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35th Film Independent Spirit Award Nominations Announced

Broadcast Live Exclusively on IFC Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 2:00 pm PT / 5:00 pm ET

American Airlines and IFC return as Premier Sponsors, joined by Mazda

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- This morning, Film Independent announced the nominations for the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards. The Spirit Awards are the primary fundraiser for Film Independent's year-round programs, which cultivate the careers of emerging filmmakers and promote diversity and inclusion in the industry. Film Independent President Josh Welsh presided over the press conference with actors Zazie Beetz (Atlanta, Joker, Deadpool 2) and Natasha Lyonne (Ad Astra, Orange is the New Black, Russian Doll) presenting the nominations, hosted by The LINE LA. Nominees for Best Feature included A Hidden Life, Clemency, The Farewell, Marriage Story and Uncut Gems.  This year marks the 35th anniversary of the Santa Monica beach-adjacent award show.

Marriage Story 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.

"The Film Independent Spirit Awards celebrate the best films of the year – films characterized by creative independence and original, provocative subject matter, as well as diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision," said Film Independent President Josh Welsh. "At a time when the film business is undergoing such change and challenges, it's important to loudly celebrate the work itself – the films! – and to recognize 2019 as a year of bold, audacious and accomplished filmmaking. That's what the Spirit Awards are all about."

Welsh added, "The Spirit Awards are a unique awards show in that the winners are chosen by the members of Film Independent, an open access organization made up of film lovers and filmmakers alike. To everyone who cares about film and who wants to help shine a bright light on the great work being made today, I urge you to join Film Independent by December 5 and become part of our voting body!"

Winners, who are selected by Film Independent Members, will be announced at the Spirit Awards on Saturday, February 8, 2020. The awards ceremony will be held on the beach in Santa Monica, just north of the Santa Monica Pier. The show will be broadcast live exclusively on IFC at 2:00 pm PT/ 5:00 pm ET.

The Spirit Awards Nominating Committees selected nominees from over 430 submissions this year and applied the following guidelines in determining the nominations: uniqueness of vision, original and provocative subject matter, economy of means. 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. Winners of the Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grants will be announced at the Film Independent Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grant and Nominee Brunch on Saturday, January 4, 2020.

Film Independent is proud to announce the return of its collaboration with American Airlines, who joins for the sixth year and returns to fund the Bonnie Award, recognizing a mid-career female director with a $50,000 unrestricted grant. And we welcome this year's Official Automotive Partner, Mazda.

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Stephanie Terifay Bédiée, Director of Corporate Partnerships, sterifay@filmindependent.org. To learn more about attending the Spirit Awards and supporting Film Independent please contact Jennifer Murby, Director of Individual Giving, jmurby@filmindependent.org.

For more information on submission guidelines, voting, the history of the Spirit Awards and more, please visit spiritawards.com.

Want to vote?
Film Independent Members vote to determine the winners at the Spirit Awards. Members can attend free Nominee Screening Series in Los Angeles, receive DVD screeners of select nominees by mail and digital screeners online. Members must be current by December 5, 2019 to receive full voting benefits. Join today at filmindependent.org/join.

2020 FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARD NOMINATIONS

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

A Hidden Life
Producers: Elisabeth Bentley, Dario Bergesio, Grant Hill, Josh Jeter 

Clemency
Producers: Timur Bekbosunov, Julian Cautherley, Bronwyn Cornelius, Peter Wong

The Farewell
Producers: Anita Gou, Daniele Melia, Andrew Miano, Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub, Lulu Wang, Chris Weitz, Jane Zheng

Marriage Story
Producers: Noah Baumbach, David Heyman

Uncut Gems
Producers: Eli Bush, Sebastian Bear-McClard, Scott Rudin

BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer)

Booksmart
Director: Olivia Wilde
Producers: Chelsea Barnard, David Distenfeld, Jessica Elbaum, Megan Ellison, Katie Silberman

The Climb
Director/Producer: Michael Angelo Covino
Producers: Noah Lang, Kyle Marvin

Diane
Director: Kent Jones
Producers: Luca Borghese, Ben Howe, Caroline Kaplan, Oren Moverman

The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Director/Producer: Joe Talbot
Producers: Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Khaliah Neal, Christina Oh

The Mustang
Director: Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre
Producer: Ilan Goldman

See You Yesterday
Director: Stefon Bristol
Producer: Spike Lee

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.)

