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Progie Award Nominations

Ed Rampell: he Progies highlight features, documentaries and the artists who made and appear in them, based on their progressive political, social, cultural, ethnic, economic, gender, ecological, immigrant, pro-human rights, pro-LGBTQ rights, pro-labor, etc., content and form.

8th Annual Progie Award Nominations Highlight 2014’s Movies Fighting for Minority/LGBTQ/Women’s/Workers Rights

Progie Award Nominations

The nominations for the 8th annual Progie Awards -- recognizing 2014’s best progressive films and filmmakers -- have been voted on. The Progies highlight features, documentaries and the artists who made and appear in them, based on their progressive political, social, cultural, ethnic, economic, gender, ecological, immigrant, pro-human rights, pro-LGBTQ rights, pro-labor, etc., content and form. The nominations and awards are given in a variety of categories named after great lefty filmmakers and films of conscience, consciousness and creativity. Up to five nominees can be selected per category -- except in case of a tie, when more than five nominees can be entered in a category.

Some of the themes revealed by the 2014 nominations is the ongoing rise of films by and about people of color, with the Chicano/labor union biopic Cesar Chavez, the Civil Rights movement/Martin Luther King saga Selma and the anti-racist Dear White People each receiving multiple nominations. The same is true of pro-LGBTQ films, with PrideThe Imitation Game and The Circle likewise being multi-nominated. In fact, due to ties, both the Robeson (Best Portrayal of People of Color) and Pasolini (Best Pro-LGBTQ Picture) categories each have more than five nominees, while biopics about Gore Vidal and George Takei are also nommed in the documentary category (see below).

The 2014 Best Actress Progie nominations also highlight the trend of roles for courageous women, including America Ferrera as union organizer Helen Chavez in Cesar Chavez, Tessa Thompson as the Black activist Samantha in Dear White People and Marion Cotillard as a working classwoman fighting to keep her factory job in Two Days, One Night.

Swiss/French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard remains a perennial favorite, with his 3D Goodbye to Languagenominated for the Trumbo (Best Progressive Picture) and the Gillo (Best Progressive Foreign Film). Nonfiction cinema also remains a vital force; Laura Poitras’s Edward Snowden film Citizenfour is up for the Dziga (Best Progressive Documentary) in an overflowing category featuring (due to a tie) seven nominees, including biopics about author Gore Vidal, Internet activist Aaron Swartz and actor/activist George Takei.

The Best Actor category is dominated by depictions of actual historical figures, including David Oyelowo as Dr. King in Selma, Benedict Cumberbatch as antifascist computer pioneer Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, Eddie Redmayne as physicist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, Edgar Ramirez as South American revolutionary Simon Bolivar in The Liberator and Jeremy Renner as anti-CIA investigative reporter Gary Webb in Kill the Messenger.

The Progressive Magazine began publishing the Progie winners in 2007, when the awards premiered. Since then, the James Agee Cinema Circle, an international group of left-leaning film critics, historians and scholars, has voted for the annual Progie nominations and awards.

2014 PROGIE NOMINATIONS FOR BEST PROGRESSIVE FILMS & ARTISTS

 1. THE TRUMBO: The Progie Award for BEST PROGRESSIVE PICTURE is named after Oscar-winning screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, a member of the Hollywood Ten, who was imprisoned for his beliefs and refusing to inform. Trumbo helped break the Blacklist when he received screen credit for Spartacus and Exodus in 1960.

  • GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE
  • PRIDE
  • CESAR CHAVEZ
  • TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT
  • THE LIBERATOR
  • THE CONGRESS
  • BIRDMAN
  • SELMA

2. THE GARFIELD: The Progie Award for BEST ACTOR in a progressive picture is named after John Garfield, who rose from the proletarian theatre to star in progressive pictures such as “Gentleman's Agreement” and “Force of Evil,” only to run afoul of the Hollywood Blacklist.

  • DAVID OYELOWO, SELMA
  • BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH, THE IMITATION GAME
  • EDDIE REDMAYNE, THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
  • HARVEY KEITEL, CONGRESS
  • EDGAR RAMIREZ, THE LIBERATOR
  • JEREMY RENNER, KILL THE MESSENGER
  • CHANNING TATUM, FOXCATCHER
  • MICHAEL KEATON, BIRDMAN

3. KAREN MORLEY AWARD: The Progie Award for BEST ACTRESS in a film portraying women in a progressive picture is named for Karen Morley, co-star of 1932’s Scarface and 1934’s Our Daily Bread. Morley was driven out of Hollywood in the 1930s for her leftist views, but maintained her militant political activism for the rest of her life, running for New York’s Lieutenant Governor on the American Labor Party ticket in 1954. She passed away in 2003, unrepentant to the end, at the age of 93.

