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2014 Spirit Award nominees full of Oscar hopefuls

The awards season has officially begun. The nominees for the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards were announced and they’re filled with A-list talent.

12 Years a Slave

The Independent Spirit Awards are almost as important as the Oscars. Most of its nominees end up on the Academy’s radar, boosting their chances of winning the coveted statue. This year, Steve McQueen’s historical drama 12 Years a Slave was nominated in several major categories, including Best Feature.

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McQueen himself was nominated for Best Director, while stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong’o all earned acting nods. Ejiofor will go head-to-head with fellow Oscar hopeful Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) for Best Male Lead. Meanwhile, their co-stars Fassbender and Jared Leto (Dallas) will face off in the Supporting Lead category.

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Here’s the full list of nominees:

Best Feature

  • 12 Years a Slave
  • All Is Lost
  • Frances Ha
  • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Nebraska

Best Director

  • Shane Carruth, Upstream Color
  • J.C. Chandor, All is Lost
  • Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
  • Jeff Nichols, Mud
  • Alexander Payne, Nebraska

Best Female Lead

  • Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
  • Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
  • Gaby Hoffmann, Crystal Fairy
  • Brie Larson, Short Term 12
  • Shailene Woodley, The Spectacular Now

Best Male Lead

  • Bruce Dern, Nebraska
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
  • Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Michael B. Jordan, Fruitvale Station
  • Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
  • Robert Redford, All Is Lost

Best Screenplay

  • Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine
  • Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke & Richard Linklater, Before Midnight
  • Nicole Holofcener, Enough Said
  • Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, The Spectacular Now
  • John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave

Best Supporting Female

  • Melonie Diaz, Fruitvale Station
  • Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
  • Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
  • Yolonda Ross, Go For Sisters
  • June Squibb, Nebraska

Best Supporting Male

  • Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
  • Will Forte, Nebraska
  • James Gandolfini, Enough Said
  • Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
  • Keith Stanfield, Short Term 12

Best First Screenplay

  • Lake Bell, In a World…
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Don Jon
  • Bob Nelson, Nebraska
  • Jill Soloway, Afternoon Delight
  • Michael Starrbury, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete

Best Cinematography

  • Sean Bobbitt, 12 Years a Slave
  • Benoit Debie, Spring Breakers
  • Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Frank G. DeMarco, All Is Lost
  • Matthias Grunsky, Computer Chess

Best Editing

  • Shane Carruth and David Lowery, Upstream Color
  • Jem Cohen and Marc Vives, Museum Hours
  • Frank G. DeMarco, All Is Lost
  • Matthias Grunsky, Computer Chess
  • Nat Sanders, Short Term 12

Best Documentary

  • 20 Feet from Stardom
  • After Tiller
  • Gideon’s Army
  • The Act of Killing
  • The Square

Best International Film

  • A Touch of Sin (China)
  • Blue is the Warmest Color (France)
  • Gloria (Chile)
  • The Great Beauty (Italy)
  • The Hunt (Denmark)

Best First Feature

  • Blue Caprice
  • Concussion
  • Fruitvale Station
  • Una Noche
  • Wadjda

John Cassavetes Award (best feature made for under $500,000)

  • Computer Chess
  • Crystal Fairy
  • Museum Hours
  • Pit Stop
  • This is Martin Bonner

17th Annual Piaget Producer’s Award

  • Toby Halbrooks and James M. Johnston, Jacob Jaffke, Andrea Roa, Frederick Thornton

20th Annual Someone To Watch Award

  • My Sister’s Quinceañera, Director: Aaron Douglas Johnston
  • Newlyweeds, Director: Shaka King
  • The Foxy Merkins, Director: Madeline Olnek

19th Annual Stella Artois Truer Than Fiction Award

  • Kalyanee Mam, A River Changes Course
  • Jason Osder, Let the Fire Burn
  • Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez, Manakamana

Robert Altman Award

  • Mud, Director: Jeff Nichols, Casting Director: Francine Maisler, Ensemble Cast: Joe Don Baker, Jacob Lofland, Matthew McConaughey, Ray McKinnon, Sarah Paulson, Michael Shannon, Sam Shepard, Tye Sheridan, Paul Sparks, Bonnie Sturdivant, Reese Witherspoon

What do you think of this year’s nominees?

Photo credit: Fox Searchlight

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