Burning Cane
Writer/Director/Producer: Phillip Youmans
Producers: Ojo Akinlana, Jakob Johnson, Karen Kaia Livers, Mose Mayer,
Wendell Pierce, Isaac Webb, Cassandra Youmans

Colewell
Writer/Director: Tom Quinn
Producers: Joshua Blum, Alexandra Byer, Craig Shilowich, Matthew Thurm

Give Me Liberty
Writer/Director/Producer: Kirill Mikhanovsky
Writer/Producer: Alice Austen
Producers: Val Abel, Wally Hall, Michael Manasseri, George Rush, Sergey Shtern

Premature
Writer/Director/Producer: Rashaad Ernesto Green
Writer: Zora Howard
Producer: Darren Dean, Joy Ganes

Wild Nights With Emily
Writer/Director/Producer: Madeleine Olnek
Producers: Anna Margarita Albelo, Casper Andreas, Max Rifkind-Barron

BEST DIRECTOR

Alma Har'el
Honey Boy

Lorene Scafaria
Hustlers

Julius Onah
Luce

Robert Eggers
The Lighthouse

Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie
Uncut Gems

BEST SCREENPLAY

Noah Baumbach
Marriage Story

Jason Begue, Shawn Snyder
To Dust

Ronald Bronstein & Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie
Uncut Gems

Chinonye Chukwu
Clemency

Tarell Alvin McCraney
High Flying Bird

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY

Fredrica Bailey & Stefon Bristol
See You Yesterday

Hannah Bos & Paul Thureen
Driveways

Bridget Savage Cole & Danielle Krudy
Blow the Man Down

Jocelyn DeBoer & Dawn Luebbe
Greener Grass

James Montague & Craig W. Sanger
The Vast of Night

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Todd Banhazl
Hustlers

Jarin Blaschke
The Lighthouse

Natasha Braier
Honey Boy

Chananun Chotrungroj
The Third Wife

Pawel Pogorzelski
Midsommar

BEST EDITING

Julie Béziau
The Third Wife

Ronald Bronstein & Benny Safdie
Uncut Gems

Tyler L. Cook
Sword of Trust           

Louise Ford
The Lighthouse

Kirill Mikhanovsky
Give Me Liberty

BEST FEMALE LEAD

Karen Allen
Colewell

Hong Chau
Driveways

Elisabeth Moss
Her Smell

Mary Kay Place
Diane

Alfre Woodard
Clemency

Renée Zellweger
Judy

BEST MALE LEAD

Chris Galust
Give Me Liberty

Kelvin Harrison Jr.
Luce

Robert Pattinson
The Lighthouse

Matthias Schoenaerts
The Mustang

Adam Sandler
Uncut Gems

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE

Jennifer Lopez
Hustlers

Taylor Russell
Waves

Lauren "LoLo" Spencer
Give Me Liberty

Octavia Spencer
Luce

Zhao Shuzhen
The Farewell

BEST SUPPORTING MALE

Willem Dafoe
The Lighthouse

Noah Jupe
Honey Boy

Shia LaBeouf
Honey Boy

Jonathan Majors
The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Wendell Pierce
Burning Cane

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD – Given to one film's director, casting director and ensemble cast

Marriage Story
Director: Noah Baumbach
Casting Directors: Douglas Aibel, Francine Maisler
Ensemble Cast: Alan Alda, Laura Dern, Adam Driver, Julie Hagerty, Scarlett Johansson, Ray Liotta, Azhy Robertson, Merritt Wever

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director and producer)

American Factory
Director/Producer: Steven Bognar & Julia Reichert
Producers: Julie Parker Benello, Jeff Reichert

Apollo 11
Director/Producer: Todd Douglas Miller
Producers: Evan Krauss, Thomas Baxley Petersen

For Sama
Director: Edward Watts
Director/Producer: Waad al-Kateab

Honeyland
Director: Tamara Kotevska
Director/Producer: Ljubo Stefanov
Producer: Atanas Georgiev

Island of the Hungry Ghosts
Director/Producer: Gabrielle Brady
Producers: Gizem Acarla, Samm Haillay, Alex Kelly, Alexander Wadouh

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (Award given to the director)

Invisible Life
Brazil
Director: Karim Aïnouz

Les Misérables
France
Director: Ladj Ly

Parasite
South Korea
Director: Bong Joon-Ho

Portrait of a Lady on Fire
France
Director: Céline Sciamma

Retablo
Peru
Director: Álvaro Delgado-Aparicio L.

The Souvenir
United Kingdom
Director: Joanna Hogg

BONNIE AWARD – Bonnie Tiburzi Caputo joined American Airlines in 1973 at age 24, becoming the first female pilot to fly for a major U.S. airline. In her honor, the third Bonnie Award will recognize a mid-career female director with a $50,000 unrestricted grant, sponsored by American Airlines.

