2015 Independent Spirit Awards

Spirit Awards

Every year, Hollywood recognizes the efforts of independent film making through the Independent Spirit Awards.  This year marks the 30 anniversary of the Spirit awards.  Back in 1985, the awards were known as the FINDIE (Friends of Independents) and the awards were presented by Jaime Lee Curtis and Peter Coyote.  The awards presentation was at the now closed 385 North restaurant.

Things have changed quite a bit in 30 years.  While the Spirit Awards maintain the laid back sensibility of those first few ceremonies, the award has become very prestigious and can launch careers.   It has also helped highlight independent film making and bring it into the consciousness of the movie-going public.   For example, four of the five nominated films for Best Feature are also Academy Award Best Picture nominees.

The Independent Spirit Awards, hosted by Kristen Bell and Fred Armisen, will be announced Saturday, February 21 on the IFC Channel.

—Ariadne Ansbro

Boyhood
Boyhood

BEST FEATURE 

BIRDMAN OR (THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE) PRODUCERS: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, Arnon Milchan, James W. Skotchdopole

BOYHOOD 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

SELMA PRODUCERS: Christian Colson, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Oprah Winfrey

WHIPLASH PRODUCERS: Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, David Lancaster, Michael Litvak

Obvious Child
Obvious Child

BEST FIRST FEATURE 

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

NIGHTCRAWLER DIRECTOR: Dan Gilroy PRODUCERS: Jennifer Fox, Tony Gilroy, Jake Gyllenhaal, David Lancaster, Michel Litvak

OBVIOUS CHILD DIRECTOR: Gillian Robespierre PRODUCER: Elisabeth Holm

SHE’S LOST CONTROL DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Anja Marquardt PRODUCERS: Mollye Asher, Kiara C. Jones

Land Ho!
Land Ho!

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD 

(Award given to the best feature made for under $500,000; award given to the writer, director, and producer) * Executive Producers are not awarded.

BLUE RUIN 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

LAND HO! 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

TEST WRITER/DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Chris Mason Johnson PRODUCER: Chris Martin

Ava DuVernay directing Selma
Ava DuVernay directing Selma

BEST DIRECTOR

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

Only Lovers Left Alive
Only Lovers Left Alive

BEST SCREENPLAY

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

Elizabeth Banks in Little Accidents
Elizabeth Banks in Little Accidents

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

Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Renner in The Immigrant
Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Renner in The Immigrant

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

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

Miles Teller in Whiplash
Miles Teller in Whiplash

BEST EDITING

SANDRA ADAIR Boyhood

TOM CROSS Whiplash

JOHN GILROY Nightcrawler

RON PATANE A Most Violent Year

ADAM WINGARD The Guest

Jake Gyllanhaal in Nightcrawler
Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler

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

Rinko Kinkuci in Kumiko, Treasure Hunter
Rinko Kikuchi in Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

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

Alfred Molina in Love is Strange
Alfred Molina in Love is Strange

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

Andrea Paz in Stand Clear of the Closing Doors
Andrea Suarez Paz in Stand Clear of the Closing Doors

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)

Anne Dorval in Mommy
Anne Dorval in Mommy

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM

FORCE MAJEURE (Sweden) DIRECTOR: Ruben Östlund

IDA (Poland) DIRECTOR: Pawel Pawlikowski

LEVIATHAN (Russia) DIRECTOR: Andrey Zvyagintsev

MOMMY (Canada) DIRECTOR: Xavier Dolan

NORTE, THE END OF HISTORY (Philippines) DIRECTOR: Lav Diaz

UNDER THE SKIN (United Kingdom) DIRECTOR: Jonathan Glazer

Virunga
Virunga

BEST DOCUMENTARY 

20,000 DAYS ON EARTH DIRECTORS: Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard PRODUCERS: Dan Bowen, James Wilson

CITIZENFOUR DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Laura Poitras PRODUCERS: Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky

STRAY DOG DIRECTOR: Debra Granik PRODUCER: Anne Rosellini

THE SALT OF THE EARTH DIRECTORS: Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, Wim Wenders PRODUCER: David Rosier

VIRUNGA DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Orlando von Einsiedel PRODUCER: Joanna Natasegara

Inherent Vice
Inherent Vice

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD

(Award given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast)

INHERENT VICE DIRECTOR: Paul Thomas Anderson

CASTING DIRECTOR: Cassandra Kulukundis ENSEMBLE CAST: Josh Brolin, Hong Chau, Martin Donovan, Jena Malone, Joanna Newsom, Joaquin Phoenix, Sasha Pieterse, Eric Roberts, Maya Rudolph, Martin Short, Serena Scott Thomas, Benicio del Toro, Katherine Waterston, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Michael Kenneth Williams

