The roadtrip comedy Sideways and the drug-smuggling drama Maria Full of Grace earned the most nominations for this year's Independent Spirit Awards.
Sideways grabbed six nominations, including Best Feature, Best Male Lead (Paul Giamatti), Best Supporting Female (Virginia Madsen), and Best Supporting Male (Thomas Haden Church). Maria was nominated for five awards, including Best Feature, Best Female Lead, and Best Supporting Female (newcomers Catalina Sandino Moreno and Yenny Paola Vega, respectively).
Other Best Feature nominees include Baadasssss!, Kinsey, and Primer. Zach Braff was also recognized for directing and writing his debut feature, Garden State.
Giamatti will compete with Kevin Bacon (The Woodsman), Jeff Bridges (The Door in the Floor), Jamie Foxx (Redemption), and Liam Neeson (Kinsey) for Best Male Lead. Moreno's Best Female Lead competition includes Kimberly Elise (Woman Thou Art Loosed, Vera Farmiga (Down to the Bone), Judy Marte (On the Outs), and Kyra Sedgwick (Cavedweller).
The Spirit Awards will be held under a tent on the beach in Santa Monica, Calif., on Feb. 26, 2005 a day before its grown-up cousin, the Academy Awards.