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24 Sundance-Supported Films Nominated for Spirit Awards

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Upstream Color

Nate von Zumwalt, Editorial Manager

Film Independent announced the nominations for its 29th Annual Independent Spirit Awards this morning with actresses Octavia Spencer and Paula Patton presenting the honors. A total of 24 films supported by Sundance Institute or the Sundance Film Festival received recognition, led by three noms for Grand Jury Prize winner Fruitvale Station and a pair for Upstream Color, helmed by Shane Carruth, who garnered a Best Director nomination.

Winners will be announced at the Spirit Awards on Saturday, March 1, 2014. The awards ceremony will be held as a daytime luncheon in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica, with the premiere broadcast airing later that evening at 10:00 pm ET/PT exclusively on IFC. 

Best Director 

Shane Carruth, Upstream Color

Best Screenplay 

Before Midnight, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater 
The Spectacular Now, Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber

Best First Feature 

Blue Caprice, directed by Alexandre Moors
Concussion, directed by Stacie Passon
Fruitvale Station, directed by Ryan Coogler
Wadjda, directed by Haifaa Al Mansour

Best First Screenplay 

In A World, Lake Bell
Don Jon, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Afternoon Delight, Jill Soloway
The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete, Michael Starrbury

John Cassavetes Award
Given to the best feature made for under $500,000.  

Computer Chess, directed by Andrew Bujalski
Crystal Fairy, directed by Sebastian Silva
Pit Stop, directed by Yen Tan
This is Martin Bonner, directed by Chad Hartigan

Best Female Lead 

Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
Gaby Hoffmann, Crystal Fairy
Shailene Woodley, The Spectacular Now 

Best Male Lead

Michael B. Jordan, Fruitvale Station
Robert Redford, All Is Lost

Best Supporting Female

Melonie Diaz, Fruitvale Station

Best Cinematography

Computer Chess, Matthias Grunsky

Best Editing

Upstream Color, Shane Carruth and David Lowery

Best Documentary 

20 Feet From Stardom, directed by Morgan Neville
After Tiller, directed by Martha Shane and Lana Wilson 
Gideon’s Army, directed by Dawn Porter
The Square, directed by Jehane Joujaim 

Robert Altman Award 
Awarded to the film’s director, casting director, and ensemble cast.

Mud, directed by Jeff Nichols

20th Annual Someone to Watch Award

Shaka King, Newlyweeds
Madeline Olnek, The Foxy Merkins

19th Annual Stella Artois Truer Than Fiction Award 
Presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.

Kalyanee Mam, A River Changes Course

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Sundance Institute Piloting Direct Individual Support for Mediamakers Through the Sundance Institute | Humanities Sustainability Fellowship

Long before the COVID-19 pandemic upended life in general, and halted production and distribution for many creatives, the nonfiction field was plagued by issues of sustainability. For several years, sustainability has been an urgent and vigorous topic of study, debate, and organizing, as more and more filmmakers find it difficult, if not impossible, to make a living solely on the basis of their creative work. 

In Memoriam: Diane Weyermann (1955–2021)

A singular force within the documentary film world with a global reach, Diane Weyermann passed away at age 66 after battling cancer. Over the course of her 30-year career as a funder and an executive, her work elevated the documentary form and expanded its cultural impact.

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