$75,000 In Grants To Be Awarded To Filmmakers
Spirit Awards To Be Broadcast Live Exclusively On IFC, Saturday, February 27, 2016 2:00 Pm Pt / 5:00 Pm ET
Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards, the LA Film Festival and Film Independent at LACMA, announced nominations for the 2016 Spirit Awards this morning. Film Independent President Josh Welsh presided over the press conference held at W Hollywood, with actors John Boyega and Elizabeth Olsen presenting the nominations. Nominees for Best Feature included Anomalisa, Beasts of No Nation, Carol, Spotlight and Tangerine.
“This year’s nominees are a testament to the strength, vitality and diversity of independent, artist-driven filmmaking,” said Welsh. “It’s an astonishingly strong group of films and performances this year and we look forward to celebrating them all at the Spirit Awards.”
Now in its 31st year, the Film Independent Spirit Awards is an annual celebration honoring artist-driven films made with an economy of means by filmmakers whose films embody independence and originality. The Spirit Awards recognizes the achievements of American independent filmmakers and promotes the finest independent films of the year to a wider audience.
The winners of the Spirit Awards are voted upon by Film Independent and IFP Members. Awards are given in the following categories: Best Feature, Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay, Best Director, Best Screenplay, John Cassavetes Award (given to the best feature made for a budget under $500,000), Best Male Lead, Best Female Lead, Best Supporting Male, Best Supporting Female, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best International Film, Best Documentary and the Robert Altman Award. The Filmmaker Grants include the Piaget Producers Award, the Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award and the Truer Than Fiction Award.
Spotlight was selected to receive the Robert Altman Award, which is bestowed upon one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast. The Altman Award was created in 2008 in honor of legendary director Robert Altman who was known for creating extraordinary ensemble casts.
“Spotlight is a remarkable film that excels on every level, but the Nominating Committee thought it was especially deserving of the Robert Altman Award,” said Welsh. “The film is beautifully cast with every member of the ensemble working together to tell the story of the Boston Globe investigating allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church.”
BEST FEMALE LEAD
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Bel Powley, The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Tangerine
BEST MALE LEAD
Christopher Abbott, James White
Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation
Ben Mendelsohn, Mississippi Grind
Jason Segel, The End of the Tour
Koudous Seihon, Mediterranea
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Robin Bartlett, H.
Marin Ireland, Glass Chin
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Anomalisa
Cynthia Nixon, James White
Mya Taylor, Tangerine
BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Kevin Corrigan, Results
Paul Dano, Love & Mercy
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Richard Jenkins, Bone Tomahawk
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes
BEST FEATURE (Award given to the Producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.)
Anomalisa: Producers: Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman, Dino Stamatopoulos, Rosa Tran
Beasts of No Nation: Producers: Daniel Crown, Idris Elba, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Amy Kaufman, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Riva Marker
Carol: Producers: Elizabeth Karlsen, Christine Vachon, Stephen Woolley
Spotlight: Producers: Blye Pagon Faust, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, Michael Sugar
Tangerine: Producers: Sean Baker, Karrie Cox, Marcus Cox, Darren Dean, Shih-Ching Tsou
BEST FIRST FEATURE – Award given to the director and producer.
The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Director: Marielle Heller. Producers: Miranda Bailey, Anne Carey, Bert Hamelinck, Madeline Samit
James White, Director: Josh Mond. Producers: Max Born, Antonio Campos, Sean Durkin, Melody Roscher, Eric Schultz
Manos Sucias, Director: Josef Kubota Wladyka. Producers: Elena Greenlee, Márcia Nunes
Mediterranea, Director: Jonas Carpignano. Producers: Jason Michael Berman, Chris Columbus, Jon Coplon, Christoph Daniel, Andrew Kortschak, John Lesher, Ryan Lough, Justin Nappi, Alain Peyrollaz, Gwyn Sannia, Marc Schmidheiny, Victor Shapiro, Ryan Zacarias
Songs My Brothers Taught Me, Director/Producer: Chloé Zhao. Producers: Mollye Asher, Nina Yang Bongiovi, Angela C. Lee, Forest Whitaker
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.
Advantageous: Writer/Director/Producer: Jennifer Phang. Writer/Producer: Jacqueline Kim
Producers: Robert Chang, Ken Jeong, Moon Molson, Theresa Navarro
Christmas, Again: Writer/Director/Producer: Charles Poekel
Heaven Knows What: Directors: Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie. Writers: Ronald Bronstein, Josh Safdie: Producers: Oscar Boyson, Sebastian Bear McClard
Krisha: Writer/Director/Producer: Trey Edward Shults. Producers: Justin R. Chan, Chase Joliet, Wilson Smith
Out of My Hand: Writer/Director: Takeshi Fukunaga. Writer/Producer: Donari Braxton. Producer: Mike Fox
Sean Baker, Tangerine
Cary Joji Fukunaga, Beasts of No Nation
Todd Haynes, Carol
Duke Johnson & Charlie Kaufman, Anomalisa
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
David Robert Mitchell, It Follows
Charlie Kaufman, Anomalisa
Donald Margulies, The End of the Tour
Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer, Spotlight
Phyllis Nagy, Carol
S. Craig Zahler, Bone Tomahawk
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Jesse Andrews, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Jonas Carpignano, Mediterranea
Emma Donoghue, Room
Marielle Heller, The Diary of a Teenage Girl
John Magary, Story by Russell Harbaugh and Myna Joseph, The Mend
Cary Joji Fukunaga, Beasts of No Nation
Michael Gioulakis, It Follows
Ed Lachman, Carol
Reed Morano, Meadowland
Joshua James Richards, Songs My Brothers Taught Me
Ronald Bronstein and Benny Safdie, Heaven Knows What
Tom McArdle, Spotlight
Nathan Nugent, Room
Julio C. Perez IV, It Follows
Kristan Sprague, Manos Sucias
ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD – Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast.
