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2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards: See the complete list of this year’s nominations

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Eighth Grade Spirit Awards Writers Guild Awards
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Gemma Chan and Molly Shannon announced the nominations for the 2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards in Hollywood on Monday. The annual awards ceremony, which takes place each year the day before the Academy Awards, acts as the primary fundraiser for Film Independent’s year-round programs for emerging filmmakers.

New York-based indie film and TV studio A24 was, unsurprisingly, the distributor with the most nominations, picking up 12 total nods for recent releases like Eighth Grade, First Reformed, Hereditary, Mid90s, and Never Goin’ Back. Amazon Studios trailed behind them with 6 nominations for Suspiria and You Were Never Really Here.

Among the nominees for Best Feature are Eighth Grade, First Reformed, If Beale Street Could Talk, Leave No Trace, and You Were Never Really Here, while the Best First Feature nominees include Hereditary, Sorry to Bother You, The Tale, We the Animals, and Wildlife.

“This year’s nominees reflect the bold originality that is the heart of independent film,” said Film Independent president Josh Welsh. “At a time when huge tent-pole franchises threaten to dominate our film culture, this year’s films and filmmakers offer something completely different—something vital, uncompromising, and needed. The nominees also show that, when it comes to diversity and inclusion, independent film is leading the way for the rest of the industry.”

Winners will be announced at the Spirit Awards, which is broadcast live exclusively on IFC, on Saturday, February 23 in Santa Monica. You can check out the complete list of nominations below.

BEST FEATURE (Award given to the producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.)

Eighth Grade 
Producers: Eli Bush, Scott Rudin, Christopher Storer, Lila Yacoub

First Reformed
Producers: Jack Binder, Greg Clark, Gary Hamilton, Victoria Hill, David Hinojosa, Frank Murray, Deepak Sikka, Christine Vachon

If Beale Street Could Talk
Producers: Dede Gardner, Barry Jenkins, Jeremy Kleiner, Sara Murphy, Adele Romanski

Leave No Trace
Producers: Anne Harrison, Linda Reisman, Anne Rosellini

You Were Never Really Here
Producers: Rosa Attab, Pascal Caucheteux, Rebecca O’Brien, Lynne Ramsay, James Wilson

BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer)

Hereditary
Director: Ari Aster
Producers: Kevin Frakes, Lars Knudsen, Buddy Patrick

Sorry to Bother You
Director: Boots Riley
Producers: Nina Yang Bongiovi, Jonathan Duffy, Charles D. King, George Rush, Forest Whitaker, Kelly Williams

The Tale
Director/Producer: Jennifer Fox
Producers: Sol Bondy, Lawrence Inglee, Mynette Louie, Oren Moverman, Simone Pero, Reka Posta, Laura Rister, Regina K. Scully, Lynda Weinman

We the Animals
Director: Jeremiah Zagar
Producers: Andrew Goldman, Christina D. King, Paul Mezey, Jeremy Yaches

Wildlife
Director/Producer: Paul Dano
Producers: Andrew Duncan, Jake Gyllenhaal, Riva Marker, Oren Moverman, Ann Ruark, Alex Saks

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD – Given to the best feature made for under $500,000 (Award given to the writer, director and producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.)

A Bread Factory
Writer/Director/Producer: Patrick Wang
Producers: Daryl Freimark, Matt Miller

En el Séptimo Día 
Writer/Director/Producer: Jim McKay
Producers: Alex Bach, Lindsey Cordero, Caroline Kaplan, Michael Stipe

Never Goin’ Back 
Writer/Director: Augustine Frizzell
Producers: Liz Cardenas, Toby Halbrooks, James M. Johnston

Sócrates
Writer/Director/Producer: Alex Moratto
Writer: Thayná Mantesso
Producers: Ramin Bahrani, Jefferson Paulino, Tammy Weiss

Thunder Road 
Writer/Director: Jim Cummings
Producers: Natalie Metzger, Zack Parker, Benjamin Weissner

BEST DIRECTOR 

Debra Granik
Leave No Trace

Barry Jenkins 
If Beale Street Could Talk

Tamara Jenkins 
Private Life 

Lynne Ramsay 
You Were Never Really Here

Paul Schrader
First Reformed

BEST SCREENPLAY

Richard Glatzer (Writer/Story By), Rebecca Lenkiewicz & Wash Westmoreland
Colette

Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty
Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Tamara Jenkins 
Private Life 

Boots Riley
Sorry to Bother You

Paul Schrader
First Reformed

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY

Bo Burnham 
Eighth Grade

Christina Choe 
Nancy

Cory Finley
Thoroughbreds

Jennifer Fox
The Tale

Quinn Shephard (Writer/Story By), Laurie Shephard (Story By)
Blame

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Ashley Connor
Madeline’s Madeline

Diego Garcia
Wildlife

Benjamin Loeb
Mandy

Sayombhu Mukdeeprom
Suspiria

Zak Mulligan
We the Animals

BEST EDITING

Joe Bini 
You Were Never Really Here

Keiko DeguchiBrian A. KatesJeremiah Zagar
We the Animals

Luke DunkleyNick FentonChris GillJulian Hart
American Animals 

Anne FabiniAlex HallGary Levy
The Tale 

Nick Houy
Mid90s

BEST FEMALE LEAD

Glenn Close 
The Wife

Toni Collette 
Hereditary

Elsie Fisher
Eighth Grade

Regina Hall
Support the Girls

Helena Howard
Madeline’s Madeline

Carey Mulligan
Wildlife

BEST MALE LEAD

John Cho
Searching

Daveed Diggs
Blindspotting

Ethan Hawke
First Reformed

Christian Malheiros
Sócrates

Joaquin Phoenix
You Were Never Really Here

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE

Kayli Carter
Private Life

Tyne Daly
A Bread Factory 

Regina King
If Beale Street Could Talk

Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie
Leave No Trace

J. Smith-Cameron
Nancy

BEST SUPPORTING MALE

Raúl Castillo
We the Animals

Adam Driver
BLACKkKLANSMAN

Richard E. Grant
Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Josh Hamilton
Eighth Grade

John David Washington
Monsters and Men

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD – Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast

Suspiria
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Casting Directors: Avy Kaufman, Stella Savino
Ensemble Cast: Malgosia Bela, Ingrid Caven, Lutz Ebersdorf, Elena Fouina, Mia Goth, Jessica Harper, Dakota Johnson, Gala Moody, Chloë Grace Moretz, Renée Soutendijk, Tilda Swinton, Sylvie Testud, Angela Winkler

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director and producer)

Hale County This Morning, This Evening 
Director/Producer: RaMell Ross
Producers: Joslyn Barnes, Su Kim

Minding the Gap 
Director/Producer: Bing Liu
Producer: Diane Quon

Of Fathers and Sons
Director: Talal Derki
Producers: Hans Robert Eisenhauer, Ansgar Frerich, Eva Kemme, Tobias N. Siebert

On Her Shoulders
Director: Alexandria Bombach
Producers: Hayley Pappas, Brock Williams

Shirkers
Director/Producer: Sandi Tan
Producers: Jessica Levin, Maya Rudolph

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Director/Producer: Morgan Neville
Producers: Caryn Capotosto, Nicholas Ma

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (Award given to the director)

Burning
South Korea
Director: Lee Chang-Dong

The Favourite
United Kingdom
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Happy as Lazzaro
Italy
Director: Alice Rohrwacher

Roma
Mexico
Director: Alfonso Cuarón

Shoplifters
Japan
Director: Kore-eda Hirokazu

BONNIE AWARD – Bonnie Tiburzi Caputo joined American Airlines in 1973 at age 24, becoming the first female pilot to fly for a major U.S. airline. In her honor, the second Bonnie Award will recognize a mid-career female director with a $50,000 unrestricted grant, sponsored by American Airlines.

Debra Granik

Tamara Jenkins

Karyn Kusama

PRODUCERS AWARD – The 22nd annual 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.

Jonathan Duffy and Kelly Williams

Gabrielle Nadig

Shrihari Sathe

SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The 25th 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.

Alex Moratto
Director of Sócrates

Ioana Uricaru
Director of Lemonade

Jeremiah Zagar
Director of We the Animals

TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The 24th 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.

Alexandria Bombach
Director of On Her Shoulders

Bing Liu
Director of Minding the Gap

RaMell Ross
Director of Hale County This Morning, This Evening

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John David Washington, Alicia Vikander, Vicky Krieps join ‘Born to Be Murdered’ cast

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John David Washington, Alicia Vikander, Vicky Krieps, and Boyd Holbrook are set to lead the ensemble cast of the Luca Guadagnino-produced thriller Born to Be Murdered, which is currently shooting in Greece and is expected to be a hot item at the Cannes market next month.

