren ("Station"), Gwyneth Paltrow ("Two Lovers") and Gabourey Sidibe ("Precious").

The best director nominees are Ethan and Joel Coen ("A Serious Man"), Lee Daniels ("Precious"), Cary Joji Fukunaga ("Sin Nombre"), James Gray ("Two Lovers") and Michael Hoffman ("The Last Station").

Supporting male nominees included Jemaine Clement ("Gentlemen Broncos"), Woody Harrelson ("Messenger"), Christian McKay ("Me and Orson Welles"), Raymond McKinnon ("That Evening Sun") and Christopher Plummer ("Station").

Supporting female nominees are Dina Korzun ("Cold Souls"), Mo'Nique ("Precious"), Samantha Morton ("Messenger"), Natalie Press ("Fifty Dead Men Walking") and Mia Wasikowska ("Evening Sun").

The contenders for best first feature are "A Single Man," "Crazy Heart," "Easier with Practice," "Paranormal Activity" and "The Messenger."

The best screenplay nominees are Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman for "The Messenger," Hoffman for "The Last Station," Lee Toland Krieger for "The Vicious Kind," Greg Mottola for "Adventureland" and Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber for "(500) Days of Summer."

The nominees for first screenplay are Sophie Barthes for "Cold Souls," Scott Cooper for "Crazy Hearts," Cherien Dabis for "Amreeka," Geoffrey Fletcher for "Precious" and Tom Ford and David Scearce for "A Single Man."

In the category of best cinematography, the nominees are Roger Deakins ("A Serious Man"), Adriano Goldman ("Sin Nombre"), Anne Misawa ("Treeless Mountain"), Andrij Parekh ("Cold Souls") and Peter Zeitlinger ("Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans").

Competing for best documentary are "Anvil! The Story of Anvil," "Food, Inc.," "More than a Game," "October Country" and "Which Way Home."

The best foreign film contenders are France's "A Prophet," UK/France's "An Education," Sweden's "Everlasting Moments," South Korea's "Mother" and Chile's "The Maid."

Nominees for the John Cassavetes Award, given to the best feature made for under $500,000, are "Big Fan," "Humpday," "The New Year Parade," "Treeless Mountain" and "Zero Bridge."

The Acura Someone to Watch Award, given to a filmmaker who has not yet received wide recognition, brought attention to nominees Kyle Patrick Alvarez ("Easier with Practice"), Asiel Norton ("Redland") and Tariq Tapa ("Zero Bridge").

Nominated for the Truer Than Fiction Award, presented to an emerging director of non-fiction films, are Natalie Almada ("El General"), Jessica Oreck ("Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo") and Bill Ross and Turner Ross ("45365").

The nominees for the Piaget Producers Award are Karin Chien ("The Exploding Girl," "Santa Mesa"), Larry Fessenden ("I Sell the Dead," "The House of the Devil") and Dia Sokol ("Beeswax," "Nights & Weekends").

A complete list of nominees is on the next page.


BEST FEATURE (award given to the producer)
(500) Days of Summer -- Producers: Mason Novick, Jessica Tuchinsky, Mark Waters, Steven J. Wolfe
Amreeka -- Producers: Paul Barkin, Christina Piovesan
Precious -- Producers: Lee Daniels, Gary Magness, Sarah Siegel-Magness
Sin Nombre -- Producer: Amy Kaufman
The Last Station -- Producers: Bonnie Arnold, Chris Curling, Jens Meuer

Ethan Coen, Joel Coen -- A Serious Man
Lee Daniels -- Precious
Cary Joji Fukunaga -- Sin Nombre
James Gray -- Two Lovers
Michael Hoffman -- The Last Station

Alessandro Camon, Oren Moverman -- The Messenger
Michael Hoffman -- The Last Station
Lee Toland Krieger -- The Vicious Kind
Greg Mottola -- Adventureland
Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber -- (500) Days Of Summer

