The 36th Film Independent Spirit Awards: The Full List of Nominees

Disclaimer: I am a member of Film Independent, and will be voting on the below films as part of their voting process. It’s important to mention that while I am a member, I had no influence on today’s nominations.

The 36th Film Independent Spirit Awards nominations were announced on Tuesday, January 26. Scroll down to see the full list of nominees for this year’s Spirit Awards. Quick reminder: only American films (and television shows this year!) with a budget of less than $20 million are eligible for a Spirit Awards.

These Spirit contenders were decided by nominating committees that included film critics, film programmers, producers, directors, writers, cinematographers, editors, actors, past nominees and winners, and members of Film Independent’s Board of Directors.

Winners will be chosen by all of Film Independent’s eligible members, including industry insiders and any movie fans who sign up for membership starting at $95 per year.

These awards have come to be a significant preview of the Oscars as the Academy has embraced more and more indepdent films. About half of the Best Feature winners from the Spirit Awards went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture. Last year’s Parasite was a weird one, as it was eligible for International Feature, not Best Feature, but it did end up winning both Best International Film at last year’s Oscars and Best Picture.

The Spirit Awards ceremony has traditionally been held the day before the Oscars in a beachfront tent next to Santa Monica Pier. But this year it is moving up to Thursday. See the full list of nominees below.

BEST FEATURE (Award given to the producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.)

First Cow
Producers: Neil Kopp, Vincent Savino, Anish Savjani

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Producers: Todd Black, Denzel Washington, Dany Wolf

Minari
Producers: Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Christina Oh

Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Producers: Sara Murphy, Adele Romanski

Nomadland
Producers: Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey, Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Chloé Zhao
 
 
BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to director and producer)

I Carry You With Me
Director/Producer: Heidi Ewing
Producers: Edher Campos, Mynette Louie, Gabriela Maire

The Forty-Year-Old Version
Director/Producer: Radha Blank
Producers: Inuka Bacote-Capiga, Jordan Fudge, Rishi Rajani, Jennifer Semler, Lena Waithe

Miss Juneteenth
Director: Channing Godfrey Peoples
Producers: Toby Halbrooks, Tim Headington, Jeanie Igoe, James M. Johnston, Theresa Steele Page, Neil Creque Williams

Nine Days
Director: Edson Oda
Producers: Jason Michael Berman, Mette-Marie Kongsved, Matthew Linder, Laura Tunstall, Datari Turner

Sound of Metal
Director: Darius Marder
Producers: Bill Benz, Kathy Benz, Bert Hamelinck, Sacha Ben Harroche
 
 
JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD – Given to the best feature made for under $500,000 (Award given to the writer, director and producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.)

The Killing of Two Lovers
Writer/Director/Producer: Robert Machoian
Producers: Scott Christopherson, Clayne Crawford

La Leyenda Negra
Writer/Director: Patricia Vidal Delgado
Producers: Alicia Herder, Marcel Perez

Lingua Franca
Writer/Director/Producer: Isabel Sandoval
Producers: Darlene Catly Malimas, Jhett Tolentino, Carlo Velayo

Residue
Writer/Director: Merawi Gerima

Saint Frances
Director/Producer: Alex Thompson
Writer: Kelly O’Sullivan
Producers: James Choi, Pierce Cravens, Ian Keiser, Eddie Linker, Raphael Nash, Roger Welp
 
 
BEST DIRECTOR

Lee Isaac Chung
Minari

Emerald Fennell
Promising Young Woman

Eliza Hittman
Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Kelly Reichardt
First Cow

Chloé Zhao
Nomadland
 
 
BEST SCREENPLAY

Lee Isaac Chung
Minari

Emerald Fennell
Promising Young Woman

Eliza Hittman
Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Mike Makowsky
Bad Education

Alice Wu
The Half of It
 
 
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY

Kitty Green
The Assistant

Noah Hutton
Lapsis

Channing Godfrey Peoples
Miss Juneteenth

Andy Siara
Palm Springs

James Sweeney
Straight Up
 
 
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Jay Keitel
She Dies Tomorrow

Shabier Kirchner
Bull

Michael Latham
The Assistant

Hélène Louvart
Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Joshua James Richards
Nomadland
 
 
BEST EDITING

Andy Canny
The Invisible Man

Scott Cummings
Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Merawi Gerima
Residue

Enat Sidi
I Carry You With Me

Chloé Zhao
Nomadland
 
 
BEST FEMALE LEAD

Nicole Beharie
Miss Juneteenth

Viola Davis
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Sidney Flanigan
Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Julia Garner
The Assistant

Frances McDormand
Nomadland

Carey Mulligan
Promising Young Woman
 
 
BEST MALE LEAD

Riz Ahmed
Sound of Metal

Chadwick Boseman
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Adarsh Gourav
The White Tiger

Rob Morgan
Bull

Steven Yeun
Minari
 
 
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE

Alexis Chikaeze
Miss Juneteenth

Yeri Han
Minari

Valerie Mahaffey
French Exit

Talia Ryder
Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Yuh-jung Youn
Minari
 
 
BEST SUPPORTING MALE

Colman Domingo
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Orion Lee
First Cow

Paul Raci
Sound of Metal

Glynn Turman
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Benedict Wong
Nine Days
 
 
ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD – Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast

One Night in Miami…
Director: Regina King
Casting Director: Kimberly R. Hardin
Ensemble Cast: Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, Leslie Odom Jr.
 