  • TESSA THOMPSON, DEAR WHITE PEOPLE
  • TILDA SWINTON, SNOWPIERCER
  • MARION COTILLARD, TWO DAYS ONE NIGHT
  • AMERICA FERRARA, CESAR CHAVEZ
  • JULIANNE MOORE, STILL ALICE

4. THE RENOIR: The Progie Award for BEST ANTI-WAR FILM is named after the great French filmmaker Jean Renoir, who directed the 1937 anti-militarism masterpiece Grand Illusion.

  • THE IMITATION GAME
  • THE UNKNOWN KNOWN
  • THE KILL TEAM
  • ZERO MOTIVATION

5. THE GILLO: The Progie Award for BEST PROGRESSIVE FOREIGN FILM is named after the Italian director Gillo Pontecorvo, who lensed the 1960s classics The Battle of Algiers and Burn!

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  • GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE
  • TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT
  • NORTE, THE END OF HISTORY
  • THE LIBERATOR 
  • HUMAN CAPITAL
  • THE CIRCLE

6. THE DZIGA: The Progie Award for BEST PROGRESSIVE DOCUMENTARY is named after the Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov, who directed 1920s nonfiction films such as the Kino Pravda (Film Truth) series and The Man With the Movie Camera.

  • CITIZENFOUR;
  • GORE: THE UNITED STATES OF AMNESIA
  • THE UNKNOWN KNOWN
  • THE INTERNET’S OWN BOY: THE STORY OF AARON SWARTZ
  • TO BE TAKEI 
  • WHITEY VS. USA
  • CASE AGAINST 8

7. OUR DAILY BREAD AWARD: The Progie Award for the MOST POSITIVE AND INSPIRING WORKING CLASS SCREEN IMAGE.

  • PRIDE
  • CESAR CHAVEZ
  • TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT
  • THE LIBERATOR
  • SNOWPIECER

8. THE ROBESON: The Progie Award for the BEST PORTRAYAL OF PEOPLE OF COLOR that shatters cinema stereotypes, in light of their historically demeaning depictions onscreen. It is named after courageous performing legend, Paul Robeson, who starred in 1936’s “Song of Freedom” and 1940’s “The Proud Valley,” and narrated 1942’s “Native Land.”

  • SELMA
  • DEAR WHITE PEOPLE
  • CESAR CHAVEZ
  • THE LIBERATOR 
  • A MOST VIOLENT YEAR
  • BIG HERO 6
  • MEMPHIS

9. THE SERGEI: The Progie Award for LIFETIME PROGRESSIVE ACHIEVEMENT ON- OR OFFSCREEN is named after Sergei Eisenstein, the Soviet director of masterpieces such as “Potemkin” and “10 Days That Shook the World.”

  • TILDA SWINTON
  • CHRISTINE VACHON
  • OLIVER STONE
  • DANNY GLOVER
  • HARRY BELAFONTE
  • RICHARD LINKLATER
  • ED HARRIS

10. THE BUNUEL: The Progie Award for the MOST SLYLY SUBVERSIVE SATIRICAL CINEMATIC FILM in terms of form, style and content is named after Luis Bunuel, the Spanish surrealist who directed 1929’s “The Andalusian Dog,” 1967’s “Belle de Jour” and 1972’s “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie.”

  • BIRDMAN
  • A TRIP TO ITALY
  • THE CONGRESS
  • SELMA
  • NYMPHOMANIAC
  • INHERENT VICE
  • NIGHTCRAWLER

11. THE PASOLINI: The Progie Award for BEST PRO- LGBTQ RIGHTS film is named after Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini, who directed 1964's The Gospel According to St. Matthew and The Decameron and The Canterbury Tales in the 1970s.

  • THE IMITATION GAME
  • THE WAY HE LOOKS
  • LOVE IS STRANGE
  • THE CIRCLE
  • PRIDE
  • TO BE TAKEI

12. THE LAWSON: The Progie Award for BEST ANTI-FASCIST FILM is named after John Howard Lawson, screenwriter of 1938’s anti-Franco “Blockade” and the 1940s anti-Nazi films “Four Sons,” “Action in the North Atlantic,” “Sahara” and “Counter-Attack,” and one of the Hollywood Ten.

  • SNOWPIERCER
  • THE LEGO MOVIE
  • SELMA
  • A MOST WANTED MAN
  • NORTE, THE END OF HISTORY

The James Agee Cinema Circle’s participants will select the award winners from the nominees around mid-February, and the results will be announced shortly before the Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 22, 2015. Until then, we’ll see you in the Left Aisle at the movies!

Ed Rampell

Ed Rampell