Foxcatcher
Foxcatcher

SPECIAL DISTINCTION AWARD

FOXCATCHER

DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Bennett Miller WRITERS: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman PRODUCER: Anthony Bregman, Megan Ellison, Jon Kilik

CAST: Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum

 

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Rooftop Films 18th Annual Summer Series Kicks off its Opening Weekend

Rooftop Films’ 18th Annual Summer Series begins tonight at Industry City with live music featuring Alsarah And The Nubatones, films, and more live music at the after party. This Is What We Mean By Short Films will highlight some of the most exciting and original short films from around the world. Following the screening, Rooftop Films will get things pumping with their post-screening after party.

On Saturday, May 17, Rooftop Films will present a special sneak preview screening of the international festival favorite and upcoming A24 Films release Obvious Child, a subversive, modern-day romantic comedy from writer/director Gillian Robespierre. Following the film will be a Q & A with filmmaker Gillian Robespierre, and of course an after party with more music and fun. MoviefiedNYC will be on the rooftop checking things out for our summer movie fans



Rooftop Films 2014 Summer Series Feature Films Line-up
(For trailers, tickets, and venue, click on the film’s title)

Afronauts (Friday, May 16, 2014)

Friday, May 16, 2014 
THIS IS WHAT WE MEAN BY SHORT FILMS
An eclectic selection of dynamic short films the U.S and around the world.  


Saturday, May 16, 2014

OBVIOUS CHILD (Gillian Robespierre) Opening Weekend Film

Brooklyn comedian Donna Stern gets dumped, fired, and pregnant just in time for the best/worst Valentine’s Day of her life in this film festival favorite. Courtesy of A24 Films. 


Wednesday, May 24, 2014

COLD IN JULY (Jim Mickle) NY Premiere

Jim Mickle’s Sundance hit is an ostensible thriller-cum-revenge flick, harking back to 80’s b-movies and delicately crafted around a simple premise that turns out to be anything but. Courtesy of IFC Films.



THURSDAY MAY 22, 2014

WE ARE THE BEST(Lukas Moodysson) Special Sneak Preview

Swedish auteur Lukas Moodysson’s (Show Me LoveTogether) raucous and ebullient film about three pre-teen outcasts who form an all-girl punk band. Courtesy of Magnolia Films.


Friday, May 23, 2014
THE INFINITE MAN  (Hugh Sullivan) New York Premiere
A man’s attempts to construct the ultimate romantic weekend backfire when his quest for perfection traps his lover in an infinite loop.


Saturday, May 24
You might know some of these people and places, but you’ve never seen them quite like this. Ours is a city full of eccentric tycoons, chain-smokers, hip-hop aficionados, prophetic panhandlers, terrible roommates and fearless cliff diversand we like it that way. It’s your city. 

Thursday, May 29
Rooftop showcases the poetic, humorous, and sometimes heartbreaking beauty of life lived in the wild as we kick off our screenings atop the country’s largest rooftop farm.

Friday, May 30, 2014
PING PONG SUMMER (Michael Tully) NY Premiere

The year is 1985. Rad Miracle is a shy thirteen-year-old white kid who’s obsessed with two things: ping pong and hip hop. During his family’s annual summer vacation to Ocean City, Maryland, Rad makes a new best friend, experiences his first real crush, becomes the target of rich local bullies, and finds an unexpected mentor in his outcast next-door neighbor. Ping Pong Summer is about that time in your life when you’re treated like an alien by everyone around you, even though you know deep down you’re as funky fresh as it gets. Courtesy of Gravitas Ventures.


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Monday, June 2, 1014
AN HONEST LIAR (Justin Weinstein, Tyler Measom)

By his own admission, James “The Amazing” Randi is a liar, a cheat and a charlatan, but only in the name of entertainment. After leaving home at the age of seventeen to join the carnival, Randi carved out a career as one of the most daring and celebrated magicians of the last century, amazing audiences with his inimitable sleight of hand and impressive feats of escapism. Yet as he grew increasingly disdainful of psychics, gurus and chanellers, he took it upon himself to debunk their supernatural claims, unveiling the simple trickery borrowed from Randi’s cherished art form which enabled them to dupe the masses. 


Friday, June 6, 2014

Saturday, June 7, 2014
These fun and frantic short films—comedy, drama, animation, music videos—tell the twisted tales of terrified souls caught in inescapable situations, trapped inside the machine.

