Animation fans were happy to learn that Sylvain Chomet’s much-lauded animated feature The Triplets of Belleville is up for a Best Foreign Film Independent Spirit Award this morning. The Sony Pictures Classics release, which opened in select theaters last week, will be competing with live-action pics director Fernando Meirelles’ City of God (Brazil), Lukas Moodysson’s Lilya 4-Ever (Denmark), Peter Mullan’s The Magdalene Sisters (Ireland, U.K.) and Niki Caro’s Whale Rider (New Zealand). The quirky toon follows the adventures of a strong-willed older woman and her driven grandson who don’t let anything come between them and their dream of competing in the Tour de France.
Also up or the prestigious Spirit Award in several categories is Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini’s American Splendor, which offers a quirky take on the life and career of comic book creator Harvey Pekar. The well-received film is nominated in the Best Feature (producer Ted Hope), Director (Springer Berman and Pulcini), Screenplay (Springer Berman and Pulcini), Male Lead (Paul Giamatti) and Supporting Male (Judah Friedlanders) categories. In the Best Picture race, American Splendor will be running against In America, Lost in Translation, Raising Victor Vargas and Shattered Glass.
“To say that the nominations represent a wide spectrum of filmmaking is an understatement this year,” says Dawn Hudson, exec. director of IFP/Los Angeles. “The voices are original, provocative and incredibly varied.”
Selected from more than 190 submissions, the winners will be unveiled at the IFP Independent Spirit Awards ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2004 in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica. The show will air live on IFC at 5:00 p.m. EST and will be broadcast on Bravo on the same evening at 10:00 p.m. EST. And yes, that’s the same weekend as that other big kudo-fest known known as the Academy Awards. For more information, visit www.ifp.org/ifpnews.