The Independent Spirit Award nominations were announced today and out director Cherien Dabis and her film Amreeka are among the nominees. Dabis’ film about a Palestinian family living in America post-9/11 is up against Precious in several categories, including Best Feature. Also in the category are (500) Days of Summer, Sin Nombre and The Last Station.
Dabis penned the script for her film, and is up for Best First Screenplay, as is Geoffrey Fletcher for Precious. She was not, however, nominated for Best Director, but Precious‘ Lee Daniels was. Both of the films’ stars are up for Best Female Lead, too: Nisreen Faour and Gabourey Sidibe.
In comparing the two films, Precious has made a lot more at the box office (never underestimate the power of Oprah), but Amreeka has not done too shabby, especially for a limited release film. Since its September release, it’s grossed just under $2 million worldwide. Reviews have been mostly positive and the film has won several awards at film festivals, including Cannes and the Cairo Film Festival.
Earlier this year, Dabien told Women & Hollywood‘s Melissa Silverstein:
But she sold it and now it’s up for several awards. Let’s hope the Oscars follow suit and recognize Dabis and Amreeka for the cross-cultural dramedy that tugs at the heart strings.