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'Sunshine' and 'Nelson' Head Spirit Awards Nominations

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Nov 29, 2006 | 6:04am EST

Quirky road movie Little Miss Sunshine and classroom drama Half Nelson will lead all contenders at the Spirit Awards in February after picking up five nominations apiece yesterday.

The two films will compete with American Gun, The Dead Girl and Mexican movie Pan's Labyrinth for the Best Film prize, while Little Miss Sunshine's Alan Arkin and Paul Dano are both nominated for Best Supporting Actor honors.

Ryan Gosling will compete for the Best Actor prize for his portrayal of a teacher with a drug problem in Half Nelson.

Gosling's costar Shareeka Epps is also nominated for Best Supporting Actress.

Maverick filmmaker Robert Altman, who died last week, earned a Best Director nomination for his final film, A Prairie Home Companion, while new 007 Daniel Craig is also among the Spirit Supporting Actor nominees for his portrayal of a murderer in drama Infamous.

The awards, formerly known as the Independent Spirit Awards, will be handed out in Santa Monica, California, on Feb. 24.

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