Austin's Indie Spirit

Anish Savjani and Bryan Poyser score noms

Bryan Poyser in March 2010
Bryan Poyser in March 2010 (by John Anderson)

Austin filmmakers Bryan Poyser and Anish Savjani score 2011 Spirit Award nominations.

Bryan Poyser’s Lovers of Hate, an acidic romantic-comedy that premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, was nominated for the John Cassavetes Award, which is earmarked for the best feature made for under $500,000. Poyser was previously nominated for the “Someone to Watch” award for his 2004 feature Dear Pillow).

And prolific producer Anish Savjani was nominated for the Piaget Producer Award for his work on Meek’s Cutoff, the new Kelly Reichardt film. Savjani, who founded the Austin-based production company filmscience, also produced Reichardt’s Wendy & Lucy and Old Joy, among others (see also: Harmony and Me, three Joe Swanberg pictures, and Geoff Marslett’s out of this world animated comedy Mars). SXSW Film 2010 titles got a lot of love this year, too, with nods for world premieres Marwencol, Tiny Furniture, and Thunder Soul.

The 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards will take place on Saturday, Feb. 26 and will be televised that evening on IFC. And the nominees are...

Best Feature (Award given to the Producer)

127 Hours: Danny Boyle, Christian Colson, John Smithson

Black Swan: Scott Franklin, Mike Medavoy, Arnold W. Messer, Brian Oliver

Greenberg: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Scott Rudin

The Kids Are All Right: Gary Gilbert, Philippe Hellmann, Jordan Horowitz, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte,
Celine Rattray, Daniela Taplin Lundberg

Winter’s Bone: Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Anne Rosellini

Best Director
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan

Danny Boyle, 127 Hours

Lisa Cholodenko, The Kids Are All Right

Debra Granik, Winter’s Bone

John Cameron Mitchell, Rabbit Hole

Best First Feature (Award given to the director and producer)

Everything Strange and New, directed by Frazer Bradshaw; Producers: A.D. Liano, Laura Techera Francia

Get Low, directed by Aaron Schneider; Producers: David Gundlach, Dean Zanuck

The Last Exorcism, directed by Daniel Stamm; Producers: Marc Abraham, Tom Bliss, Eric Newman, Eli Roth

Night Catches Us, directed by Tanya Hamilton; Producers: Sean Costello, Jason Orans, Ronald Simons

Tiny Furniture, directed by Lena Dunham; Producers: Kyle Martin, Alicia Van Couvering

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

Daddy Longlegs

The Exploding Girl


Lovers of Hate


Best Screenplay
Stuart Blumberg, Lisa Cholodenko, The Kids Are All Right

Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini, Winter’s Bone

Nicole Holofcener, Please Give

David Lindsay-Abaire, Rabbit Hole

Todd Solondz, Life During Wartime

Best First Screenplay
Diane Bell, Obselidia

Lena Dunham, Tiny Furniture

Nik Fackler, Lovely, Still

Bob Glaudini, Jack Goes Boating

Dana Adam Shapiro, Evan M. Wiener, Monogamy

Best Female Lead
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right

Greta Gerwig, Greenberg

Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole

Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone

Natalie Portman, Black Swan

Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

Best Male Lead
Ronald Bronstein, Daddy Longlegs

Aaron Eckhart, Rabbit Hole

James Franco, 127 Hours

John C. Reilly, Cyrus

Ben Stiller, Greenberg

Best Supporting Female
Ashley Bell, The Last Exorcism

Dale Dickey, Winter’s Bone

Allison Janney, Life During Wartime

Daphne Rubin-Vega, Jack Goes Boating

Naomi Watts, Mother and Child

Best Supporting Male
John Hawkes, Winter’s Bone

Samuel L. Jackson, Mother and Child

Bill Murray, Get Low

John Ortiz, Jack Goes Boating

Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right

Best Cinematography
Adam Kimmel, Never Let Me Go

Matthew Libatique, Black Swan

Jody Lee Lipes, Tiny Furniture

Michael McDonough, Winter’s Bone

Harris Savides, Greenberg

Best Documentary (Award given to the director)

Exit Through The Gift Shop




Thunder Soul

Best Foreign Film (Award given to the director)


Mademoiselle Chambon

Of Gods and Men

The King’s Speech

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Robert Altman Award
(Given to one film’s director, casting director, and its ensemble cast)

Please Give

Director: Nicole Holofcener

Casting Director: Jeanne McCarthy

Ensemble Cast: Ann Guilbert, Rebecca Hall, Catherine Keener, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Lois Smith, Sara Steele

Piaget Producers Award
In-Ah Lee, Au Revoir Taipei

Adele Romanski, The Myth of the American Sleepover

Anish Savjani, Meek’s Cutoff

Someone to Watch Award
Hossein Keshavarz, Dog Sweat

Laurel Nakadate, The Wolf Knife

Mike Ott, Littlerock

Truer Than Fiction Award
Ilisa Barbash, Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Sweetgrass

Jeff Malmberg, Marwencol

Lynn True, Nelson Walker, Summer Pasture

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