 
BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director and producer)

Collective
Director/Producer: Alexander Nanau
Producers: Hanka Kastelicová, Bernard Michaux, Bianca Oana

Crip Camp
Directors/Producers: Jim LeBrecht, Nicole Newnham
Producer: Sara Bolder

Dick Johnson is Dead
Director/Producer: Kirsten Johnson
Producers: Katy Chevigny, Marilyn Ness

The Mole Agent
Director: Maite Alberdi
Producer: Marcela Santibáñez

Time
Director/Producer: Garrett Bradley
Producers: Lauren Domino, Kellen Quinn
 
 
BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (Award given to the director)

Bacurau
Brazil
Directors: Juliano Dornelles, Kleber Mendonça Filho

The Disciple
India
Director: Chaitanya Tamhane

Night of the Kings
Ivory Coast
Director: Philippe Lacôte

Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time
Hungary
Director: Lili Horvát

Quo Vadis, Aida?
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Director: Jasmila Žbanić
 
 
PRODUCERS AWARD – The Producers Award, now in its 24th year, honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality independent films.

Kara Durrett

Lucas Joaquin

Gerry Kim
 
 
SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The Someone to Watch Award, now in its 27th year, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition.

David Midell
Director of The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain

Ekwa Msangi
Director of Farewell Amor

Annie Silverstein
Director of Bull
 
 
TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The Truer Than Fiction Award, now in its 26th year, is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition.

Cecilia Aldarondo
Director of Landfall

Elegance Bratton
Director of Pier Kids

Elizabeth Lo
Director of Stray
 
 

TELEVISON CATEGORIES

 
BEST NEW NON-SCRIPTED OR DOCUMENTARY SERIES (Award given to the Creator, Executive Producer, Co-Executive Producer)

Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children
Executive Producers: Jeff Dupre, Joshua Bennett, Sam Pollard, Maro Chermayeff, John Legend, Mike Jackson, Ty Stiklorius

City So Real
Produced by: Zak Piper, Steve James
Executive Producers: Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann, Alex Kotlowitz, Gordon Quinn, Betsy Steinberg, Jolene Pinder

Immigration Nation
Executive Producers: Christina Clusiau, Shaul Schwarz, Dan Cogan, Jenny Raskin, Brandon Hill, Christian Thompson
Co-Executive Producers: Andrey Alistratov, Jay Arthur Sterrenberg, Lauren Haber

Love Fraud
Executive Producers: Rachel Grady, Heidi Ewing, Amy Goodman Kass, Vinnie Malhotra, Jihan Robinson, Michael Bloom, Maria Zuckerman

We’re Here
Creators/Executive Producers: Stephen Warren, Johnnie Ingram
Executive Producers: Eli Holzman, Aaron Saidman, Peter LoGreco
Co-Executive Producers: Erin Haglund, Sabrina Mar
 
 
BEST NEW SCRIPTED SERIES (Award given to the Creator, Executive Producer, Co-Executive Producer)

I May Destroy You
Creator/Executive Producer: Michaela Coel
Executive Producers: Phil Clarke, Roberto Troni

Little America
Executive Producers: Lee Eisenberg, Joshuah Bearman, Joshua Davis, Arthur Spector, Alan Yang, Siân Heder, Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon

Small Axe
Executive Producers: Tracey Scoffield, David Tanner, Steve McQueen

A Teacher
Creator/Executive Producer: Hanna Fidell
Executive Producers: Michael Costigan, Kate Mara, Louise Shore, Jason Bateman, Danny Brocklehurst
Co-Executive Producer: Daniel Pipski

Unorthodox
Creator/Executive Producer: Anna Winger
Creator: Alexa Karolinski
Executive Producer: Henning Kamm
 
 
BEST FEMALE PERFORMANCE IN A NEW SCRIPTED SERIES

Elle Fanning
The Great

Shira Haas
Unorthodox

Abby McEnany
Work in Progress

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan
Never Have I Ever

Jordan Kristine Seamón
We Are Who We Are
 
 
BEST MALE PERFORMANCE IN A NEW SCRIPTED SERIES

Adam Ali
Little America

Nicco Annan
P-Valley

Conphidance
Little America

Amit Rahav
Unorthodox

Harold Torres
ZeroZeroZero
 
 
BEST ENSEMBLE CAST IN A NEW SCRIPTED SERIES

I May Destroy You
Ensemble Cast: Michaela Coel, Paapa Essiedu, Wruche Opia, Stephen Wight

By Distributor

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Nominated Films

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Nominated Television Programs

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