12 Years a Slave, Twelve Years a Slave

Fox Searchlight

Is Brad Pitt this year's George Clooney and Ben Affleck rolled into one?

12 Years a Slave, which counts Pitt as a producer, leads all nominees for the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards, the shabby-chic, beach-side fest traditionally held the day before the Oscars.

And while 2013 darling Argo, whose production team included Affleck and Clooney, was a big studio movie, 12 Years could easily equal its success and leave producer Pitt with a whole bunch of new trophies on his mantel (or wherever he and Angelina Jolia like to keep their loot).

The Steve McQueen-directed epic earned seven nominations, including Best Feature, Best Director, Best Male Lead for Chiwetel Ojiafor, Best Supporting Male for Michael Fassbender and Best Supporting Female for standout newcomer Lupita Nyong'o.

Thanks to the large haul, Fox Searchlight (the indie arm of 20th Century Fox) is the most nominated distributor heading into the ceremony.

Joining 12 Years a Slave in the Best Feature category are the Coen brothers' folk-music trip Inside Llewyn Davis, the one-man survival show All Is Lost, the black and white dramedy Frances Ha and the similarly black and white father-son odyssey Nebraska.

Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, The Dallas Buyers Club, Holiday Movie Guide

Focus Features

The acting categories are their usual mix of major players and up-and-comers. For Best Lead Actor, Ejiofor has competition from veteran thesps Robert Redford in All Is Lost  and Nebraska's Bruce Dern, who are both 77; Matthew McConaughey, who got the nod for Dallas Buyers Club over Mud after earning raves for both performances; singer-actor Oscar Isaac who scored the title role that the Coens thought might be uncastable in Inside Llewyn Davis; and breakout star of the year Michael B. Jordan, who took on the role of an average guy going about the last day of his life in Fruitvale Station.

Mud is the 2014 recipient of the Robert Altman Award, given out for the best ensemble in a film.

The Best Supporting Male category is pretty packed with household names, too, including James Gandolfini, earning a posthumous nod for the romantic comedy Enough Said. Competition there includes Fassbender, Jared Letofor Dallas Buyers Club, Will Forte for Nebraska and Keith Stanfield for Short Term 12.

Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Sony Picture Classics

Cate Blanchett as expected was nominated for Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, which also earned him a screenwriting nod; and she'll square off against Before Midnight's Julie Delpy, Crystal Fairy's Gaby Hoffman; Short Term 12's Bree Larson; and The Spectacular Now's Shailene Woodley, who won Best Supporting Female in 2012 for The Descendants. (Greta Gerwig, whose performance was said to be the glue holding Frances Ha together, is noticeably missing from the list.)

Patton Oswalt will host the March 1 daytime ceremony in a tent set up alongside the beach in Santa Monica, Calif. As usual, the event is being televised on IFC, meaning no bleeps necessary.

Here's a complete list of the nominees for the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards:

Best Feature

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

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 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 First Feature

 Blue Caprice

 Fruitvale Station 
 Una Noche

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

John Cassavetes Award

 Computer Chess
 Crystal Fairy
 Museum Hours
 Pit Stop
 This Is Martin Bonner

Best Female Lead

 Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
 Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
 Gaby Hoffman, 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 Supporting Female

 Melonie Diaz, Fruitvale Station
 Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
 Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
 Yolanda 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 Cinematography

 12 Years a Slave
 Spring Breakers
 Inside Llewyn Davis
 All Is Lost
 Computer Chess

Best Editing

 Upstream Color
 Museum Hours
 Frances Ha

 Una Noche
 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
 Blue Is the Warmest Color
 The Great Beauty
 The Hunt

Robert Altman Award for Best Ensemble: Mud

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