The starting gun has been fired for awards season. Nominations for the Independent Spirit Awards were announced on Tuesday, with Selma among this year's most recognized films. Ava DuVernay's civil rights drama has earned five nods, including Best Picture, Best Director for DuVernay, Best Actor for David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr. and Best Supporting Actress for Carmen Ejogo.
This year's indie breakthrough hit Dear White People nabbed two nominations — Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay for filmmaker Justin Simien — and André Benjamin was recognized in the Best Actor category for his portrayal of Jimi Hendrix in All Is by My Side.
Unlike other awards, the Spirit Awards puts its focus squarely on independent film, with movies costing over $20 million disqualified from nominations. The ceremony will be held in Santa Monica, Calif., on February 21, the day before the Academy Awards. The awards have a historically strong correlation of winners with the Oscars. Last year, 12 Years a Slave, Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett, Jared Leto and Lupita Nyong'o all won in their respective categories at the Independent Spirit Awards before taking home their Academy Awards the following day.
Click here for a full list of nominees.
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(Photo: Atsushi Nishijima/Paramount Pictures)