Film Independent announces nominees for next year's Spirit Awards

MUMBAI: Wes Anderson‘s Moonrise Kingdom and David O. Russell‘s Silver Linings Playbook dominate the field with five nominations each at the 2013 Spirit Awards.

They will compete for best feature award alongside Beasts of the Southern Wild, Bernie and Keep the Lights On.

Moonrise also scored nominations for director Anderson, its screenplay by Anderson and Roman Coppola, supporting actor Bruce Willis and Robert Yeoman‘s cinematography. The Focus Features release that debuted at the Cannes Film Festival was also named best feature at the 22nd Gotham Independent Film Awards.

In addition to Moonrise‘s Anderson, other directors who have been nominated include Playbook‘s David O. Russell, Beasts‘ Benh Zeitlin and Lights‘ Ira Sachs. The fifth directing slot went to The Loneliest Planet‘s helmer Julia Loktev.

Playbook‘s two lead actors - Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence - both earned nominations in the acting categories. The Sessions, the account of a man living with an iron lung who seeks out his first sexual experience, also picked up two acting nominations -- one for lead actor John Hawkes and another for supporting actress Helen Hunt. The mother-daughter movie, Middle of Nowhere, was represented by three acting nominations, with Emayatzy Corinealdi in the best actress category, Lorraine Toussaint in supporting actress and David Oyelowo in supporting actor. Matthew McConaughey was not only nominated as lead actor for playing the title role in the crime movie Killer Joe but also as supporting male for emceeing a club full of male strippers in Magic Mike.

Rounding out the list of lead actors were Bernie‘s Jack Black; Lights‘ Thure Lindhardt and Four‘s Wendell Pierce. The lead actress contingent also included Return‘s Linda Cardellini, Smashed‘s Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Beasts‘ young Quvenzhane Wallis.

On the documentary front, the Spirit nominations singled out David France‘s How to Survive a Plague, which looks at the gay community‘s response to the AIDS crisis, Matthew Akers‘ Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present, a portrait of the Serbian performance artist, The Central Park Five, an account of injustice in New York City from Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon, Kirby Dick‘s The Invisible War, which investigates rape within the military and Peter Nicks‘ The Waiting Room, which examines the health crisis by focusing on one public hospital.

In the best international film category, two of this year‘s most celebrated films from Cannes -- Michael Haneke‘s Amour and Jacques Audiard‘s Rust and Bone -- will compete with Nuri Bilge Ceylan‘s Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, from Turkey; Ursula Meier‘s Sister, from Switzerland; and Kim Nguyen‘s War Witch, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, which also happens to be Canada‘s submission for the foreign-language film Oscar.

Film Independent also announced that it will give its annual Robert Altman Award, which recognizes a film‘s director, casting director and ensemble cast, to Sean Baker‘s Starlet.

Among distributors, Fox Searchlight could boast of the most nominations. It collected nine nominations for Beasts, Sessions, Ruby Sparks and Sound of My Voice. Music Box Films also had surprisingly strong showing with seven noms spread among Lights, Abramovic and Starlet. IFC Films, Focus and Sony Pictures Classics each collected six nominations.

Winners of the Spirit Awards will be announced Feb. 23 at the annual awards luncheon held in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica. The ceremony will be broadcast that evening at 10 p.m. ET/PT on IFC.

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