up the yangtze nominated for independent spirit awards

Nominations for the Independent Spirit Awards were announced yesterday, and I was pleased do see that Yung Chang's brilliant documentary Up the Yangtze is among the films up for Best Documentary. I've raved about it a lot in the last year, so this is pretty cool.

The film is a beautiful, intelligent examination of China's Three Gorges Dam project. I know, it sounds boring, but it's amazing. It was recently released on DVD, so check it out. And read my interview with director Yung Chang from earlier this year here.

Also nominated for Best Documentary is Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phrasavath's The Betrayal, which was recently released theatrically in New York. I haven't seen it, but it's also on the Academy Awards' documentary short list, so it's probably worth taking a look.

I just noticed that Sean Baker and Shih-Ching Tsou's Take Out is nominated for the John Cassavetes Award, given to the best feature made for under $500,000. If you've seen the film, which I've written about a few times this year, you know that Take Out is indeed a low-budget movie. But a pretty good one. Anyway, read about the full list of Spirit Award nominees here: here. The Independent Spirit Awards will take place on February 21.

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