Hedwig, L.I.E. leading Spirit Award contenders
Hedwig and the Angry Inch and L.I.E. were among the most-mentioned films when the nominations for the Independent Spirit Awards were announced on Tuesday. Both films were cited in the prestigious best feature category rather than as best first feature, even though each was the debut for its respective director. Hedwig, the transsexual rock musical, also received nominations for best director, best male lead, and best first screenplay for its director-cowriter-star, John Cameron Mitchell, who created the character with composer and lyricist Stephen Trask as part of a stage show over several years in the 1990s.
L.I.E. earned two nods for Michael Cuesta, as the film's director and, in the best first screenplay category, as its cowriter, with Stephen M. Ryder and Gerald Cuesta. L.I.E.'s Brian Cox, who plays Big John, a man who seduces teenage boys and then befriends a troubled youth, was nominated as best male lead, while Paul Franklin Dano, as the youth, was among the nominees for best debut performance, and Billy Kay, who plays Dano's friend, was mentioned as a best supporting male.
Other films of gay and lesbian interest nominated for the Spirit Awards, given by the Independent Film Project/West to honor independent (nonstudio) filmmaking, included Patrik-Ian Polk's Punks, for best feature made for less than $500,000; The Anniversary Party, earning best first feature and best first screenplay nods for collaborators Alan Cumming and Jennifer Jason Leigh and a best supporting male nomination for John C. Reilly; Cheryl Dunye's Stranger Inside, for actresses Yolanda Ross (best debut performance) and Davenia McFadden (best supporting female); David Siegel and Scott McGehee's The Deep End, for Tilda's Swinton's lead performance and best cinematography; David Lynch's Mulholland Drive, for best cinematography; Lukas Moodysson's Together, for best foreign film; and the documentary Trembling Before G-d, earning filmmaker Sandi Simcha DuBowski mention in the "Truer Than Fiction" category, honoring an outstanding fact-based film.
Here is a complete list of 2001 Independent Spirit Award nominees:
Best Feature: Hedwig and the Angry Inch, L. I. E. , Memento, Things Behind The Sun, Waking Life
Best Director: Michael Cuesta, L. I. E.; Cheryl Dunye, Stranger Inside; Richard Linklater, Waking Life; John Cameron Mitchell, Hedwig and the Angry Inch; Christopher Nolan, Memento
Best Screenplay: Milo Addica & Will Rokos, Monster's Ball; Henry Bean, The Believer; Rob Festinger & Todd Field, In The Bedroom; Richard Linklater, Waking Life; Christopher Nolan, Memento
Best First Feature: The Anniversary Party, The Believer, Donnie Darko, Ghost World, In The Bedroom
Best First Screenplay: Daniel Clowes & Terry Zwigoff, Ghost World; Richard Kelly, Donnie Darko; Jennifer Jason Leigh & Alan Cumming, The Anniversary Party; John Cameron Mitchell, Hedwig and the Angry Inch; Stephen M. Ryder, Michael Cuesta & Gerald Cuesta, L.I.E.
John Cassavetes Award (best feature made for under $500,000): Acts of Worship, Jackpot, Kaaterskill Falls, Punks, Virgil Bliss
Best Debut Performance: Paul Franklin Dano, L. I. E.; Ana Reeder, Acts of Worship; Clint Jordan, Virgil Bliss; Yolonda Ross, Stranger Inside; Ensemble, Kaaterskill Falls (Hilary Howard, Anthony Leslie, Mitchell Riggs)
Best Supporting Female: Davenia McFadden, Stranger Inside; Carrie-Anne Moss, Memento; Summer Phoenix, The Believer; Tamara Tunie, The Caveman's Valentine; Uma Thurman, Tape
Best Supporting Male: Steve Buscemi, Ghost World; Don Cheadle, Things Behind The Sun; Billy Kay, L. I. E.; Garrett Morris, Jackpot; John C. Reilly, The Anniversary Party
Best Female Lead: Kim Dickens, Things Behind the Sun; Molly Parker, The Center of the World;Sissy Spacek, In the Bedroom; Tilda Swinton, The Deep End; Kerry Washington, Lift
Best Male Lead: Brian Cox, L. I. E.; Ryan Gosling, The Believer; Jake Gyllenhaal, Donnie Darko; John Cameron Mitchell, Hedwig and the Angry Inch; Tom Wilkinson, In The Bedroom
Best Cinematography: Frank G. DeMarco, Hedwig and the Angry Inch; Peter Deming, Mulholland Drive; W. Mott Hupfel III, The American Astronaut; Giles Nuttgens, The Deep End; Wally Pfister, Memento
Best Foreign Film: Amélie, Amores Perros, Lumumba, Sexy Beast, Together
Best Documentary: Dogtown and Z-Boys, Go Tigers!, Lalee's Kin: The Legacy of Cotton, Promises, Scratch
Someone To Watch Award: Debra Eisenstadt, DeMane Davis & Khari Streeter, Mike Gilio, David Maquiling
DIRECTV/IFC Truer Than Fiction Award: Edet Belzberg for Children Underground, Sandi Simcha DuBowski for Trembling Before G-d, Justine Shapiro for Promises, B.Z. Goldberg for Promises, Carlos Bolado for Promises, Alix Lambert for The Mark of Cain, Monteith McCollum for Hybrid
Motorola Producers Award: René Bastian and Linda Moran, Adrienne Gruben, Jasmine Kosovic, Nadia Leonelli