The project will mark the English-language debut of Ferdinando Cito Filomarino, Guadagnino’s husband and the great-nephew of legendary Italian filmmaker Luchino Visconti, who is directing the film from a script written by Kevin Rice, according to Deadline.

Born to Be Murdered, which Cito Filomarino says will be his “take on the manhunt thriller,” follows a couple vacationing in Greece, played by Washington and Vikander, who suddenly finds themselves falling prey to a violent conspiracy with tragic consequences.

“I have worked for years in creating its specific tone and story with the tireless support of my writer Kevin Rice, and I am honored to have the extraordinary John David Washington join me to portray the restless and conflicted journey of such a special character,” Cito Filomarino said.

He added, “I am thrilled and to be working with the wonderful Alicia Vikander, the beautifully intense Vicky Krieps, the superb Boyd Holbrook. With this incredible cast and with my unique collaborators, Born to Be Murdered will be a fantastic experience that pushes genre to a new place.”

Guadagnino and Marc Morabito will produce the film under their Frenesy Films banner along with Francesco Melzi and Gabriele Moratti, who will serve as co-producers on the project for MeMo Films, which is the film’s leader financier.

“We have been working with Ferdinando for ten years, following and supporting his career since the beginning,” the producers said in a joint statement. “He is an exciting new voice in international cinema, and with Born To Be Murdered, he has the chance to be embraced in a bigger scope and in partnership with such a prestigious cast, composed of some of the best and most interesting performers in the world.”

The film is expected to be released in 2020.

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Netflix, other streamers score huge win as the Academy votes to leave eligibility rules intact

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ Board of Governors voted late Tuesday night to approve several new rules and changes that will affect the upcoming 92nd Academy Awards in 2020, the most notable of which has to do with Rule Two; the Academy’s eligibility law.

The Board of Governors voted to maintain the rule, which states that, in order to be eligible for awards consideration, a film must have a minimum seven-day theatrical run in a Los Angeles County commercial theater, with at least three screenings per day for paid admission.

Additionally, films released in non-theatrical media (e.g. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, etc.) on or after the first day of their Los Angeles County theatrical qualifying run will remain eligible.

“We support the theatrical experience as integral to the art of motion pictures, and this weighed heavily in our discussions,” Academy president John Bailey said. “Our rules currently require theatrical exhibition and also allow for a broad selection of films to be submitted for Oscars consideration.”

He added, “We plan to further study the profound changes occurring in our industry and continue discussions with our members about these issues.”

The vote is a huge win for streaming services like Netflix, which has long had a rather rocky relationship with the Academy, which was reportedly exploring the possibility of implementing new rules that would have significantly limited the Oscar eligibility of films that debut on Netflix and other streaming platforms.

The proposed changes were so alarming that the U.S. Justice Department sent the Academy a letter stating that the new rules could raise antitrust concerns and violate federal competition law.

Among the other notable changes approved by the Board of Governors includes the renaming of the Foreign Language Film category, which will now be known as the International Feature Film category, and the number of nominated films in the Makeup and Hairstyling category, which has been increased from three to five.

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Leonardo DiCaprio is in talks to nab the lead role in Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Nightmare Alley’

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Leonardo DiCaprio
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Leonardo DiCaprio is in talks to star in Nightmare Alley, a remake of the 1947 film of the same name that will be directed by Guillermo del Toro, who picked up two Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director for his fairytale love story The Shape of Water last year, according to Variety.

Sources tell Silver Screen Beat that DiCaprio is in talks to play the lead role of Stanton “Stan” Carlisle, a young and ambitious con man who joins forces with a female psychiatrist for a mentalist act only to realize that she’s even more corrupt than he is.

del Toro, who co-wrote the screenplay for the film along with Kim Morgan, based on the William Lindsay Gresham novel of the same name, is also producing and financing the project with J. Miles Dale of TSG Entertainment. Fox Searchlight will handle worldwide distribution.

DiCaprio was last seen in Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s 2015 film The Revenant, which won him an Oscar for Best Actor. He can be seen next starring opposite Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, due out in theaters in July.

During his hiatus, del Toro still kept busy with the multiple different projects that are currently on his plate, including the big screen adaptation of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, which he co-wrote and produced. That film will hit theaters in August.

Production on Nightmare Alley is scheduled to get underway in the fall.

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