Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Rosie Perez Nominated for Independent Spirit Awards

Start your hype machine engines! Award show season officially kicked off today with the announcement of the Independent Spirit Award nominations, and Latin stars are in the running for some of the top prizes.

First up are Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, who received nods in the Best Supporting Female and Best Male Lead categories for their portrayal of dysfunctional Spanish lovers in Vicky Cristina Barcelona. (Hopefully their real life coupling isn't headed for the same fate!) VCB also picked up a Best Screenplay nomination for its writer and director, Woody Allen, but he'll have to beat Christopher Zalla, who was nominated for Sangre De Mi Sangre, to take home an award.

Going head to head with Penelope for Best Supporting Female is Rosie Perez, who delivered a powerful performance opposite John Leguizamo as one half of a dysfunctional married couple--notice a pattern here?--in the East L.A. crime drama, The Take.

A whopping three out of five nominations for Best First Feature were scooped up by Latino indie directors: Zalla for Sangre De Mi Sangre, Antonio Campos for After School, and Alex Rivera for Sleep Dealer. And that's not all. Chop Shop, about a street orphan from Queens raising his younger sister, earned a Best Director nomination for Ramin Bahrini, while Sugar, a film about young Dominican baseball players that was up for the Grand Jury Prize at this year's Sundance, is nominated for Best Screenplay.

Congratulations to all the nominees! Here's hoping that everyone wins at least one award, which means that Penelope and Rosie would have to end up in a tie. Wouldn't that be sweet?