The nominations for the 2004 IFP Independent Spirit Awards are in, and with more submissions than ever before in the ceremony's history, it looks like a hot race.
Jeff Kleeman, IFP committee chair, had this to say: "With more submissions and less time then ever before, the Nominating Committee watched and discussed over 190 films in six weeks -- an act of extreme devotion that proved to be tremendously rewarding."
Dawn Hudson, IFP executive producer, added that this year's batch of nominees is particularly diverse, and commended the fact there are more highly talented women writers and directors emerging on the independent film scene, including nominees Shari Springer Berman, Sofia Coppola and Catherine Hardwicke.
Films that have been nominated for IFP Independent Spirit Awards were selected based on their original and provocative subject matter, uniqueness of vision, and financial characteristics, including total budget, individual compensation, and percentage of independent financing.
Last year's ISA winners included the film Far From Heaven (best feature), Julianne Moore (best director and lead actress), and Dennis Quaid (best supporting actor).
The 2004 IFP Independent Spirit Awards ceremony will air live on Feb. 28 at 5 p.m. EST on the Independent Film Channel, and will be broadcast at 10 p.m. EST/PST on Bravo.
The nominees for the 2004 IFP Independent Spirit Awards are (by category):
Lost in Translation
Raising Victor Vargas
Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini - American Splendor
Sofia Coppola - Lost in Translation
Jim Sheridan - In America
Peter Sollett - Raising Victor Vargas
Gus Van Sant - Elephant
American Splendor - Writers: Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini
Lost in Translation - Writer: Sofia Coppola
A Mighty Wind - Writers: Christopher Guest & Eugene Levy and the cast of A Mighty Wind
Pieces of April - Writer: Peter Hedges
Shattered Glass - Writer: Billy Ray
Best First Feature
Bomb the System - Director: Adam Bhala Lough; Producers: Ben Rekhi, Sol Tryon
House of Sand and Fog - Director: Vadim Perelman; Producers: Michael London, Vadim Perelman
Monster - Director: Patty Jenkins; Producers: Mark Damon, Donald Kushner, Clark Peterson, Charlize Theron, Brad Wyman
Quattro Noza - Director: Joey Curtis; Producer: Fredric King
Thirteen - Director: Catherine Hardwicke; Producers: Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Michael London
John Cassavetes Award
Anne B. Real - Director: Lisa France; Writers: Lisa France, Antonio Macia, Producers: Josselyne Herman, Luis Moro, Jeanine Rohn
Better Luck Tomorrow - Director: Justin Lin; Writers: Ernesto M. Foronda, Justin Lin, Fabian Marquez; Producers: Julie Asato, Ernesto M. Foronda, Justin Lin
Pieces of April - Writer/Director: Peter Hedges; Producers: Alexis Alexanian, John S. Lyons, Gary Winick
The Station Agent - Writer/Director: Thomas McCarthy; Producers: Mary Jane Skalski, Robert May, Kathryn Tucker
Virgin - Writer/Director: Deborah Kampmeier; Producer:Sarah Schenck
Best First Screenplay
Blue Car- Writer: Karen Moncrieff
Monster - Writer: Patty Jenkins
Raising Victor Vargas - Writers: Peter Sollett and Eva Vives
The Station Agent - Writer: Thomas McCarthy
Thirteen - Writers: Catherine Hardwicke & Nikki Reed
Best Female Lead
Agnes Bruckner - Blue Car
Zooey Deschanel - All the Real Girls
Samantha Morton - In America
Elisabeth Moss - Virgin
Charlize Theron - Monster
Best Male Lead
Peter Dinklage - The Station Agent
Paul Giamatti - American Splendor
Sir Ben Kingsley - House of Sand and Fog
Bill Murray - Lost in Translation
Lee Pace - Soldier's Girl
Best Supporting Female
Shohreh Aghdashloo - House of Sand and Fog
Sarah Bolger - In America
Patricia Clarkson - Pieces of April
Hope Davis - The Secret Lives of Dentists
Frances McDormand - Laurel Canyon
Best Supporting Male
Judah Friedlander - American Splendor
Troy Garity - Soldier's Girl
Djimon Hounsou - In America
Alessandro Nivola - Laurel Canyon
Peter Sarsgaard - Shattered Glass
Best Debut Performance
Anna Kendrick - Camp
Judy Marte - Raising Victor Vargas
Victor Rasuk - Raising Victor Vargas
Nikki Reed - Thirteen
Janice Richardson - Anne B. Real
Elephant - Harris Savides
In America - Declan Quinn
Northfork - M. David Mullen
Quattro Noza - Derek Cianfrance
Shattered Glass - Mandy Walker
Best Foreign Film
City of God (Brazil)
Lilya 4-Ever (Denmark)
The Magdalene Sisters (England/Ireland)
The Triplets of Belleville (France)
Whale Rider (New Zealand)
The Fog of War
Mayor of the Sunset Strip
OT: our town
Maureen Reagan, the daughter of former President Ronald Reagan and his first wife, actress Jane Wyman, is undergoing radiation treatment for melanoma that has spread to her brain, People magazine reports. Reagan was released in March from a Santa Monica hospital after 3 ½ months of chemotherapy treatment for a malignant tumor in her right pubic bone.
