Fox Searchlight led the way at the 2008 Independent Spirit Award nominations earlier today with 11 nods for Juno, The Savages and Waitress, among others, followed by Focus Features and Paramount Vantage on five apiece and Miramax and The Weinstein Company (TWC) on four each.

TWC's I'm Not There was the leading individual film with four nominations and the inaugural Robert Altman Award. Juno, The Diving Bell And The Butterfly and The Savages earned four nominations each.

I'm Not There will vie for the best feature prize at the awards night on February 23 2008 in Santa Monica, along with Miramax's The Diving Bell And The Butterfly, Searchlight's Juno, Paramount Vantage's A Mighty Heart, and IFC's Paranoid Park.

The directors of four of the above - Jason Reitman for Juno, Julian Schnabel for The Diving Bell And The Butterfly, Gus Van Sant for Paranoid Park and Todd Haynes for I'm Not There - will contest the director category with Tamara Jenkins for The Savages.

Cristian Mungiu's Romanian Palme d'Or winner 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days will vie for the foreign language prize with Eran Kolirin's much feted Israeli entry The Band's Visit, Pascale Ferran's Lady Chatterley and Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis from France, and John Carney's Irish musical Once.

Dan Klores' Crazy Love will contest the documentary category with Tony Kaye's Lake Of Fire, Jennifer Baichwal's Manufactured Landscapes, Pernille Rose Gronkjaer's The Monastery, and Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker's The Prisoner Or How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair.

The late Adrienne Shelly's Waitress screenplay is posthumously nominated alongside Ronald Harwood for The Diving Bell And The Butterfly, Jenkins for The Savages, Fred Parnes and Andrew Wagner for Starting Out In The Evening and Mike White for Year Of The Dog.

The acting categories feature lead actor nods for Don Cheadle in Talk To Me, Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Savages and Frank Langella for Starting Out In The Evening, while a tighter lead actress race pits Angelina Jolie for A Mighty Heart, Sienna Miller for Interview, Ellen Page for Juno, indie darling Parker Posey for Broken English and Tang Wei for Lust, Caution.

In the supporting categories, Chiwetel Ejiofor is in the running in the actor stakes for Talk To Me alongside Marcus Carl Franklin for I'm Not There and Steve Zahn for Rescue Dawn, while the actresses feature Cate Blanchett for I'm Not There, Jennifer Jason Leigh for Margot At The Wedding and Marisa Tomei for Before The Devil Knows You're Dead.

Julie Delpy's 2 Days In Paris is among nominees in the best first feature category alongside Scott Frank's The Lookout and Jeff Blitz' Rocket Science, while Stephane Gauger's Owl And The Sparrow and Chris Eska's August Evening will contest the John Cassavetes Award given to the best feature made for under $500,000.

The inaugural Robert Altman Award will go to Todd Haynes, casting director Laura Rosenthal and the entire cast of I'm Not There, an impressionist portrait of elements in the life of Bob Dylan that stars Blanchett, Christian Bale, Marcus Carl Franklin, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Richard Gere, Bruce Greenwood, Heath Ledger and Ben Whishaw.

Nominees were selected from more than 250 submissions. Each film must be at least 70 minutes long and cost no more than $20m including post-production. Films must have been shown in a commercial theatre for at least one week between January 1 and December 31 2007 or screened at one of the following festivals: Film Independent's Los Angeles Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, New York, Sundance, Telluride, or Toronto.


BEST FEATURE (Award given to the producer): The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Kathleen Kennedy, Jon Kilik); I'm Not There (Christine Vachon, John Goldwyn, Jim Stern, John Sloss); Juno (Lianne Halfon, John Malkovich, Mason Novick, Russell Smith); A Mighty Heart (Dede Gardner, Andrew Eaton, Brad Pitt); and Paranoid Park (Neil Kopp, David Cress).

BEST DIRECTOR: Todd Haynes (I'm Not There); Tamara Jenkins (The Savages); Jason Reitman (Juno); Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell And The Butterfly); and Gus Van Sant (Paranoid Park).

BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer): 2 Days In Paris (dir: Julie Delpy; prdrs: Julie Delpy, Christophe Mazodier, Thierry Potok); Great World Of Sound (dir: Craig Zobel; prdrs: Melissa Palmer, David Gordon Green, Richard Wright, Craig Zobel); The Lookout (dir: Scott Frank; prdrs: Roger Birnbaum, Gary Barber, Laurence Mark, Walter Parkes); Rocket Science (dir: Jeffrey Blitz; prdrs: Effie T Brown, Sean Welch); and Vanaja (dir: Rajnesh Domalpalli; prdrs: Latha R Domalapalli).

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD (Given to the best feature made for under $500,000; award given to the writer, director, and producer): August Evening (wrtr-dir: Chris Eska; prdrs: Connie Hill, Jason Wehling); Owl And The Sparrow (wrtr-dir: Stephane Gauger; prdrs: Nguyen Van Quan, Doan Nhat Nam, Stephane Gauger); The Pool (dir: Chris Smith; prdr: Kate Noble; wrtr: Chris Smith & Randy Russell); Quiet City (dir: Aaron Katz; prdrs: Brendan McFadden, Ben Stambler; wrtrs: Aaron Katz, Erin Fisher, Cris Lankenau); and Shotgun Stories (wrtr-dir: Jeff Nichols; prdrs: David Gordon Green, Lisa Muskat, Jeff Nichols).

BEST SCREENPLAY: Ronald Harwood (The Diving Bell And The Butterfly); Tamara Jenkins (The Savages); Fred Parnes and Andrew Wagner (Starting Out In The Evening); Adrienne Shelly (Waitress); and Mike White (Year Of The Dog).

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY: Jeffrey Blitz (Rocket Science); Zoe Cassavetes (Broken English); Diablo Cody (Juno); Kelly Masterson (Before The Devil Knows You're Dead); and John Orloff (A Mighty Heart).

BEST FEMALE LEAD: Angelina Jolie (A Mighty Heart); Sienna Miller (Interview); Ellen Page (Juno); Parker Posey (Broken English); and Tang Wei (Lust, Caution).

BEST MALE LEAD: Pedro Castaneda (August Evening); Don Cheadle (Talk To Me); Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Savages); Frank Langella (Starting Out In The Evening); and Tony Leung (Lust, Caution).

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE: Cate Blanchett (I'm Not There); Anna Kendrick (Rocket Science); Jennifer Jason Leigh (Margot At The Wedding); Tamara Podemski (Four Sheets To The Wind); and Marisa Tomei (Before The Devil Knows You're Dead).

BEST SUPPORTING MALE: Chiwetel Ejiofor (Talk To Me); Marcus Carl Franklin (I'm Not There); Kene Holliday (Great World Of Sound); Irrfan Khan (The Namesake); and Steve Zahn (Rescue Dawn).

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Mott Hupfel (The Savages); Janusz Kaminski (The Diving Bell And The Butterfly); Milton Kam (Vanaja); Mihai Malaimare Jr (Youth Without Youth); and Rodrigo Prieto (Lust, Caution).

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director): Crazy Love (Dan Klores); Lake Of Fire (Tony Kaye); Manufactured Landscapes (Jennifer Baichwal); The Monastery (Pernille Rose Gronkjaer); and The Prisoner Or How I Planned To Kill Tony Blair (Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker).

BEST FOREIGN FILM (Award given to the director): 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu, Romania); The Band's Visit (Eran Kolirin, Israel); Lady Chatterley (Pascale Ferran, France); Once (John Carney, Ireland); and Persepolis (Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi, France).


IFC/Acura Someone to Watch Award finalists:
Ramin Bahrani (Chop Shop); Ronnie Bronstein (Frownland); and Lee Isaac Chung (Munyurangabo).

Truer Than Fiction Award finalists: Laura Dunn (The Unforeseen); Gary Hustwit (Helvetica); and John Maringouin (Running Stumbled).

Producers Award finalists: Anne Clements (Ping Pong Playa and Quinceanera); Alexis Ferris (Cthulhu and Police Beat); and Neil Kopp (Paranoid Park and Old Joy).

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD (Given to one film's director, casting director, and its ensemble cast): I'm Not There.