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‘Carol’ Leads Nods at Today’s Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica

Actor Matthew McConaughey attends the 2013 Film Independent Spirit Awards at Santa Monica Beach on February 23, 2013 in Santa Monica, California.  (Thinkstock: Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Actor Matthew McConaughey attends the 2013 Film Independent Spirit Awards at Santa Monica Beach on February 23, 2013 in Santa Monica, California. (Thinkstock: Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

“Carol,” the Cate Blanchett romance between a pair of women in 1950s New York, will carry a leading six nominations into today’s presentation of the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards, which honor the best in independent film.

“Beasts of No Nation,” an African war drama, and “Spotlight,” the journalism drama about a team of reporters investigating sexual abuse of children by priests in Boston, each have five nods.

All three films will compete for the top honor of best feature, along with Charlie Kaufman’s animated comic-drama “Anomalisa” and the transgender drama “Tangerine.”

“Carol” co-stars Blanchett and Rooney Mara are both nominated for best actress, along with Oscar front-runner Brie Larson for “Room,” Bel Powley for “The Diary of a Teenage Girl” and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez for “Tangerine.”

Best actor nominees are Christopher Abbott for “James White,” Abraham Attah for “Beasts of No Nation,” Ben Mendelsohn for “Mississippi Grind,” Jason Segal for “The End of the Tour” and Koudous Seihon for “Mediterranea.”

In addition to its nomination for best feature, “Spotlight” will receive the Robert Altman Award, which honors a film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast.

“‘Spotlight’ is a remarkable film that excels on every level, but the nominating committee thought it was especially deserving of the Robert Altman Award,” Film Independent President Josh Welsh said. “The film is beautifully cast with every member of the ensemble working together to tell the story of the Boston Globe investigating allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church.”

“Spotlight” is considered one of the favorites to win best picture at Sunday’s Oscars. The film won best ensemble cast at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and best picture at the Critics Choice Awards.

The Spirit Awards ceremony will be hosted by Kate McKinnon and Kumail Nanjiani.

Here is a complete 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 Schultz

— “Manos Sucias,” Director: Josef Kubota Wladyka; Producers: Elena Greenlee, Mrcia 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 Zacarias

— “Songs My Brothers Taught Me,” Director/Producer: Chloe 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. Executive Producers are not awarded.

— “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 Magary, 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 and Benny 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 Srensen

— “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: Celine Sciamma

— “Mustang” (France, Turkey), Director: Deniz Gamze Erguven

— “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence” (Sweden), Director: Roy Andersson

— “Son of Saul” (Hungary), Director: Laszlo Nemes 19th ANNUAL PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD – The 19th annual Producers Award, sponsored by Piaget, honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality, independent films. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.

— Darren Dean

— Mel Eslyn

— Rebecca Green and Laura D. Smith 22nd ANNUAL KIEHL’S SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The 22nd annual Someone to Watch Award, sponsored by Kiehl’s Since 1851, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Kiehl’s Since 1851.

— “God Bless the Child,” Directors: Robert Machoian & Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck

— “King Jack,” Director: Felix Thompson

— “Songs My Brothers Taught Me,” Director: Chloe Zhao 21st TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The 21st annual Truer Than Fiction Award is 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

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