'12 Years a Slave' leads Independent Spirit nominees

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"12 Years a Slave" led all comers for the Film Independent Spirit Awards with seven nominations, including for director Steve McQueen, actors Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o and writer John Ridley.

The six nominations for "Nebraska" include honors for director Alexander Payne and the three actors -- Bruce Dern, June Squibb and Will Forte -- who play father, mother and son.

"All Is Lost," which counts three Carnegie Mellon University graduates among its producers, scored nominations for best feature, director J.C. Chandor, cinematography and its leading male actor and only actor, Robert Redford.

Shailene Woodley, who spent the late summer and early fall in Pittsburgh filming "The Fault in Our Stars," is nominated for best female lead for "The Spectacular Now," while the late James Gandolfini's sensitive turn as a divorced dad in "Enough Said" was remembered with a supporting actor nod.

Patton Oswalt will host the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards at 10 p.m. March 1. The ceremony, which last year honored "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," will be a daytime luncheon in a tent on the beach at Santa Monica with the show airing later that night.

To qualify as an independent film for awards purposes, nominating committees look for: uniqueness of vision; original, provocative subject matter; economy of means (made for up to $20 million); and percentage of financing from independent sources.

"Mud" is the Robert Altman Award winner, given to director and ensemble cast. Nominees, announced Tuesday, include:

Best Feature: "12 Years a Slave"; "All Is Lost"; "Frances Ha"; "Inside Llewyn Davis"; "Nebraska."

Best Male Lead: Bruce Dern, "Nebraska"; Chiwetel Ejiofor, "12 Years a Slave"; Oscar Isaac, "Inside Llewyn Davis"; Michael B. Jordan, "Fruitvale Station"; Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club"; Robert Redford, "All Is Lost."

Best Female Lead: Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"; Julie Delpy, "Before Midnight"; Gaby Hoffmann, "Crystal Fairy"; Brie Larson, "Short Term 12"; Shailene Woodley, "The Spectacular Now."

Best Supporting Female: Melonie Diaz, "Fruitvale Station"; Sally Hawkins, "Blue Jasmine"; Lupita Nyong'o, "12 Years a Slave"; Yolanda Ross, "Go for Sisters"; June Squibb, "Nebraska."

Best Supporting Male: Michael Fassbender, "12 Years a Slave"; Will Forte, "Nebraska"; James Gandolfini, "Enough Said"; Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club"; Keith Stanfield, "Short Term 12."

Best Director: Shane Carruth, "Upstream Color"; J.C. Chandor, "All Is Lost"; Steve McQueen, "12 Years A Slave"; Jeff Nichols, "Mud"; Alexander Payne, "Nebraska."

Best Screenplay: Woody Allen, "Blue Jasmine"; Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater, "Before Midnight"; Nicole Holofcener, "Enough Said"; Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, "The Spectacular Now"; John Ridley, "12 Years a Slave."

Best First Screenplay: Lake Bell, "In a World"; Joseph Gordon-Levitt, "Don Jon"; Bob Nelson, "Nebraska"; Jill Soloway, "Afternoon Delight"; Mike Starrbury, "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete."

Best Documentary: "20 Feet From Stardom"; "After Tiller"; "Gideon's Army"; "The Act of Killing"; "The Square."

Best Cinematography: Sean Bobbitt, "12 Years A Slave"; Benoit Debie, "Spring Breakers"; Bruno Delbonnel, "Inside Llewyn Davis"; Frank G. DeMarco, "All Is Lost"; Matthias Grunsky, "Computer Chess."

Best Editing: Shane Carruth and David Lowery, "Upstream Color"; Jem Cohen and Marc Vives, "Museum Hours"; Jennifer Lame, "Frances Ha"; Cindy Lee, "Una Noche": Nat Sanders, "Short Term 12."

Best International Film: "A Touch of Sin," China; "Blue Is the Warmest Color," France; "Gloria," Chile; "The Great Beauty," Italy; "The Hunt," Denmark.

Best First Feature: "Blue Caprice"; "Concussion"; "Fruitvale Station"; "Una Noche"; "Wadjda."

John Cassavetes Award (best feature made for under $500,000): "Computer Chess"; "Crystal Fairy"; "Museum Hours"; "Pit Stop"; "This Is Martin Bonner."

Movie editor Barbara Vancheri: bvancheri@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1632. Read her blog: www.post-gazette.com/madaboutmovies.

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