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2008 Independent Spirit Awards


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2008 Independent Spirit Award Nominations
(winners will appear highlighted in red)


Best Feature
(Award given to the Producer)
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"
Producers: Kathleen Kennedy, Jon Kilik

"I'm Not There"
Producers: Christine Vachon, John Sloss, John Goldwyn, James D. Stern

Producers: Lianne Halfon, John Malkovich, Mason Novick, Russell Smith

"A Mighty Heart"
Producers: Dede Gardner, Andrew Eaton, Brad Pitt

"Paranoid Park"
Producers: Neil Kopp, David Cress

Best First Feature
(Award given to the Director and Producer)
"2 Days in Paris"
Director: Julie Delpy
Producers: Julie Delpy, Christophe Mazodier, Thierry Potok

"Great World of Sound"
Director Craig Zobel
Producers: Melissa Palmer, David Gordon Green, Richard Wright, Craig Zobel

"The Lookout"
Director: Scott Frank
Producers: Roger Birnbaum, Gary Barber, Laurence Mark, Walter Parkes

"Rocket Science"
Director: Jeffrey Blitz
Producers: Effie T. Brown, Sean Welch

Director: Rajnesh Domalpalli
Producer Latha R. Domalapalli

Best Director
Todd Haynes ~ "I'm Not There"
Tamara Jenkins ~ "The Savages"
Jason Reitman ~ "Juno"

Julian Schnabel ~ "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"
Gus Van Sant ~ "Paranoid Park"

Best Male Lead
Pedro Castaneda ~ "August Evening"
Don Cheadle ~ "Talk to Me"

Philip Seymour Hoffman ~ "The Savages"
Tony Leung ~ "Lust, Caution"
Frank Langella ~ "Starting Out in the Evening"

Best Female Lead
Angelina Jolie ~ "A Mighty Heart"
Sienna Miller ~ "Interview"

Ellen Page ~ "Juno"
Parker Posey ~ "Broken English"
Tang Wei ~ "Lust, Caution"

Best Supporting Male
Chiwetel Ejiofor ~ "Talk to Me"
Marcus Carl Franklin ~ "I'm Not There"
Kene Holliday ~ "Great World of Sound"
Irfan Khan ~ "The Namesake"
Steve Zahn ~ "Rescue Dawn"

Best Supporting Female
Cate Blanchett ~ "I'm Not There"
Anna Kendrick ~ "Rocket Science"
Jennifer Jason Leigh ~ "Margot at the Wedding"
Tamara Podemski ~ "Four Sheets to the Wind"
Marisa Tomei ~ "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead"

Best Screenplay
Ronald Harwood ~ "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"
Tamara Jenkins ~ "The Savages"
Fred Parnes & Andrew Wagner ~ "Starting Out in the Evening"
Adrienne Shelly ~ "Waitress"
Mike White ~ "Year of the Dog"

Best First Screenplay
Jeffrey Blitz ~ "Rocket Science"
Zoe Cassavetes ~ "Broken English"

Diablo Cody ~ "Juno"
Kelly Masterson ~ "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead"
John Orloff ~ "A Mighty Heart"

Best Cinematography
Mott Hupful ~ "The Savages"
Janusz Kaminski ~ "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"
Milton Kam ~ "Vanaja"
Mihai Malaimare, Jr. ~ "Youth Without Youth"
Rodrigo Prieto ~ "Lust, Caution"

John Cassavetes Award
(Given to the Best Feature made for under $500,000)
(Award given to the Writer, Director and Producer)
"August Evening"
Writer/Director: Chris Eska
Producers: Connie Hill, Jason Wehling

"Owl and the Sparrow"
Writer/Director: Stephane Gauger
Producers: Nguyen Van Quen, Doan Nhat Nam, Stephane Gauger

"The Pool"
Director: Chris Smith
Producer: Kate Noble
Writers: Chris Smith & Randy Russell

"Quiet City"
Director: Aaron Katz
Producers: Brendan McFadden, Ben Stambler
Writers: Aaron Katz, Erin Fisher, Cris Lankenau

"Shotgun Stories"
Writer/Director: Jeff Nichols
Producers: David Gordon Green, Lisa Muskat, Jeff Nichols

Best Documentary
(Award given to the Director)
"Crazy Love"
Director: Dan Klores

"Lake of Fire"
Director: Tony Kaye

"Manufactured Landscapes"
Director: Jennifer Baichwal

"The Monastery"
Director: Pernille Rose Gronkjaer

"The Prisoner Or: How I Planned To Kill Tony Blair"
Directors: Petra Epperlein & Michael Tucker

Best Foreign Film
(Award given to the Director)
"4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 3 Days"
Director: Cristian Mungiu

"The Band's Visit"
Director: Eran Koirin

"Lady Chatterley"
Director: Pascale Ferran

Director: John Carney

Director: Vincent Paronnaud & Marjane Satrapi

Special Awards

Robert Altman Award
"I'm Not There"
Director: Todd Haynes
Casting Director Laura Rosenthal
Ensemble Cast: Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger,
Ben Whishaw, Marcus Carl Franklin, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Bruce Greenwood,
David Cross, Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams

Acura Someone to Watch Award
Ramin Bahrani
Director, "Chop Shop"

Lee Isaac Chung
Director, "Munyurangabo"

Ronnie Bronstein
Director, "Frownland"

IFC Truer Than Fiction Award
Laura Dunn
Director, "The Unforeseen"

Gary Hustwit
Director, "Helvetica"

John Maringouin
Director, "Running Stumbled"

Piaget Producers Award
Anne Clements
Producer, "Ping Pong Playa" and "Quincea
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'Juno' Wins Indie Spirit Top Honor


Best Female Lead: 'Juno' Actress Ellen Page

SANTA MONICA, California -- The pregnancy comedy "Juno" was chosen as the year's Best Independent Film and won two other honors at the 2008 Independent Spirit Awards, including Best Actress for Ellen Page.

