Former Madisonian and Onion editor at IFC

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Posted by Ricky Bobby on December 02, 2009 at 19:42:10:

Article Courtesy of the Capital Times.

Hey, Watch It! Ex-Madisonians behind '500 Days' and 'Big Fan' scoop up Spirit Award noms

The Independent Spirit Awards, the alternative film awards show that gets shown on the Independent Film Channel on the weekend of the Oscars, announced its nominees yesterday, and a couple of filmmakers with Madison ties did awfully well.

Madison director Marc Webb saw his summer sleeper hit "(500) Days of Summer" nominated for Best Feature, and screenwriters Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustader up for Best Screenplay. Also up for Best Feature are "Precious," "The Last Station," "Amreeka," and "Sin Nombre," and it seems pretty unlikely that anybody but "Precious" will be winning that one.

However, I'd say that Weber and Neustader (who accompanied Webb to the Wisconsin Film Festival last spring) are probably the favorites to win the screenplay category, and I wouldn't be surprised if their funny, flashy and honest screenplay has a great shot at an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Joseph Gordon-Levitt's up for Best Male Lead, but Zooey Deschanel was passed over (weirdly) for Best Female Lead.

Former Madison resident and Onion editor Robert Siegel has his first feature, "Big Fan," nominated in the John Cassavetes Award category, which targets feature films made for under $500,000. Also in the category are "Humpday," "Treeless Mountain" (which was at the Wisconsin Film Fest) and two movies I've never heard of, "Zero Bridge" and "The New Year's Parade." This past weekend Siegel was named the Breakthrough Director at the Gotham Independent Spirit Awards in New York, so he may have the edge.

Other nominations I like include both "Food Inc." and "Anvil!" up for Best Documentary (especially the latter, which didn't make the short list for the Academy Awards), Souleymane Sy Savane for his role as the gregarious cab driver in "Goodbye Solo," and Greg Mottola for his screenplay for "Adventureland," a movie I grow more and more fond of.

The awards ceremony will be shown on Friday, March 5 on IFC.

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