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THINKFilm and ‘HALF NELSON’ Lead List of 2007 Spirit Awards Nominations

NEW YORK, Nov. 28 /PRNewswire/ – Ryan Fleck’s HALF NELSON, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival last January and was released by THINKFilm to widespread acclaim in August, is among the films leading this year’s list of Film Independent’s 2007 Spirit Award nominations, it was announced this morning in Los Angeles.

The film received five nominations, including Best Feature, Best Male Lead (Ryan Gosling), Best Female Lead (Shareeka Epps), Best Director (Ryan Fleck), Best First Screenplay (Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden), tying with "Little Miss Sunshine" for the most nominations in this year’s Sprit Awards race.

The five nominations mark the second time HALF NELSON has been a leader in nominations for a major awards ceremony; the film is nominated for three Gotham Awards, the most of any film, to be presented in New York tomorrow night.

In addition to its five nominations, HALF NELSON producers Alex Orlovsky and Jamie Patricof are among the three finalists for the Axium Producers Award, honoring emerging producers (the two were cited for their work of HALF NELSON as well as "Point & Shoot"). Producers of two additional THINKFilm releases round out the list of finalists for the award: Julie Lynn of 10 ITEMS OR LESS (who was also cited for "Nine Lives") and Howard Gertler and Tim Perell of SHORTBUS (who were also cited for "Pizza").

THINKFilm’s upcoming THE TRIALS OF DARRYL HUNT also received a nomination for Best Documentary Feature. THINKFilm Theatrical Division Head Mark Urman says, "Since we started up, the Spirits have been very good to us and we are thrilled to be so well represented this year."

HALF NELSON’s Fleck and Boden said, "We feel great! It’s exciting to have our first film recognized by the independent film community. The Spirit Awards are like the Oscars for films like ours… so we’re looking forward to the party!"

"I am very proud and happy for everyone involved with Half Nelson," said Ryan Gosling, who spoke while boarding a plane to New York for the Gotham Awards.

"I’m so excited for the movie because we worked very hard on it. The fact that everyone involved is recognized for their work really means a lot to me; we are like family," said Shareeka Epps.

The 2007 Independent Spirit Awards winners will be announced on Saturday, February 24, 2007.