Friday, June 13, 2014
THE SEARCH FOR EMAK BAKIA (Oskar Alegria) NY Premiere
In 1926, the Surrealist artist Man Ray created an experimental film titled Emak Bakia, shot along a forgotten stretch of the Basque coast. Today, a filmmaker retraces Man Ray’s steps by foot, using chance and the wind to guide him in this poetic, indefinable documentary.


Thursday, June 19, 2014
THE LAST SEASON (Sara Dosa) NY Premiere

Sara Dosa’s insightful directorial debut introduces viewers to the world of mushroom hunters in Chemult, Oregon, charting the relationships that are cultivated between men and nature, and attesting to the power of families we create.


Friday, June 20, 2014
GIUSEPPE MAKES A MOVIE  (Adam Rifkin ) NY Premiere
Using his trailer park neighbors and homeless friends, former child-actor Giuseppe Andrews (Independence Day, Detroit Rock City) has made 30 underground feature films for almost no money. This is the stranger-than-fiction story of him making his newest film, “Garbonzo Gas.” Winner of a Rooftop Filmmakers Fund grant. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

LIVING STARS (Mariano Cohn, Gastón Duprat) NY Premiere

Free screening. No script, no plot, just music and gyrating bodies. Living Stars is a sixty-minute dance party and everyone’s invited!

Friday, June 27, 2014

FIVE STAR (Keith Miller)

Free Show. In a blend of fiction and reality, Five Star explores the relationship between two men, Primo, a five star general in the Bloods, and John, a young man trying to decide whether gang life is the path for him. As Primo mentors John in the workings of the gang world, a secret threatens both men’s futures. Winner of a Rooftop Filmmakers Fund grant.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

SKANKS (David McMahon) NY Premiere

A small community theatre in Birmingham, Alabama mounts an original drag musical, “Skanks in a One Horse Town.” The cast of amateur performers bond to form a family of sorts while creating an unconventional show in the religion and football-obsessed south.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014
THE DISOBEDIENT (Mina Djukic) NY Premiere

Running through life with wild abandon, lifelong friends Leni and Lazar set out on an improvised countryside bike trip. Like tiny tornadoes they whirl around rural Serbia resulting in the type of destruction that can only come from true, disastrous love.


Thursday, July 3, 2014

THANKSGIVING (Adam Newport-Berra) World Premiere

Alex & Amy are the perfect Brooklyn couple. They have a cat, a Thanksgiving table of bohemian friends, and a glowing future together. Yet the sudden holiday appearance of Amy’s mysterious brother Will quickly disrupts their idyllic lifestyle and calls into question what we’re truly “thankful” for.

Saturday, July 5, 2014
THE NOTORIOUS MR. BOUT (Tony Gerber, Maxim Pozdorovkin)

Viktor Bout: Ruthless businessman and arms trader; The Merchant of Death; a man desperately hunted by the DEA and UN Arms investigators alike; friend and supporter of genocidal Congolese leader Jean-Pierre Bemba; an elusive figure who could not be photographed; home video enthusiast. As a young entrepreneur in the newly capitalist Soviet Union, Bout saw opportunity in a climate where desperation was high. While his countrymen were fighting in the streets for necessities as simple as food, Bout began importing basic and luxury consumer goods from the other side of the recently-crumbled iron curtain.


Thursday, July 10, 2014
HAPPY CHRISTMAS (Joe Swanberg) Special Sneak Preview

Anna Kendrick stars as a newly single woman who crashes with her brother and wreaks havoc on his household in Joe Swanberg’s delicate comedy, which also features energetic turns by Melanie Lynskey and Lena Dunham. Courtesy of Magnolia Films.


Friday, July 11, 2014

BROKEN HEARTED: TWISTED, ROMANTIC SHORT FILMS

A collection of short films that look at love from a different angle and gaze longingly into the darker corners of lust and love. Films include award the directorial debut of Rose McGowan.

Saturday, June 12, 214
KUMIKO THE TREASURE HUNTER  (David Zellner) Special Sneak Preview

Austin-based filmmakers the Zellner brothers return to Rooftop with a touching absurdist odyssey starring Rinko Kikuchi as a Japanese woman who believes Fargo is a true story and ventures to Minnesota in search of the stolen money hidden during the classic Coen brothers film.


