32nd Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominations Announced


$75,000 In Grants To Be Awarded To Filmmakers, Including The 10th Anniversary Of Piaget Producers Award

Spirit Awards To Be Broadcast Live Exclusively On Ifc, Saturday, February 25, 2017 2:00 PM PT / 5:00 PM ET

Get Ready For The Most Eventful Awards Seasons Yet, Starting Now. 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 2017 Spirit Awards. The Awards are the primary fundraiser for Film Independent’s year-round programs, which cultivate the careers of emerging filmmakers and fi_spiritawards_primary_logopromote diversity in the industry. Film Independent President Josh Welsh presided over the press conference held at W Hollywood, with actors Jenny Slate and Edgar Ramirez presenting the nominations. Nominees for Best Feature included American Honey, Chronic, Jackie, Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight.

Now in its 32nd 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.

Now more than ever, the voices of independent artists play a critically important role in our culture,” said Welsh. “The films we celebrate at this year’s Spirit Awards embody the diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision that we champion all year long.”

Moonlight was selected to receive the Robert Altman Award, which is bestowed upon one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast (Director: Barry Jenkins Casting Director: Yesi Ramirez Ensemble Cast: Mahershala Ali, Patrick Decile, Naomie Harris, Alex Hibbert, André Holland, Jharrel Jerome, Janelle Monáe, Jaden Piner, Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders ). The Altman Award was created in 2008 in honor of legendary director Robert Altman who was known for creating extraordinary ensemble casts.


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Best Feature (Award given to the producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.)

  • American Honey (Producers: Thomas Benski, Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, Lucas Ochoa, Pouya Shahbazian, Alice Weinberg)
  • Chronic (Producers: Michel Franco, Gina Kwon, Gabriel Ripstein, Moisés Zonana)
  • Jackie (Producers: Darren Aronofsky, Scott Franklin, Ari Handel, Juan de Dios Larraín, Mickey Liddell)
  • Manchester by the Sea (Producers: Lauren Beck, Matt Damon, Chris Moore, Kimberly Steward, Kevin J. Walsh)
  • Moonlight (Producers: Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Adele Romanski)

Best First Feature (Award given to the director and producer)

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  • The Childhood of a Leader (Director: Brady Corbet Producers: Antoine de Clermont-Tonnerre, Chris Coen, Ron Curtis, Helena Danielsson, Mona Fastvold, István Major)
  • The Fits (Director/Producer: Anna Rose Holmer Producer: Lisa Kjerulff)
  • Other People (Director: Chris Kelly Producers: Sam Bisbee, Adam Scott, Naomi Scott)
  • Swiss Army Man (Directors: Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert Producers: Miranda Bailey, Lawrence Inglee, Lauren Mann, Amanda Marshall, Eyal Rimmon, Jonathan Wang)
  • The Witch (Director: Robert Eggers Producers: Daniel Bekerman, Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, Jodi Redmond, Rodrigo Teixeira)

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.

  • Free In Deed (Writer/Director: Jake Mahaffy Producers: Mike Bowes, Mike S. Ryan, Brent Stiefel)
  • Hunter Gatherer (Writer/Director: Josh Locy Producers: Michael Covino, April Lamb, Sara Murphy, Isaiah Smallman)
  • Lovesong (Writer/Director: So Yong Kim Writer/Producer: Bradley Rust Gray Producers: David Hansen, Alex Lipschultz, Johnny Mac)
  • Nakom (Writer/Director/Producer: TW Pittman Director/Producer: Kelly Daniela Norris Writer/Producer: Isaac Adakudugu Producer: Giovanni Ximénez)
  • Spa Night (Writer/Director: Andrew Ahn Producers: David Ariniello, Giulia Caruso, Ki Jin Kim, Kelly Thomas)

Best Director

  • Andrea Arnold American Honey
  • Barry Jenkins Moonlight
  • Pablo Larraín Jackie
  • Jeff Nichols Loving
  • Kelly Reichardt Certain Women

Best Screenplaytwozeroth_century_women

  • Barry Jenkins Story By Tarell Alvin McCraneyMoonlight
  • Kenneth Lonergan Manchester by the Sea
  • Mike Mills 20th Century Women
  • Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias Little Men
  • Taylor Sheridan Hell or High Water

Best First Screenplaychristine

  • Robert Eggers The Witch
  • Chris Kelly Other People
  • Adam Mansbach Barry
  • Stella Meghie Jean of the Joneses
  • Craig Shilowich Christine

Best Cinematographychildhood_of_a_leader_ver2

  • Ava Berkofsky Free In Deed
  • Lol Crawley The Childhood of a Leader
  • Zach Kuperstein The Eyes of My Mother
  • James Laxton Moonlight
  • Robbie Ryan American Honey

