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“Keep the Lights On,” “Gayby” and “How to Survive a Plague” get Independent Spirit Award nods

The Independent Spirit Awards nominations were announced earlier today and I’m very excited to see so many LGBT-themed films represented.

The gay-themed drama Keep the Lights On, which I saw at Outfest during the summer, received four Independent Spirit Awards including best picture. The film, directed by Ira Sachs and written by Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias, chronicles one couple’s emotionally and sexually charged journey through love and addiction.

Sachs was nominated for best director and he and Zacharias got nods for best screenplay. Also nominated was lead actor Thure Lindhardt who plays a documentary filmmaker involved with an addict.

Lindhardt’s competition includes Wendell Pierce whom plays a married man having gay relationships on the down low in the film Four which I saw when it screened at this year’s LA Film Festival in June.

In the Best First Screenplay category, the gifted writer-director-actor Jonathan Lisecki was nominated for his gay-themed comedy Gayby about a pair of best friends – a straight woman and a gay man – who face unexpected life complications when they decide to have a baby together.

‘I am totally thrilled, stunned and incredibly grateful,’ Lisecki told me via Facebook today. ‘Very happy to be included among so many amazing filmmakers. And excited to see so much love for LGBT films.’

Lisecki not only wrote Gayby, he also directed the film and has a standout supporting role in it. I love the movie and am so very glad to see it recognized.

In the category of Best Documentary, the stellar film How to Survive a Plague is one of the five nominees. Directed by David France, the film tells the story of how the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) engaged in epic day-to-day battles that ultimately resulted in AIDS no longer being a death sentence.

It is one of the best movies I’ve seen in this or any year and hope the Spirit nod will help its Oscar chances. The more people who see it, the better.

The Spirit Awards will be presented on 23 February in Santa Monica.

Here is a LINK to the full list of nominees. Below are the trailers for Keep the Lights On, Gayby and How to Survive a Plague.

FILE UNDER: Awards

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