Writer J. Davis Reed, who sued HBO last week for allegedly stealing his idea for the cable network's series Six Feet Under, will drop his lawsuit, Reuters reports. Reed suffered a setback in court Thursday when a New York judge refused to grant a temporary order blocking HBO from airing future episodes of the show, which airs Sundays. Reed had claimed that HBO and the show's creator, Alan Ball, stole the idea for Six Feet Under from a script Reed wrote and submitted to HBO called "For Heaven Sake."
A man convicted of murder escaped from a Los Angeles jail July 6 using an ID badge featuring a photograph of Eddie Murphy, BBC News reports. Hours after being convicted of shooting a man six times in 1999, Kevin Jerome Oullum strolled out of the jail wearing the badge and civilian clothes. Oullum, who was to be sentenced July 19, is still on the run.
Are Charlie Sheen's swinging days over? The Hollywood bad boy's 2.5-acre Los Angeles bachelor pad is on the market for $4.5 million, The Associated Press reports. Sheen, the star of the ABC sitcom Spin City, recently bought another home in Los Angeles which he intends to remodel. No word yet on whether Sheen will throw in his little black book.
Britney Spears does not want to be considered a role model. The 19-year-old pop sensation, whose skimpy outfits and suggestive lyrics constantly land her in hot water with the parents of her teen-age fans, said she wants her new album and HBO concert special "to be shocking and edgier" than anything she's done before, AP reports. Whether Spears' planned duet with Cher during the show, set to air Nov. 18 from Las Vegas, falls into either category remains to be seen. Spears will release her new album Nov. 6.
Fears that the Japanese would not take too kindly to Pearl Harbor proved unfounded this weekend. Director Michael Bay's reenactment of the Japanese 1941 surprise attack of Pearl Harbor earned $7.09 million over a two-day period, marking Buena Vista's biggest ever opening in Japan. The film not only earned more than Armageddon, which marked the first collaboration between Bay, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and star Ben Affleck, but knocked A.I. Artificial Intelligence from the No. 1 box office spot.
Enterprise, the new Star Trek series, will launch Wednesday, Sept. 26, with a two-hour premiere, UPN has announced. The series will air at 8 p.m. Wednesdays during the rest of the season. The fifth Star Trek series, and a prequel to the original 1960s show, stars Scott Bakula.
Critics may have dismissed NBC's summer hits Fear Factor and Spy TV as TV at its worst, but the network will continue to air the reality shows as long as audiences tune in. NBC has ordered 13 more episodes of each series, Variety reports.
Crime does pay for HBO, thanks to The Sopranos. Now the cable network plans to go straight. HBO is developing a new police drama from Homicide's David Simon and ER's David Mill, who last collaborated on HBO's miniseries, The Corner, Variety reports. HBO also said it is in discussions with The Sopranos' David Chase about the future of the hit mob series beyond its fourth season. HBO will rerun every episode from the first three seasons on Sunday nights for 39 weeks beginning Aug. 12. The fourth season of The Sopranos will likely debut next summer.
Never underestimate Julia Roberts' clout.
Daily Variety reports that the actress is showing interest in the action-comedy "The Mexican" and is considering taking the female lead. The pretty woman's possible involvement in the $10 million dollar project is indelibly breathing renewed life into the formerly lackluster project, which saw the joint departure of "Fight Club" helmer David Fincher and megastar Brad Pitt early in its pre-production phrase.
The effect of Robert's decision goes far beyond than just one star billing for the flick. Variety reports that many Hollywood insiders predict that Roberts' move might very well reignite Pitt's interest in recommitting to the male lead.
The flick is about a seasoned criminal who hunts down a legendary cursed pistol in Mexico while being pressured to change his evil ways by his girlfriend.
J.H. Wyman will script the film and "Mouse Hunt" Gore Verbinski director will take the helm.
HOUSTON, WE HAVE A DIVA: Whitney Houston's diva status is about to be forever immortalized on the silver screen.
Trade papers report today that Overbrook Entertainment and Brownhouse Production -- companies owned by Will Smith and Houston, respectively -- have acquired the remake rights to Jean-Jacques Beineix's 1981 French thriller "Diva." Houston is reportedly playing the title role of opera singer.
Houston and Smith seized the rights to "Diva" earlier this week. Ex-Supremes legend Diana Ross, no slouch in the diva department herself, previously had an option on the property, but it lapsed a year and a half ago.
The moody thriller follows a young postal delivery boy whose obsession with an opera diva ends up embroiling him in a web of murder and mystery.
DEUCE'S WILD: Ever wonder what "West Side Story" would be like without the songs and dances?
For those of you who answered: "'Romeo & Juliet,'" stifle it, smarty-pantses. The Hollywood Reporter reports today that MGM has bought the North American rights to the late-1950s street-gang flick "Deuce's Wild," described as a "West Side Story"-esque story -- except without the, yes, songs and dances.
Fairuza Balk ("The Craft") is currently in final negotiations to stake the female lead. Possible male stars include Stephen Dorff and Josh Hartnett ("The Faculty").
Set to be the sophomore directorial effort of Scott Kalvert ("The Basketball Diaries"), the flick is set to roll in front of the camera in mid-April.