BEST FIRST FEATURE (award given to the director and producer)
A Single Man -- Director: Tom Ford, Producers: Tom Ford, Andrew Miano, Robert Salerno, Chris Weitz
Crazy Heart -- Director: Scott Cooper, Producers: T Bone Burnett, Judy Cairo, Rob Carliner, Scott Cooper, Robert Duvall
Easier With Practice -- Director: Kyle Patrick Alvarez, Producer: Cookie Carosella
Paranormal Activity -- Director: Oren Peli, Producer: Jason Blum, Oren Peli
The Messenger -- Director: Oren Moverman, Producers: Mark Gordon, Lawrence Inglee, Zach Miller


Sophie Barthes -- Cold Souls
Scott Cooper -- Crazy Heart
Cherien Dabis -- Amreeka
Geoffrey Fletcher -- Precious
Tom Ford, David Scearce -- A Single Man

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD (given to the best feature made for under $500,000; award given to the writer, director, and producer)
Big Fan -- Writer/Director: Robert Siegel Producers: Elan Bogarin, Jean Kouremetis
Humpday -- Writer/Director/Producer: Lynn Shelton
The New Year Parade -- Writer/Director: Tom Quinn Producers: Steve Beal, Tom Quinn
Treeless Mountain -- Writer/Director: So Yong Kim Producers: Bradley Rust Gray, Ben Howe, So Yong Kim, Lars Knudsen, Jay Van Hoy
Zero Bridge -- Writer/Director: Tariq Tapa Producers: Josee Lajoie, Hilal Ahmed Langoo, Tariq Tapa

Maria Bello -- Downloading Nancy
Nisreen Faour -- Amreeka
Helen Mirren -- The Last Station
Gwyneth Paltrow -- Two Lovers
Gabourey Sidibe -- Precious

Jeff Bridges -- Crazy Heart
Colin Firth -- A Single Man
Joseph Gordon-Levitt -- (500) Days Of Summer
Souleymane Sy Savane -- Goodbye Solo
Adam Scott -- The Vicious Kind

Dina Korzun -- Cold Souls
Mo'Nique -- Precious
Samantha Morton -- The Messenger
Natalie Press -- Fifty Dead Men Walking
Mia Wasikowska -- That Evening Sun

Jemaine Clement -- Gentlemen Broncos
Woody Harrelson -- The Messenger
Christian McKay -- Me and Orson Welles
Raymond McKinnon -- That Evening Sun
Christopher Plummer -- The Last Station

Roger Deakins -- A Serious Man
Adriano Goldman -- Sin Nombre
Anne Misawa -- Treeless Mountain
Andrij Parekh -- Cold Souls
Peter Zeitlinger -- Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

BEST DOCUMENTARY (award given to the director)
Anvil! The Story of Anvil -- Director: Sacha Gervasi
Food, Inc. -- Director: Robert Kenner
More Than a Game -- Director: Kristopher Belman
October Country -- Directors: Donal Mosher, Michael Palmieri
Which Way Home -- Director: Rebecca Cammisa

BEST FOREIGN FILM (award given to the director)
A Prophet (France) -- Director: Jacques Audiard
An Education (U.K./France) -- Director: Lone Scherfig
Everlasting Moments (Sweden) -- Director: Jan Troell
Mother (South Korea) -- Director: Bong Joon-Ho
The Maid (Chile) -- Director: Sebastian Silva

ACURA SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD (The 16th annual Acura 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 funded by Acura.)
Kyle Patrick Alvarez -- Easier With Practice
Asiel Norton -- Redland
Tariq Tapa -- Zero Bridge

TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD (The 15th annual Truer Than Fiction Award is presented to an emerging director of nonfiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.)
Natalia Almada -- El General
Jessica Oreck -- Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo
Bill Ross, Turner Ross -- 45365

PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD (The 13th 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.)
Karin Chien -- The Exploding Girl, Santa Mesa
Larry Fessenden -- I Sell the Dead, The House of the Devil
Dia Sokol -- Beeswax, Nights & Weekends

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD (given to one film's director, casting director and ensemble cast)
A Serious Man
Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Casting Directors: Ellen Chenoweth, Rachel Tenner
Ensemble Cast: Richard Kind, Sari Lennick, Jessica McManus, Fred Melamed, Michael Stuhlbarg, Aaron Wolff