Director: Tom McCarthy
Casting Directors: Kerry Barden and Paul Schnee
Ensemble Cast: Billy Crudup, Paul Guilfoyle, Neal Huff, Brian d’Arcy James, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, Jamey Sheridan, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci
BEST DOCUMENTARY – Award given to the director and producer.
(T)ERROR: Directors/Producers: Lyric R. Cabral & David Felix Sutcliffe. Producer: Christopher St. John
Best of Enemies: Directors/Producers: Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville
Heart of a Dog: Director/Producer: Laurie Anderson. Producer: Dan Janvey
The Look of Silence: Director: Joshua Oppenheimer. Producer: Signe Byrge Sørensen
Meru: Directors/Producers: Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi. Producer: Shannon Ethridge
The Russian Woodpecker: Director/Producer: Chad Gracia. Producers: Ram Devineni, Mike Lerner
BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM – Award given to the director.
Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia), Director: Ciro Guerra
Girlhood (France), Director: Céline Sciamma
Mustang, (France, Turkey), Director: Deniz Gamze Ergüven
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (Sweden), Director: Roy Andersson
Son of Saul (Hungary), Director: László Nemes
19th ANNUAL PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD – The 19th annual Producers Award, sponsored by Piaget, honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality, independent films. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.
Rebecca Green and Laura D. Smith
22nd ANNUAL KIEHL’S SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The 22nd annual Someone to Watch Award, sponsored by Kiehl’s Since 1851, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Kiehl’s Since 1851.
God Bless the Child, Directors: Robert Machoian & Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck
King Jack, Director: Felix Thompson
Songs My Brothers Taught Me, Director: Chloé Zhao
21st TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The 21st annual Truer Than Fiction Award is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.
Among the Believers; Directors: Mohammed Ali Naqvi and Hemal Trivedi
Incorruptible; Director: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
A Woman Like Me; Directors: Elizabeth Giamatti and Alex Sichel
Winners will be announced at the Spirit Awards on Saturday, February 27, 2016. The awards ceremony will be held as a daytime luncheon in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica, in a new location this year just north of the Santa Monica Pier. The show will broadcast live exclusively on IFC at 2:00 pm PT/ 5:00 pm ET.
Winners of the Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grants will be highlighted during the awards ceremony and announced at the Film Independent Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grants and Nominee Brunch on Saturday, January 9, 2016, at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood.
The Spirit Awards Nominating Committees selected nominees from 362 submissions this year and applied the following guidelines in determining the nominations: uniqueness of vision, original and provocative subject matter, economy of means (with particular attention paid to total production cost and individual compensation) and percentage of financing from independent sources. The Spirit Awards Nominating Committees are comprised of writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, editors, actors, critics, casting directors, film festival programmers and other working film professionals.
In addition to celebrating the broad spectrum of independent filmmaking, the Spirit Awards is also the primary fundraiser for Film Independent’s year-round programs, which cultivate the careers of emerging filmmakers and promote diversity in the industry.
Film Independent is a nonprofit arts organization that champions independent film and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds an audience for their projects, and works to diversify the film industry. Film Independent’s Board of Directors, filmmakers, staff and constituents is comprised of an inclusive community of individuals across ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race and sexual orientation. Anyone passionate about film can become a Member, whether you are a filmmaker, industry professional or a film lover.
In addition to producing the Spirit Awards, Film Independent produces the Los Angeles Film Festival and Film Independent at LACMA Film Series, a year-round, weekly program that offers unique cinematic experiences for the Los Angeles creative community and the general public.
With over 250 annual screenings and events, Film Independent provides access to a network of like-minded artists who are driving creativity in the film industry. Film Independent’s Artist Development program offers free Labs for selected writers, directors, producers and documentary filmmakers and presents year-round networking opportunities. Project Involve is Film Independent’s signature program dedicated to fostering the careers of talented filmmakers from communities traditionally underrepresented in the film industry.
The Film Independent Spirit Awards are sponsored by Premier Sponsors Piaget, Bank of America, Heineken, American Airlines, Jaguar and IFC. FIJI Water is the Official Water of the 2016 Spirit Awards. WireImage is the Official Photographer of Film Independent.