The nominations for the 26th annual Independent Spirit Awards were announced today in Los Angeles, and several LGBTQ films that screened at SIFF and/or the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival received nominations. “Beginners”, the Mike Mills directed, Ewan McGregor starring film about a son coping with his aged father’s coming out process picked up noms for Best Feature, Director, Screenplay and Supporting Actor, Christopher Plummer; it played at SIFF last May before a national release.
Circumstance, the lesbian romantic drama from Iranian writer/director Maryam Keshavarz was nominated for the John Cassavetes Award for Best Feature Budgeted Under $500,000 and Rashaad Ernesto Green’s “Gun Hill Road”, the story of an ex-con, Latino dad who returns home from prison to cope with his son’s emerging sexuality and gender, picked up a nod for trans actress Harmony Santana as the son, Michael.
Another nominee for the John Cassavetes award, is a film that has not screened in Seattle; Dee Rees’ “Pariah” was a hit at Sundance last year and gets a limited release at the end of December to qualify for 2011 awards. The contemporary drama focuses on a young African American woman as she comes out to friends and family; the young actress who stars, Adepero Oduye was nominated for best female lead performance.
Finally, filmmaker David Weissman picked up a best documentary nod for his moving AIDS film, “We Were Here” focusing on five individuals recollecting their experiences during the AIDS crisis in San Francisco. This film is also shortlisted for the Academy Award Best Documentary Feature category.
Congrats to all these queer films…and, check them out as they either open in Seattle, or get released on home video. The Independent Spirit Awards are presented the Saturday before the Academy Awards, February 25, 2012.