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‘Carol’ and its stars top nominations for Independent Spirit Awards

By Bryan Alexander | Gannett News Service

Stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara were both nominated for best lead actress as their drama “Carol” led all films with six nominations for the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards.

The nominations were announced Tuesday morning in Hollywood.

“Carol” helmer Todd Haynes was nominated for best director for the film about a 1950s lesbian romance. The movie, which opens Christmas Day in Chicago, was also nominated for best feature, best screenplay and best cinematography.

The dramas “Beasts of No Nation” and “Spotlight” followed with five nominations each.

The original Netflix film “Beasts” featured nominations for Cary Joji Fukunaga as best director and best cinematographer, while the film was nominated for best feature. Idris Elba received a best supporting actor nomination, while teen actor Abraham Attah was nominated for best actor as the child soldier in the drama.

“Spotlight,” the drama featuring the Boston Globe investigation into the Catholic Church, was granted the Robert Altman Award honoring a film’s ensemble cast. The movie stars Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams.

Tom McCarthy received a best director nomination while “Spotlight” is also nominated for best feature, best editing and best screenplay.

Chicago actor Michael Shannon, now appearing in “Pilgrim’s Progress” at A Red Orchid Theatre, is a nominee for his work in “99 Homes.”

Winners will be announced at the Spirit Awards, broadcast live on IFC on Feb. 27. The awards ceremony will be held as a daytime luncheon in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica, Calif.

Here’s the full list of nominations:

BEST FEATURE

(Award given to the Producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.)

Anomalisa

Producers: Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman, Dino Stamatopoulos, Rosa Tran

Beasts of No Nation

Producers: Daniel Crown, Idris Elba, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Amy Kaufman, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Riva Marker

Carol

Producers: Elizabeth Karlsen, Christine Vachon, Stephen Woolley

Spotlight

Producers: Blye Pagon Faust, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, Michael Sugar

Tangerine

Producers: Sean Baker, Karrie Cox, Marcus Cox, Darren Dean, Shih-Ching Tsou

BEST FIRST FEATURE

(Award given to the director and producer)

The Diary of a Teenage Girl

Director: Marielle Heller

Producers: Miranda Bailey, Anne Carey, Bert Hamelinck, Madeline Samit

James White

Director: Josh Mond

Producers: Max Born, Antonio Campos, Sean Durkin, Melody Roscher, Eric Schult

Manos Sucias

Director: Josef Kubota Wladyka

Producers: Elena Greenlee, Márcia Nunes

Mediterranea

Director: Jonas Carpignano

Producers: Jason Michael Berman, Chris Columbus, Jon Coplon, Christoph Daniel, Andrew Kortschak, John Lesher, Ryan Lough, Justin Nappi, Alain Peyrollaz, Gwyn Sannia, Marc Schmidheiny, Victor Shapiro, Ryan Zacaria

Songs My Brothers Taught Me

Director/Producer: Chloé Zhao

Producers: Mollye Asher, Nina Yang Bongiovi, Angela C. Lee, Forest Whitaker

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD

(Given to the best feature made for under $500,000.  Award given to the writer, director and producer.)

Advantageous

Writer/Director/Producer: Jennifer Phang

Writer/Producer: Jacqueline Kim

Producers: Robert Chang, Ken Jeong, Moon Molson, Theresa Navarro

Christmas, Again

Writer/Director/Producer: Charles Poekel

Heaven Knows What

Directors: Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie

Writers: Ronald Bronstein, Josh Safdie

Producers: Oscar Boyson, Sebastian Bear McClard

Krisha

Writer/Director/Producer: Trey Edward Shults

Producers: Justin R. Chan, Chase Joliet, Wilson Smith

Out of My Hand

Writer/Director: Takeshi Fukunaga

Writer/Producer: Donari Braxton

Producer: Mike Fox

BEST DIRECTOR

Sean Baker

Tangerine

Cary Joji Fukunaga

Beasts of No Nation

Todd Haynes

Carol

Duke Johnson & Charlie Kaufman

Anomalisa

Tom McCarthy

Spotlight

David Robert Mitchell

It Follows

BEST SCREENPLAY

Charlie Kaufman

 Anomalisa

Donald Margulies

The End of the Tour

Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer

Spotlight

Phyllis Nagy

Carol

S. Craig Zahler

Bone Tomahawk

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY

Jesse Andrews

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Jonas Carpignano

 Mediterranea

Emma Donoghue

Room

Marielle Heller

The Diary of a Teenage Girl

John Magatory (story by Russell Harbaugh and Myna Joseph)

The Mend

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Cary Joji Fukunaga

Beasts of No Nation

Michael Gioulakis

 It Follows

Ed Lachman

 Carol

Reed Morano

Meadowland

Joshua James Richards

Songs My Brothers Taught Me

BEST EDITING        

Ronald Bronstein andBenny Safdie

Heaven Knows What

Tom McArdle

Spotlight

Nathan Nugent

Room

Julio C. Perez IV

It Follows

Kristan Sprague

Manos Sucias

BEST FEMALE LEAD

Cate Blanchett

Carol

Brie Larson

Room

Rooney Mara

Carol

Bel Powley

The Diary of a Teenage Girl

Kitana Kiki Rodriguez

Tangerine

BEST MALE LEAD

Christopher Abbott

 James White

Abraham Attah

Beasts of No Nation

Ben Mendelsohn

Mississippi Grind

 Jason Segel

The End of the Tour

Koudous Seihon

 Mediterranea

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE

Robin Bartlett

H.

Marin Ireland

Glass Chin

Jennifer Jason Leigh

Anomalisa

Cynthia Nixon

James White

Mya Taylor

Tangerine

BEST SUPPORTING MALE

Kevin Corrigan

Results

Paul Dano

Love & Mercy

Idris Elba

Beasts of No Nation

Richard Jenkins

Bone Tomahawk

Michael Shannon

99 Homes

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD

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

Spotlight

Director: Tom McCarthy

Casting Directors: Kerry Barden and Paul Schnee

Ensemble Cast: Billy Crudup, Paul Guilfoyle, Neal Huff, Brian d’Arcy James, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, Jamey Sheridan, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci

BEST DOCUMENTARY

(Award given to the director and producer)

(T)ERROR

Directors/Producers: Lyric R. Cabral & David Felix Sutcliffe

Producer: Christopher St. John

Best of Enemies

Directors/Producers: Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville

Heart of a Dog

Director/Producer: Laurie Anderson

Producer: Dan Janvey

The Look of Silence

Director: Joshua Oppenheimer

Producer: Signe Byrge Sørensen

Meru

Directors/Producers: Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

Producer: Shannon Ethridge

The Russian Woodpecker

Director/Producer: Chad Gracia

Producers: Ram Devineni, Mike Lerner

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM

(Award given to the director)

Embrace of the Serpent

(Colombia) Director: Ciro Guerra

Girlhood

(France) Director: Céline Sciamma

Mustang

(France, Turkey) Director: Deniz Gamze Ergüven

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

(Sweden) Director: Roy Andersson

Son of Saul (Hungary) Director: László Nemes

22nd ANNUAL KIEHL’S SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD

(Recognizing a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.)

God Bless the Child

Directors: Robert Machoian & Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck

King Jack

Director: Felix Thompson

Songs My Brothers Taught Me

Director: Chloé Zhao

21st 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.)

Among the Believers

Directors: Mohammed Ali Naqvi and Hemal Trivedi

Incorruptible

Director: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

A Woman Like Me

Directors: Elizabeth Giamatti and Alex Sichel