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’12 Years A Slave’ Top Nominee For Film Independent Spirit Awards

12-YEARS-A-SLAVE

“12 Years a Slave,” is set to be one of the biggest winners at the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards, which, on Tuesday morning, announced a slate of nominees that will likely be Oscar contenders as well.

The epic slavery drama collected a leading seven nominations, including Best Feature, Best Director, Best Male Lead, Best Supporting Male, and Best Supporting Female. Alexander Payne’s Nebraska trailed very close behind with six nods, and both films are competing for Best Feature, alongside “All Is Lost,” “Frances Ha” and “Inside Llewyn Davis.”

“Fruitvale Station,” this year’s grand jury winner at the Sundance Film Festival, was honored with three nominations, including the category for “first feature,” which also included “Blue Caprice,” “Concussion,” “Una Noche” and “Wadjda.”

According to the New York Daily News, “12 Years A Slave” stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and newcomer Lupita Nyong’o—who have all received critical acclaim for their portrayal of slaves and a slave owner in the dramatic film–appear to be the ones to beat in their respective categories, though perhaps only by small margins.

The newspaper reports: “Ejiofor, 36, arguably faces the tightest race for Best Male Lead, as he’s up against Matthew McConaughey for his role as an HIV-positive rodeo cowboy in ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ and Michael B. Jordan for his impressive turn as Oscar Grant in ‘Fruitvale Station.’ The heavy-hitting category also includes Robert Redford for ‘All Is Lost,” the film that comes up with the third most nominations.”

“Fruitvale Station” actress and Oscar winner, Octavia Spencer, was bypassed in the Supporting Female category in favor of castmate Melonie Diaz.

With “12 Years” and McQueen considered frontrunners in their categories, and “Fruitvale Station” director Ryan Coogler the favorite in the Best First Feature category, both top directing awards could well go to Black filmmakers, which would be a Spirit Awards first.

The other major award for independent film, the New York-based Gotham Awards, nominated “12 Years a Slave,” “Inside Llewyn Davis,” “Before Midnight,” “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” and “Upstream Color” for its top award.

The Film Independent Spirit Awards will be awarded on the afternoon March 1, the day before the Oscars, in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica. Patton Oswalt will host.

Here is a full list of the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards nominations:

Best Feature:
“12 Years a Slave”
“All Is Lost”
“Frances Ha”
“Inside Llewyn Davis”
“Nebraska”

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 & Michael H. Weber, “The Spectacular Now”
John Ridley, “12 Years a Slave”

Best Female Lead:
Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”
Julie Delpy, “Before Midnight”
Gaby Hoffman, “Crystal Fairy”
Brie Larson, “Short Term 12″
Shailene Woodley, “The Spectacular Now”

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 Supporting Female:
Melonie Diaz, “Fruitvale Station”
Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine”
Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”
Yolonda 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 First Feature:
“Blue Caprice”
“Concussion”
“Fruitvale Station”
“Una Noche”
“Wadjda”

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

John Cassavetes Award:
“Computer Chess”
“Crystal Fairy”
“Museum Hours”
“Pit Stop”
“This Is Martin Bonner”

Best Cinematography:
Sean Bobbit, “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 & David Lowery, “Upstream Color”
Jem Cohen & Marc Vives, “Museum Hours”
Jennifer Lame, “Frances Ha”
Cindy Lee, “Una Noche”
Nat Sanders, “Short Term 12”

Best Documentary:
“20 Feet From Stardom”
“After Tiller”
“Gideon’s Army”
“The Act of Killing”
“The Square”

Best International Film:
“A Touch of Sin”
“Blue Is the Warmest Color”
“Gloria”
“The Great Beauty”
“The Hunt”

Robert Altman Award (given to a film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast)
“Mud”

Piaget Producers Award:
Toby Halbrooks & James M. Johnston
Jacob Jaffke
Andrea Roa
Frederick Thornton

Someone to Watch Award:
“My Sister’s Quinceanera,” Aaron Douglas Johnston
“Newlyweeds,” Shake King
“The Foxy Merkins,” Madeline Olnek

Truer Than Fiction Award:
“A River Changes Course,” Kalvanee Mam
“Let the Fire Burn,” Jason Osder
“Manakamana,” Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez

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