Spirit Awards Wed 11.27.2013

Give Thanks for Great Indie Films: Stream These Spirit Award Nominated Films

Sure you could spend this Thanksgiving weekend communing with your friends and family at crowded shopping malls searching for $3 copies of last year’s romantic comedies OR you could choose to be true to your film loving self and catch up with some of our 2014 Film Independent Spirit Award nominated films. After all, movie watching is a communal experience—improved all the more with leftover candied yams and a slice of pumpkin pie at your side.

We’ve done the dirty work of finding these film gems on the internet and now it’s your turn: support artist driven filmmaking by watching these Spirit Award nominees.

On Netflix streaming

Frances Ha nominated for Best Feature; Best Editing, Jennifer Lame
Frances (Greta Gerwig) lives in New York, but she doesn’t really have an apartment. Frances is an apprentice for a dance company, but she’s not really a dancer. Frances has a best friend named Sophie, but they aren’t really speaking anymore. Frances throws herself headlong into her dreams, even as their possible reality dwindles. Frances wants so much more than she has, but lives her life with unaccountable joy and lightness. Frances Ha is a modern comic fable in which Noah Baumbach explores New York, friendship, class, ambition, failure, and redemption.

Computer Chess
nominated for John Cassavetes Award; Best Cinematography, Matthias Grunsky

Set over the course of a weekend tournament for chess software programmers circa 1980, Computer Chess transports viewers to a nostalgic moment when the contest between technology and the human spirit seemed a little more up for grabs. We get to know the eccentric geniuses possessed of the vision to teach a metal box to defeat man, literally, at his own game, laying the groundwork for artificial intelligence as we know it and will come to know it in the future.

Crystal Fairy nominated for John Cassavetes Award; Best Female Lead, Gaby Hoffmann
When Jamie invites a complete stranger to come along on a road trip to the north of Chile with his Chilean friend Champa and two of his younger brothers, he fails to realize that this woman–a fellow American who goes by the name of Crystal Fairy–is ready and willing to accept any invitation that comes her way. Jamie’s acidic and self-absorbed personality clashes with Crystal Fairy’s free and esoteric nature, as all five of them head into the Atacama Desert with the concise mission of drinking a San Pedro cactus for a mescaline-fueled psychedelic trip. As the journey unfolds and the traveling companions get to know each other better, Jamie learns that he must be more accepting of others, while Crystal finds the way to accepting herself.

This Is Martin Bonner
nominated for John Cassavetes Award
Two men search, in their quiet solitude, to begin a new life amidst an unspoken need for encouragement and support. Martin Bonner has just moved to Reno from the East Coast, leaving behind his two adult children and a life he spent more than two decades building. Having recently declared bankruptcy, he’s working a new job as a volunteer helping prisoners transition to freedom. It’s Martin’s first job in two years. Travis Holloway, a recently released prisoner sent back into the world with nothing, also finds life difficult to adjust to. The lives and stories of Martin and Travis begin to converge as they find that they have much in common. Their unlikely friendship blossoms but is put to the test when Travis betrays Martin’s trust.

Upstream Color nominated for Best Director, Shane Carruth; Best Editing, Shane Carruth and David Lowery
A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the lifecycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives.

On Amazon Prime Instant Video

Spring Breakers nominated for Best Cinematography, Benoit Debie
Four sexy college girls plan to fund their spring break getaway by burglarizing a fast food shack. But that’s only the beginning… During a night of partying, the girls hit a roadblock when they are arrested on drug charges. Hungover and clad only in bikinis, the girls appear before a judge but are bailed out unexpectedly by Alien, an infamous local thug who takes them under his wing and leads them on the wildest Spring Break trip in history. Rough on the outside but with a soft spot inside, Alien wins over the hearts of the young Spring Breakers, and leads them on a Spring Break they never could have imagined.

And once you’re done watching, get ready to vote. Only Film Independent Members vote for the Spirit Awards. Join by Friday, December 6 to receive full voter privileges. Visit filmindependent.org/membership to see the complete list of benefits and to become a Member.

By Jasmine Terán / Online Community Coordinator