Leading the race for awards celebrating a U.S.-born or -based indie filmmaker's unique vision is Debra Granik's drama "Winter's Bone," about a young woman trying to find her missing father in a threatening Missouri backcountry. It received nominations for Best Feature, Best Ensemble Performance, and Breakthrough Actor (Jennifer Lawrence).
Also nominated for Best Feature:
Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan," starring Natalie Portman;
Derek Cianfrance's "Blue Valentine" (currently embroiled in a controversy over receiving an NC-17 rating from the MPAA);
Lisa Cholodenko's "The Kids Are All Right," starring Annette Bening and Julianne Moore as lesbian parents; and
"Let Me In," Matt Reeves' remake of the Swedish vampire thriller "Let the Right One In."
Nominations for Best Ensemble Performance were given the casts of:
"The Kids Are All Right" (Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson);
"Life During Wartime" (Shirley Henderson, Ciarán Hinds, Allison Janney, Michael Lerner, Chris Marquette, Rich Pecci, Charlotte Rampling, Paul Reubens, Ally Sheedy, Dylan Riley Snyder, Renée Taylor and Michael Kenneth Williams);
"Please Give" (Catherine Keener, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall, Ann Guilbert, Lois Smith, Sarah Steele and Thomas Ian Nicholas);
"Tiny Furniture" (Lena Dunham, Laurie Simmons, Grace Dunham, Rachel Howe, Merritt Wever, Amy Seimetz, Alex Karpovsky, David Call, Jemima Kirke, Sarah Sophie Flicker, Garland Hunter and Isen Hunter); and
"Winter's Bone" (Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Dale Dickey, Lauren Sweetser, Garret Dillahunt and Kevin Breznahan).
Nominees in the category of Breakthrough Director (for their first fiction feature) are:
John Wells, "The Company Men";
Kevin Asch, "Holy Rollers";
Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, "I Love You Phillip Morris";
Tanya Hamilton, "Night Catches Us"; and
Lena Dunham, "Tiny Furniture."
Breakthrough Actor nominees, for outstanding debut or "breakthrough" performance, are:
Prince Adu, "Prince of Broadway";
Ronald Bronstein, "Daddy Longlegs";
Greta Gerwig, "Greenberg";
Jennifer Lawrence, "Winter's Bone"; and
John Ortiz, "Jack Goes Boating."
Best Documentary Nominees are:
"12th & Delaware" by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (HBO);
"Inside Job" by Charles Ferguson (Sony Pictures Classics);
"The Oath" by Laura Poitras (Zeitgeist Films and American Documentary/POV);
"Public Speaking" by Martin Scorsese (HBO); and
"Sweetgrass" by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Ilisa Barbash (Cinema Guild).
To be eligible, films must be scheduled for a theatrical or digital platform or Pay TV release during calendar year 2010.
An exception is the category Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You, for features which have received acclaimed on the festival circuit but still have not obtained distribution. This year's nominees are:
"Kati with an i" - Robert Greene, director; Douglas Tirola, Susan Bedusa, producers
"Littlerock" - Mike Ott, director; Frederick Thornton, Laura Ragsdale, Sierra Leoni, producers
"On Coal River" - Francine Cavanaugh and Adams Wood, directors; Jillian Elizabeth, Adams Wood, Francine Cavanaugh, producers
"Summer Pasture" - Lynn True and Nelson Walker, directors/producers; Tsering Perlo, co-director/co-producer
"The Wolf Knife" - Laurel Nakadate, director/producer
The awards will be presented Nov. 29 at Cipriani Wall Steet in New York City.