Oscar hopefuls “Birdman” and “Boyhood” will be squaring off at the Film Independent Spirit Awards the day before the Academy Awards, with both films landing in the Best Feature category in nominations.
Other films that will be competing for the top prize are “Selma,” “Love Is Strange” and “Whiplash,” Rosario Dawson and Diego Luna announced on Tuesday morning at the W Hotel in Hollywood.
“Birdman” led all films with six nominations, followed by “Boyhood,” “Nightcrawler” and “Selma” with five and “Whiplash” and “Love is Strange” with four.
The nominations were inadvertently posted online before the announcement began, and then quickly pulled down.
As usual for the Spirit Awards in recent years, they featured a large number of Oscar contenders along with a few more idiosyncratic choices.
“Birdman,” “Boyhood,” “Selma” and “Whiplash” are all strong Oscar contenders, as are actor nominees Michael Keaton (“Birdman”) and David Oyelowo (“Selma”), actress nominee Julianne Moore (“Still Alice”) and supporting nominees J.K. Simmons (“Whiplash”), Edward Norton and Emma Stone (“Birdman”), Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood”) and Jessica Chastain (“A Most Violent Year”).
Other acting nominations went to Alfred Molina and John Lithgow for “Love Is Strange,” Marion Cotillard for “The Immigrant,” Andre Benjamin for “Jimi: All Is By My Side,” Jake Gyllenhaal for “Nightcrawler,” Jenny Slate for “Obvious Child” and Andrea Suarez Paz for “Stand Clear of the Closing Doors.”
At last year’s Spirit Awards, for the first time ever all four acting winners went on to repeat at the Oscars — a feat that could conceivably happen again this year, with Keaton, Moore, Simmons and Arquette all considered frontrunners in their categories.
Two films landed special awards. Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice,” which wasn’t eligible for other awards because of its budget, was named recipient of the Robert Altman Award, which goes to a film’s director, cast and casting director, while Bennett Miller’s “Foxcatcher” was given a Special Distinction Award for its director, producers, writers and cast.
The awards gave a boost to Dan Gilroy’s dark and tough “Nightcrawler” and to Ira Sachs’ “Love Is Strange,” among others.
Spirit Award nominations are made by small committees, a process that often results in lesser-known films edging out more prominent contenders. This year’s biggest shockers included the Best Director nomination for David Zellner for the small-budgeted indie “Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter,” which also landed a Lead Female nomination for Rinko Kikuchi.
While the rules for eligibility are known to be flexible, the rule of thumb is that they must be made for less than $20 million, must be American-made and must be released by an independent company rather than a major studio.
The budget requirement eliminated “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” from Spirit Awards favorite Wes Anderson, but “Selma” qualified despite the fact that it is being released by Paramount Pictures.
The nominations for Best International Film included one English-language movie, Jonathan Glazer’s “Under the Skin,” along with five Oscar foreign-language entries: Poland’s “Ida,” Sweden’s “Force Majeure,” Russia’s “Leviathan,” Canada’s “Mommy” and the Philippines’ four-hour “Norte, the End of History.”
The other major award for independent film, the New York-based Gotham Independent Film Awards, nominated “Boyhood,” “Birdman,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Love Is Strange” and “Under the Skin” for its top award last month.
Last year, only two of the five Spirit nominees for Best Feature went on to receive Oscar nominations for Best Picture — but one of those two, “12 Years a Slave,” was the big winner at both ceremonies, becoming only the third film to score those back-to-back victories.
In fact, the same film or person won in seven of the 11 categories that are handed out at both the Spirit Awards and the Oscars — including, for the first time ever, all four acting winners. (They were Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto for “Dallas Buyers Club,” Cate Blanchett for “Blue Jasmine” and Lupita Nyong’o for “12 Years a Slave.”)
In three of the four categories where the voters disagreed, the Oscar winner was the big-budget film “Gravity,” which wasn’t eligible for the Spirit Awards — and in the fourth, the French film “Blue Is the Warmest Color,” which wasn’t submitted to the Oscars, beat Oscar winner “The Great Beauty” for Best International Feature.
The winners have overlapped three times, but two of those have taken place in the last three years, with “Slave” last year and “The Artist” in 2011. (The other was “Platoon” in 1986.)
2015 FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARD NOMINATIONS
(Award given to the Producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.)