Best Editinghell_or_high_water_ver3

  • Matthew Hannam Swiss Army Man
  • Jennifer Lame Manchester by the Sea
  • Joi McMillon, Nat Sanders Moonlight
  • Jake Roberts Hell or High Water
  • Sebastián Sepúlveda Jackie

Best Female Lead

  • Annette Bening 20th Century Women
  • Isabelle Huppert Elle
  • Sasha Lane American Honey
  • Ruth Negga Loving
  • Natalie Portman Jackie

Best Male Lead

  • Casey Affleck Manchester by the Sea
  • David Harewood Free In Deed
  • Viggo Mortensen Captain Fantastic
  • Jesse Plemons Other People
  • Tim Roth Chronic

Best Supporting Female

  • Edwina Findley Free In Deed
  • Paulina Garcia Little Men
  • Lily Gladstone Certain Women
  • Riley Keough American Honey
  • Molly Shannon Other People

Best Supporting Male

  • Ralph Fiennes A Bigger Splash
  • Ben Foster Hell or High Water
  • Lucas Hedges Manchester by the Sea
  • Shia LaBeouf American Honey
  • Craig Robinson Morris from America

Best Documentary (Award given to the director and producer)i_am_not_your_negro

  • 13th (Director/Producer: Ava DuVernay Producers: Spencer Averick, Howard Barish)
  • Cameraperson (Director/Producer: Kirsten Johnson Producer: Marilyn Ness)
  • I Am Not Your Negro (Director/Producer: Raoul Peck Producers: Rémi Grellety, Hérbert Peck)
  • O.J.: Made in America (Director/Producer: Ezra Edelman Producers: Nina Krstic, Tamara Rosenberg, Caroline Waterlow)
  • Sonita (Director: Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami Producer: Gerd Haag)
  • Under the Sun (Director: Vitaly Mansky Producer: Natalya Manskaya)

Best International Film (Award given to the director)

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  • Aquarius (Brazil) Director: Kleber Mendonça Filho
  • Chevalier (Greece) Director: Athina Tsangari
  • My Golden Days (France) Director: Arnaud Desplechin
  • Toni Erdmann (Germany and Romania) Director: Maren Ade
  • Under the Shadow (Iran and U.K.) Director: Babak Anvari

Winners, who are selected by Film Independent Members, will be announced at the Spirit Awards on Saturday, February 25, 2017. The awards ceremony will be held on the beach in Santa Monica, just north of the Santa Monica Pier. The show will broadcast live exclusively on IFC at 2:00 pm PT/ 5:00 pm ET. (the 89th Annual Academy Awards will follow on Sunday, February 26th, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland in Hollywood and will be televised live on the ABC Televison Network at 7 pm ET/4 pm PT.)

20th Annual Piaget Producers Award The 20th 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.

  • Lisa Kjerulff
  • Jordana Mollick
  • Melody C. Roscher & Craig Shilowich

23rd Annual Kiehl’s Someone To Watch Award The 23rd 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.

Andrew Ahn Director of Spa Night

Claire Carré Director of Embers

Anna Rose Holmer Director of The Fits

Ingrid Jungermann Director of Women Who Kill

22nd Truer Than Fiction Award – The 22nd 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.

  • Kristi Jacobson Director of Solitary
  • Sara Jordenö Director of Kiki
  • Nanfu Wang Director of Hooligan Sparrow

Winners of the Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grants will be announced at the Film Independent Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grants and Nominee Brunch on Saturday, January 7, 2017, at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood.

The Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grants enable us to not only recognize great work but also to provide much needed direct financial support to filmmakers,” said Welsh. “We’re so appreciative of our grant funders, Kiehl’s Since 1851 and Piaget. Through their funding of the Producers Award, Piaget has been a steadfast supporter of film artists for the last decade.”

The Spirit Awards Nominating Committees selected nominees from 382 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.

The Film Independent Spirit Awards are sponsored by Premier Sponsors Piaget, American Airlines, Jeep brand, IFC, and Principal Sponsor AT&T, as well as Breyers Gelato Indulgences. FIJI Water is the Official Water. WireImage is the Official Photographer. (For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Albina Oks, Director of Corporate Sponsorship, aoks@filmindependent.org or 310.432.1252.)

Film Independent is the non-profit arts organization that champions creative independence in visual storytelling 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.

Film Independent produces the Spirit Awards, the annual celebration honoring artistdriven films and recognizing the finest achievements of American independent filmmakers. Film Independent also produces the LA Film Festival, showcasing the best of American and international cinema and Film Independent at LACMA, 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.

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