Thursday, July 15, 2014

DUSTY STACKS OF MOM AND DOC SHORTS


Wednesday, July 16, 2014
DEADLY PONIES GANG  (Zoe McIntosh) International Premiere

Clint and Dwayne are two of a kind. The kind that start a pimped-out pony gang (ponies replete with glitter, oversized sunglasses, and bling) on the edges of rural New Zealand. Riding through town the duo deals some drugs, tries to snuggle up to some ladies, and attempts a fundraiser for new teeth while learning the lengths people will go for their mates.


Friday, July 18, 2014

MATEO (Aaron I. Naar) NY Premiere

Part of Rooftop Films SXSW weekend. Matthew Stoneman, a “white guy” from New Hampshire, learned to play authentic and fluent Spanish songs while serving time in an LA prison for robbery. At once his worst enemy and greatest fan, this is the unlikely story of Matthew (Mateo) busking the streets, traveling to Cuba and attempting to record his newest bolero record (romantic Latin tunes).

Saturday, July 19, 2014
10,000 KM (LONG DISTANCE) (Carlos Marques-Marcet) Special Sneak Preview

Part of Rooftop Films SXSW Weekend

Separated by 10,000 kilometers, Alexandra and Sergi must rely on virtual communication to keep the flame of their relationship alive. But with their realities no longer shared and the touch of one another gone, the technology that has supposedly brought the world closer together may just tear them apart.


Thursday, July 25, 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014
No city in the world produces more independent films than New York City, with more films being made each year. This short film program showcases the energetic diversity of work being produced here in the capital of the indie film world, including Luke Meyer’s short documentary Unlocking the Truth.

Saturday, July 26, 2014
THE CASE OF THE THREE SIDED DREAM (Adam Kahan) Special Sneak Preview. Free Screening. Multi-instrumentalist, civil rights activist and worshipper at the church of dreams, Rahsaan Roland Kirk overcame blindness, paralysis and social injustice to fundamentally alter the landscape of jazz.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR (Desiree Akhavan) Special Sneak Preview

Shirin is struggling to become an ideal Persian daughter, politically correct bisexual and hip young Brooklynite but fails miserably in her attempt at all identities. Being without a cliché to hold onto can be a lonely experience.


Friday, August 1, 2014
R100  (Hitoshi Matsumoto) NY Premiere

When a mild-mannered Japanese mattress salesman joins a hidden, mysterious S&M club that specializes in surprising its clients in public and applying sadistic, sexual torture in any place at any time he soon realizes the price for pleasure may be too high. Courtesy of Drafthouse Films.


Saturday, August 2, 2014
A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT (Ana Lily Amirpour) Special Sneak Preview
A mysterious female vampire haunts an Iranian ghost town and falls for one of its alienated locals in this fantastical black-and-white romance. Produced by Elijah Wood, the Sundance-acclaimed title is a daring, original take on the genre.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

FOREST OF THE DANCING SPIRITS (Linda Västrik) NY Premiere

Deep within one of the world’s last untouched rainforests lives the Yaka/ Mbendjele tribe, a group of hunter-gatherers from the Congo Basin, who are about to discover the Western world’s intense lust for “progress.” Beyond just an ethnographic study, award-winning filmmaker Linda Västrik imbues each lush frame with humor, heartbreak and vibrant storytelling.

Thursday, August 14, 2014
THE ONE I LOVE (Charlie McDowell) Special Sneak Preview

A married couple on the brink of separation escapes to a beautiful vacation house for a weekend getaway in an attempt to salvage what’s left of their relationship. That’s about where normalcy ends in this highly original, dizzyingly bizarre directorial debut from acclaimed author Charlie McDowell. Courtesy of Radius-TWC.


A few more with dates yet to be announced

Pulp (Florian Habicht) Special Sneak Preview
One of the greatest bands to come out of the ‘90s is captured in this intimate and imaginative documentary, structured around Pulp’s final concert in their hometown of Sheffield.  Pulp is a music-film like no other–at once a concert film, a nostalgic look back at an iconic band, and a thoughtful and sweetly charming tribute to the hometown fans that fell in love with them. Courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories.

She’s Lost Control (Anja Marquardt ) Special Sneak Preview
Part of Rooftop Films SXSW Weekend. Focusing on the life of a sex surrogate working in Manhattan, Anja Marquardt’s impressively assured directorial debut casts a penetrating gaze on the complexities of professional intimacy.

The Trip To Italy (Michael Winterbottom) Special Sneak Preview

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon reprise their roles as themselves in this follow-up to the acclaimed The Trip in yet another off-the-cuff food adventure. Six meals in six different places on a road trip around Italy. Liguria, Tuscany, Rome, Amalfi and ending in Capri. Courtesy of IFC Films.


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