Tomorrow afternoon, under a giant tent set up adjacent to the Santa Monica beach boardwalk in Southern Cali, the 23rd Annual Independent Spirit Awards will take place. It's a really fun event--the folks at FIND know how to throw a good party--with plenty of shiny celebs on hand, an irreverent host (Rainn Wilson, pictured--I can't say I'll miss Sara Silverman too much), and tons of press to celebrate the best in independent film. Broadcast live on the IFC Channel at 2:00 p.m. PST / 5:00 EST, the show will be shown again on AMC later in the evening.
Here are the finalists for the IFC Truer Than Fiction award: Laura Dunn, director of The Unforeseen, Gary Hustvit, director of Helvetica and John Maringouin, director of Running Stumbled. The nominating panelists were committee chair, John Vanco, Dennis Lim, Cara Mertes, Laura Poitras and AJ Schnack. The 12th annual Truer Than Fiction Award is presented to an emerging director of nonfiction features who has not yet received significant attention.
The nominees for Best Documentary are: Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker's The Prisoner Or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair, Pernille Rose Gronkjaer's The Monastery--Mr. Vig and the Nun, Jennifer Baichwal's Manufactured Landscapes, Tony Kaye's Lake of Fire and Dan Klores' Crazy Love. The members of this nominating committee were committee chair, Greg Laemmle, Amy Berg, Jeff Feuerzeig, Margarita Martinez, Eugene Hernandez, Thom Powers and Ella Taylor. This award will be given to the director.
You can see the rest of the Spirit Award nominees here.
Based on a criteria of "uniqueness of vision, original, provocative subject matter, economy of means and percentage of financing from independent sources," the majority of categories are open to American independent features only, meaning that the filmmakers need to be US citizens--the films themselves can be shot in other countries and can be in other languages besides English.
Anyone can become a member of Film Independent, said membership entitling any member of the organization to voting privileges for the Spirits. Dawn Hudson, executive director of FIND, says that, ". . . the organization was founded on the principle of inclusion; you don't have to have credits to get into the organization and you don't have to be sponsored to get in. The definition of independent means that you may not have worked within the system or within any system, so you don't need that to validate you for membership."
This member will be blogging throughout the ceremony tomorrow from the party at the W Hotel's Whiskey Blue, where the show will be simulcasting from the big white tent by the beach.