Marielle Heller
Kelly Reichardt
Lulu Wang

PRODUCERS AWARD – The 23rd annual Producers Award 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.

Mollye Asher
Krista Parris
Ryan Zacarias

SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The 26th annual Someone to Watch Award recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.

Rashaad Ernesto Green
Director of Premature

Ash Mayfair
Director of The Third Wife

Joe Talbot
Director of The Last Black Man in San Francisco

TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The 25th 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.

Khalik Allah
Director of Black Mother

Davy Rothbart
Director of 17 Blocks

Nadia Shihab
Director of Jaddoland

Erick Stoll & Chase Whiteside
Director of América

About the Film Independent Spirit Awards
Now in its 35th 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 Film Independent Spirit Awards are sponsored by Premier Sponsors American Airlines, IFC and Mazda. Bulleit Frontier Whiskey is the Official Spirit. FIJI Water is the Official Water. Getty Images is the Official Photographer. Town & Country Event Rentals is the Exclusive Rental Company.

About Film Independent
For over 38 years, Film Independent has helped filmmakers get their projects made and seen. The nonprofit's mission is to champion creative independence in visual storytelling and support a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision.

In addition to producing the Film Independent Spirit Awards, the organization supports creative professionals with Artist Development programs, grants and labs, and signature mentorship program Project Involve fosters the careers of talented filmmakers from underrepresented communities. Weekly Education events and workshops equip filmmakers of all ages and experience levels with tools and resources. International programs include Global Media Makers, a cultural exchange program that provides career-building opportunities for international film professionals. Year-round screening series Film Independent Presents delivers monthly, unique cinematic experiences to Members in Los Angeles and beyond.

While working to make the entertainment industry more inclusive, Film Independent provides access to a network of like-minded artists. Film lovers, industry professionals and anyone passionate about visual storytelling can become a Member at filmindependent.org and find @FilmIndependent across social platforms.

About IFC
IFC is the home of offbeat, unexpected comedies. Acclaimed series Documentary Now!BrockmireBaroness von Sketch ShowSherman's Showcase and the upcoming Year of the Rabbit air alongside fan-favorite movies and comedic cult TV shows. IFC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc., and available across multiple platforms. IFC is Always On, Slightly Off.

Media Credential Applications:
filmindependent.org/press

BY DISTRIBUTOR

DISTRIBUTOR

NOMINATIONS

#

A24

 

The Farewell, Best Feature

The Farewell, Best Supporting Female

The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Best First Feature

The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Best Supporting Male

The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Someone to Watch Award

The Lighthouse, Best Cinematography

The Lighthouse, Best Director

The Lighthouse, Best Editing

The Lighthouse, Best Male Lead

The Lighthouse, Best Supporting Male

Midsommar, Best Cinematography

The Souvenir, Best International Film

Uncut Gems, Best Director

Uncut Gems, Best Editing

Uncut Gems, Best Feature

Uncut Gems, Best Male Lead

Uncut Gems, Best Screenplay

Waves, Best Supporting Female

18

 

Amazon Studios

Blow the Man Down, Best First Screenplay  

Honey Boy, Best Cinematography    

Honey Boy, Best Director      

Honey Boy, Best Supporting Male    

Honey Boy, Best Supporting Male    

Invisible Life, Best International Film 

Les Misérables, Best International Film        

The Vast of Night, Best First Screenplay      

8

Annapurna Pictures/

United Artists Releasing

Booksmart, Best First Feature

1

Array Releasing

Burning Cane, Best Supporting Male

Burning Cane, John Cassavetes Award

2

Film Movement

The Third Wife, Best Cinematography          

The Third Wife, Best Editing  

The Third Wife, Someone to Watch Award   

3

Focus Features

The Mustang, Best First Feature       

The Mustang, Best Male Lead           

2

Fox Searchlight Pictures

A Hidden Life, Best Feature   

1

Good Deed Entertainment

To Dust, Best Screenplay     

1

Grasshopper Film

Black Mother, Truer Than Fiction Award      

1

Gravitas Ventures

 

