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Spirit Awards Returns to Santa Monica: Film Independent Brings Stars to the Beach this Weekend

In what was a less than popular change of venue last year to a downtown Los Angeles location at L.A. Live, Film Independent’s 2011 Spirit Awards ceremony is once again returning to Santa Monica on Feb. 26 and will be setting up its familiar tents on the beach. Reverting back to its traditional afternoon awards luncheon format, the event is a fun, relaxed gathering of the film community to honor filmmakers who make their movies independent of studio financing, bringing their artistic vision to fruition, many times with great difficulty.

Now in its 26th year, this highly informal jeans-and-tees event was founded in 1984 and was originally called FINDIE Awards (“Friends of Independents”). It has steadily grown in popularity and is usually a barometer of the Academy Awards that are held the next day.

Film Independent Executive Director Dawn Hudson put together a producing team including Audrey Morrissey of Live Animals as the new executive producer, joining Barry Adelman of Dick Clark Productions, who is returning for a second year as producer. She was quoted as saying, “I look forward to celebrating the afternoon with the nominees and our filmmaking community with a fun show that recognizes the bold work of these independent filmmakers.”

Red carpet arrivals begin at 11:30 a.m., with the ceremony scheduled to start at 2 p.m. The awards ceremony will air on IFC at 10 p.m. that evening. Fans who want to get a glimpse of some of their favorite movie stars are welcome, cameras in hand, as viewing barriers will be set up.

2011 NOMINEES(A Partial List)

BEST FEATURE

127 Hours

Black Swan

Greenberg

The Kids Are All Right

Winter’s Bone

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 SCREENPLAY

Stuart Blumberg & Lisa Cholodenko – The Kids Are All Right

Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini – 
Winter’s Bone

Nicole Holofcener – Please Give

David Lindsay-Abaire – Rabbit Hole

Todd Solondz – Life During Wartime

BEST FIRST FEATURE

Everything Strange and New

Get Low

Night Catches Us

The Last Exorcism

Tiny Furniture

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY

Diane Bell – Obselidia

Lena Dunham – Tiny Furniture

Nik Fackler – Lovely, Still

Bob Glaudini – Jack Goes Boating

Dana Adams, Adam Shapiro and 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 FOREIGN FILM

Kisses (Ireland)

Mademoiselle Chambon (France)

Of Gods and Men (France)

The King’s Speech (United Kingdom)

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Thailand)

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