2012 independent spirit awards nominations announced

Nominations for the 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards, which recognize excellence across the broad spectrum of independent filmmaking, were announced today. While the list is predictably populated with a lot of year's most buzzed indie films, there are also a couple of unexpected nominations...

For me, the biggest surprise is the inclusion of writer/director Patrick Wang's In the Family, nominated for Best First Feature. I've raved about it at length. It was self-distributed, received relatively little exposure, and so far has only enjoyed a short theatrical run, but it definitely deserves a place alongside some of the year's most impressive debuts like Margin Call, Another Earth and Martha Marcy May Marlene.

A big congratulations goes to producers Karin Chien, Maryam Keshavarz, Melissa Lee for Circumstance, nominated for the John Cassavates Award, which is given to the best feature made for a budget under $500,000.

Sophia Lin, producer of Take Shelter, is nominated for the 15th annual Piaget Producers Award. The unrestricted $25,0000 award honors emerging producers who, "despite highly limited resources demonstrate the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality, independent films."

Writer/director Nicholas Ozeki is nominated for the 18th annual Someone to Watch Award, for his debut feature Mamitas. The $25,000 award recognizes "a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition."

Congratulations to all the nominees. Winners will be announced at the 27th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, February 25, 2012. For more information, and to see the full list of nominees in all categories, go to the Spirit Awards website here.

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