Colewell, Best Female Lead  

Colewell, John Cassavetes Award

2

Greenwich Entertainment

Wild Nights With Emily, John Cassavetes Award

1

Gunpowder & Sky

Her Smell, Best Female Lead                        

1

IFC Films

Diane, Best Female Lead                  

Diane, Best First Feature

Greener Grass, Best First Screenplay

Premature, John Cassavetes Award

Premature, Someone to Watch Award         

Sword of Trust, Best Editing

6

MTV Documentary Films

17 Blocks, Truer Than Fiction Award

1

Music Box Films

Give Me Liberty, Best Editing            

Give Me Liberty, Best Male Lead      

Give Me Liberty, Best Supporting Female    

Give Me Liberty, John Cassavetes Award

4

NEON

Apollo 11, Best Documentary

Clemency, Best Feature        

Clemency, Best Female Lead           

Clemency, Best Screenplay  

Honeyland, Best Documentary         

Luce, Best Director

Luce, Best Male Lead

Luce, Best Supporting Female

Parasite, Best International Film        

Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Best International Film

10

Netflix

American Factory, Best Documentary          

High Flying Bird, Best Screenplay     

Marriage Story, Best Feature            

Marriage Story, Best Screenplay

Marriage Story, Robert Altman Award          

See You Yesterday, Best First Feature         

See You Yesterday, Best First Screenplay

7

PBS Distribution

For Sama, Best Documentary

1

Roadside Attractions

Judy, Best Female Lead

1

Sentient Art Film

Island of the Hungry Ghosts, Best Documentary

1

Sony Pictures Classics

The Climb, Best First Feature

1

STXfilms

Hustlers, Best Cinematography                    

Hustlers, Best Director

Hustlers, Best Supporting Female

3

Wolfe Releasing

Retablo, Best International Film         

1

No Distributor

América, Truer Than Fiction Award  

Driveways, Best Female Lead          

Driveways, Best First Screenplay     

Jaddoland, Truer Than Fiction Award

4

47 NOMINATED FILMS

FILM TITLE

CATEGORY

#

17 Blocks

Truer Than Fiction Award

1

A Hidden Life

Best Feature

1

América

Truer Than Fiction Award

1

American Factory

Best Documentary

1

Apollo 11

Best Documentary

1

Black Mother

Truer Than Fiction Award

1

Blow the Man Down

Best First Screenplay

1

Booksmart

Best First Feature

1

Burning Cane

Best Supporting Male

John Cassavetes Award

2

Clemency

Best Feature

Best Female Lead

Best Screenplay

3

The Climb

Best First Feature

1

Colewell

Best Female Lead

John Cassavetes Award

2

Diane

Best Female Lead

Best First Feature

2

Driveways

Best Female Lead

Best First Screenplay

2

The Farewell

Best Feature

Best Supporting Female

2

For Sama

Best Documentary

1

Give Me Liberty

Best Editing

Best Male Lead

Best Supporting Female

John Cassavetes Award

4

Greener Grass

Best First Screenplay

1

Her Smell

Best Female Lead

1

High Flying Bird

Best Screenplay

1

Honey Boy

Best Cinematography

Best Director

Best Supporting Male

Best Supporting Male

4

Honeyland

Best Documentary

1

Hustlers

Best Cinematography

Best Director

Best Supporting Female

3

Invisible Life

Best International Film

1

Island of the Hungry Ghosts

Best Documentary

1

Jaddoland

Truer Than Fiction Award

1

Judy

Best Female Lead

1

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Best First Feature

Best Supporting Male

Someone to Watch Award

3

Les Misérables

Best International Film

1

The Lighthouse

Best Cinematography

Best Director

Best Editing

Best Male Lead

Best Supporting Male

5

Luce

Best Director

Best Male Lead

Best Supporting Female

3

Marriage Story

Best Feature

Best Screenplay

Robert Altman Award

3

Midsommar

Best Cinematography

1

The Mustang

Best First Feature

Best Male Lead

2

Parasite

Best International Film

1

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Best International Film

1

Premature

John Cassavetes Award

Someone to Watch Award

2

Retablo

Best International Film

1

See You Yesterday

 

Best First Feature

Best First Screenplay

2

The Souvenir

Best International Film

1

Sword of Trust

Best Editing

1

The Third Wife

Best Cinematography

Best Editing

Someone to Watch Award

3

The Vast of Night

Best First Screenplay

1

To Dust

Best Screenplay

1

Uncut Gems

 

Best Director

Best Editing

Best Feature

Best Male Lead

Best Screenplay

5

Waves

Best Supporting Female

1

Wild Nights With Emily

John Cassavetes Award

1

Contact: Melanie Bates, Film Independent
Tel: 323 556 9338 or mbates@filmindependent.org 

Seanna Hore, Ginsberg/Libby
Tel: 323 645 6800 or seanna.hore@ginsberglibby.com

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