Silver Linings Playbook and Moonrise Kingdom lead Spirit field

Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman in Moonrise Kingdom and Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook Both Moonrise Kingdom (left) and Silver Linings Playbook are nominated for best picture, director and screenplay

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Quirky comedies Silver Linings Playbook and Moonrise Kingdom will lead the field at next year's Spirit Awards, having received five nominations each.

Both films are competing for the best picture and best director prizes at the awards, which honour independent films.

Also up for best picture are father-daughter tale Beasts of the Southern Wild, black comedy Bernie and Keep the Lights On, a drama about a gay romance.

The winners will be announced on 23 February, one day before the Oscars.

Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence have both been nominated for their lead roles in Silver Linings Playbook.

The pair play a manic depressive and a young widow who strike up an unusual romance in David O Russell's hotly tipped awards contender.

The film is also nominated for best screenplay, along with Moonrise Kingdom.

Wes Anderson's first-love story between a precocious boy and girl also received a best supporting actor nod for Bruce Willis and another nomination for its cinematography.

'Strong group'

Matthew McConaughey receives two nominations: for best actor in crime thriller Killer Joe, and best supporting actor in male stripper comedy Magic Mike.

John Hawkes and Helen Hunt are recognised for their performances as a disabled man and his sex surrogate in The Sessions.

Other acting nominees include Jack Black for Bernie, Michael Pena for End of Watch, Sam Rockwell for Seven Psychopaths and Mary Elizabeth Winstead for Smashed.

There is also a best actress nomination for child star Quvenzhane Wallis for her role in Beasts of the Southern Wild, which won the top prize at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

"The nominations this year represent an astonishingly strong group of artists both in front of and behind the camera," said Josh Welsh, co-president of awards organisers Film Independent.

Spirit nominations often overlap with Oscar contenders. The Artist won four awards last year, then went on to win five Oscars the following day.

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