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Producers: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, Arnon Milchan, James W. Skotchdopole
Producers: Richard Linklater, Jonathan Sehring, John Sloss, Cathleen Sutherland
Love is Strange
Producers: Lucas Joaquin, Lars Knudsen, Ira Sachs, Jayne Baron Sherman, Jay Van Hoy
Producers: Christian Colson, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Oprah Winfrey
Producers: Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, David Lancaster, Michael Litvak
Damien Chazelle Whiplash
Ava DuVernay Selma
Alejandro G. Iñárritu Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Richard Linklater Boyhood
David Zellner Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter
Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski Big Eyes
J.C. Chandor A Most Violent Year
Dan Gilroy Nightcrawler
Jim Jarmusch Only Lovers Left Alive
Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias Love is Strange
BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer)
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
Producers: Justin Begnaud, Sina Sayyah
Dear White People
Director/Producer: Justin Simien
Producers: Effie T. Brown, Ann Le, Julia Lebedev, Angel Lopez, Lena Waithe
Director: Dan Gilroy
Producers: Jennifer Fox, Tony Gilroy, Jake Gyllenhaal, David Lancaster, Michel Litvak
Director: Gillian Robespierre
Producer: Elisabeth Holm
She’s Lost Control
Director/Producer: Anja Marquardt
Producers: Mollye Asher, Kiara C. Jones
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Desiree Akhavan Appropriate Behavior
Sara Colangelo Little Accidents
Justin Lader The One I Love
Anja Marquardt She’s Lost Control
Justin Simien Dear White People
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.
Writer/Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Producers: Richard Peete, Vincent Savino, Anish Savjani
It Felt Like Love
Writer/Director/Producer: Eliza Hittman
Producers: Shrihari Sathe, Laura Wagner
Writers/Directors: Aaron Katz & Martha Stephens
Producers: Christina Jennings, Mynette Louie, Sara Murphy
Man From Reno
Writer/Director: Dave Boyle
Writers: Joel Clark, Michael Lerman
Producer: Ko Mori
Writer/Director/Producer: Chris Mason Johnson
Producer: Chris Martin
BEST FEMALE LEAD
Marion Cotillard The Immigrant
Rinko Kikuchi Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter
Julianne Moore Still Alice
Jenny Slate Obvious Child
Tilda Swinton Only Lovers Left Alive
BEST MALE LEAD
André Benjamin Jimi: All Is By My Side
Jake Gyllenhaal Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
John Lithgow Love is Strange
David Oyelowo Selma
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Patricia Arquette Boyhood
Jessica Chastain A Most Violent Year
Carmen Ejogo Selma
Andrea Suarez Paz Stand Clear of the Closing Doors
Emma Stone Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Riz Ahmed Nightcrawler
Ethan Hawke Boyhood
Alfred Molina Love is Strange
Edward Norton Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
J.K. Simmons Whiplash
Darius Khondji The Immigrant
Emmanuel Lubezki Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Sean Porter It Felt Like Love
Lyle Vincent A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Bradford Young Selma
Sandra Adair Boyhood
Tom Cross Whiplash
John Gilroy Nightcrawler
Ron Patane A Most Violent Year
Adam Wingard The Guest
BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director and producer)
20,000 Days on Earth
Directors: Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard
Producers: Dan Bowen, James Wilson
Director/Producer: Laura Poitras
Producers: Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky
Director: Debra Granik
Producer: Anne Rosellini
The Salt of the Earth
Directors: Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and Wim Wenders
Producer: David Rosier
Director/Producer: Orlando von Einsiedel
Producer: Joanna Natasegara
BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (Award given to the director)
Director: Ruben Ã-stlund
Director: Pawel Pawlikowski
Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Director: Xavier Dolan
Norte, the End of History
Director: Lav Diaz
Under the Skin
Director: Jonathan Glazer
ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD – (Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast)
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Casting Director: Cassandra Kulukundis
Ensemble Cast: Josh Brolin, Martin Donovan, Jena Malone, Joanna Newsom, Joaquin Phoenix, Eric Roberts, Maya Rudolph, Martin Short Serena Scott Thomas, Benicio Del Toro, Katherine Waterston, Michael Kenneth Williams, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon
SPECIAL DISTINCTION AWARD
Director/Producer: Bennett Miller
Producers: Anthony Bregman, Megan Ellison, Jon Kilik
Writers: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman
Actors: Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum
18th ANNUAL PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD – The 18th annual Producers Award, sponsored by Piaget, 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.
21st ANNUAL KIEHL’S SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The 21st annual Someone to Watch Award, sponsored by Kiehl’s Since 1851, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Kiehl’s Since 1851.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
Directors: Rania Attieh & Daniel Garcia
Director: Chris Eska
20th ANNUAL LENSCRAFTERS TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The 20th annual Truer Than Fiction Award, sponsored by LensCrafters 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 funded by LensCrafters.
Approaching the Elephant
Director: Amanda Rose Wilder
Evolution of a Criminal
Director: Darius Clark Monroe
The Kill Team
Director: Dan Krauss
The Last Season Director: Sara Dosa