The ceremony was a warmup for Hollywood's big show, Sunday's Academy Awards, where "Juno" and Page are in the running for the same categories. Page gushed thanks for "Juno" Director Jason Reitman and Screenwriter Diablo Cody.

"This is so, so special, but this is pretty much all Diablo Cody's fault," said Page, who played a whipsmart pregnant teen giving the baby up for adoption in "Juno." "She wrote one of the best screenplays I have ever read and created a teenage female lead I feel like we've never seen before."


Best First Screenplay: 'Juno' Screenwriter Diablo Cody

Cody won the award for Best First Screenplay and is up for Original Screenplay at the Oscars. "This is the coolest award in the coolest category. There is nothing like writing a first screenplay," Cody said.

Reitman missed out on the Directing Award, which went to Julian Schnabel for "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," based on the memoir of French Elle Editor Jean-Dominique Bauby, who suffered a paralyzing stroke. The film also won the Cinematography Prize for Janusz Kaminski.

Both Reitman and Schnabel are nominated for Best Director at the Oscars. Most key Spirit Award recipients had Oscar nominations. Philip Seymour Hoffman, who won Best Actor for the sibling drama, "The Savages," is nominated for Supporting Actor at the Oscars for "Charlie Wilson's War."


Best Male Lead: 'The Savages' Actor Philip

Seymour Hoffman

Co-Star Laura Linney missed out on a Spirit Awards nomination but is up for Best Actress at the Oscars for "The Savages." The film's writer-director Tamara Jenkins won the Screenplay Award for "The Savages," which also earned her an Oscar slot.

Moments of the ceremony were a tribute to Heath Ledger, who died of a prescription drug overdose on January 22 at his Manhattan apartment. Ledger was one of six actors playing incarnations of Bob Dylan in director Todd Haynes' "I'm Not There."

Ledger was remembered as "probably one of the most beautiful independent spirits of all" by Cate Blanchett, winner of the Supporting Actress prize for portraying Dylan in his transition from folk icon to electric rocker, a role that also earned her an Oscar nomination.


Best Supporting Female: 'I'm Not There'

Actress Cate Blanchett

"We all loved him so dearly," Haynes said of Ledger, recalling that the actor had started making music videos and intended to go into directing himself. "I have no doubt he would have made an astounding director." Ledger was a Spirit Award Best Actor nominee two years ago for "Brokeback Mountain," the Best Picture winner.

Also nominated for Best Picture at the Spirit Awards, "I'm Not There" received the first-ever Robert Altman Award honoring Haynes, Ledger, Blanchett and co-stars including Christian Bale and Richard Gere, who were among the performers taking on personifications of Dylan.

The Altman Award was created after the filmmaker's death in 2006, the prize going to a filmmaker, casting director and acting ensemble, a nod to Altman's gift for big casts and overlapping story lines. Altman was nominated a year ago as Best Director for his final film, "A Prairie Home Companion."


Robert Altman Award for Best Ensemble Cast: 'I'm Not There' Director Todd Haynes (far right)

picks up the inaugural award for his actors (top row, L-R) Marcus Carl Franklin, Ben Wishaw,

Cate Blanchett; (bottom row, L-R) Richard Gere, Christian Bale and the late Heath Ledger

Chiwetel Ejiofor won Supporting Actor as a radio station manager signing up an ex-con who becomes an outspoken on-air activist amid the 1960s civil-rights movement in "Talk to Me." While most Spirit Award winners are unknown to general audiences, "Juno" followed last year's top winner, "Little Miss Sunshine," as an independent film that has soared into the mainstream.

"Juno" is closing in on $130 million at the domestic box office, the biggest commercial hit among the Best Picture contenders at the Oscars. Spirit Awards host Rainn Wilson, who has a small role in "Juno," wisecracked that the film managed to avoid the fate of obscurity "like every single other movie we're honoring today."

Emcee Rainn Wilson opened the show with a pre-taped film segment with legendary Indie Film Actor/Director Dennis Hopper who sent the young comedic thespian through a rough "Indie" initiation before taking the stage. In another film skit, Wilson entertained the Indie audience with a parody with fellow "Juno" castmate Jason Bateman.


Indie Actor Dennis Hopper (left) escorts Show Emcee 'Juno' Actor

Rainn Wilson (right) onto the stage at the start of the 2008 Film

Independent Spirit Awards

The Irish music romance, "Once," whose stars Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova have a Best Song Oscar nomination, was named Best Foreign Film. "This is amazing to start making little films for a hundred grand with your mates in Dublin and not have any permits," said "Once" writer-director John Carney. "I guess that's independent filmmaking."

Other Spirit Award winners were "Crazy Love" for Best Documentary and "The Lookout," directed by Scott Frank, took home the First Feature prize. The John Cassavetes Award, given to a film made for less than $500,000, went to "August Evening."

Presented by the cinema group, Film Independent, the Spirit Awards honor movies that cost less than $20 million to make, with a significant part of their budget originating from outside the Hollywood studio system. Other criteria for nominations include films' originality and provocative subject matter.

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