The stand-out films from yesterday's announcement of the nominations for the annual IF Awards are Japanese Story and Gettin' Square, each of which have eight chances to take home an award from the November 12 presentation. Both have been nominated for best feature and direction.

The third nominee for best feature was Swimming Upstream, which received five nominations. The third nominee for best director alongside Japanese Story helmer Sue Brooks and Gettin' Square's Jonathan Teplitzky was Rolf de Heer for Alexandra's Project.

It is also a four-horse race in the two actor categories: Toni Collette and Gotaro are nominated for Japanese Story, Judy Davis and Geoffrey Rush for Swimming Upstream, David Wenham for Gettin' Square and Helen Buday for Alexandra's Project.

Khoa Do and brothers Peter and Michael Spierig, who made the self-financed films The Finished People and Undead respectively, are among the nominations for the Independent Spirit Award, and in the best unproduced screenplay category are Kristen Scholes with Fly, Mark and Brett Nichols with Hodads, and Rie Natalenko with Heloise.

The awards, which are now in their fifth year, are to be presented in Sydney by actor Deborah Mailman.