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Tuesday, November 22, 2022

F3PR: 2023 Film Independent Spirit Awards Film Nominations Announced

Film Flam Flummox



All Award Winners,
Including in New Performance Categories, to be Announced
at the 38th Film Independent
Spirit Awards on March 4 in Santa Monica

Chloé Zhao and Siân Heder
Announced as Honorary Co-Chairs

LOS ANGELES (November 22, 2022) – Film Independent, the nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering independence and inclusivity in visual storytelling, announced this morning the nominations for the film categories at the 2023 Film Independent Spirit Awards. Film Independent President Josh Welsh introduced the prerecorded video announcements, which featured guest presenters Raúl Castillo (2019 Spirit Awards nominee for We Are Animals), and Taylour Paige (2022 Spirit Award winner for @zola). Watch here:

“We couldn’t be more honored to celebrate this year’s exciting film nominees,” said Josh Welsh, President of Film Independent. “As the Film Independent Spirit Awards evolve with our changing industry, including embracing non-gendered categories, we look to these artists to lead us into the future. And as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of our Artist Development programs, we are incredibly proud to have Film Independent Fellows Siân Heder and Chloé Zhao return as our honorary co-chairs.”

The 2023 Best Feature nominees included Bones and All, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Tár, Women Talking, and Our Father, the Devil. Everything Everywhere All at Once led all films with eight total nominations, including Best Director for Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert, and acting nominations for stars Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ke Huy Quan, and Stephanie Hsu. Tár received seven nominations including Best Director for Todd Field and acting nominations for Cate Blanchett and Nina Hoss.

New to the nominations this year is the Best Breakthrough Performance category, honoring actors making themselves known to wider audiences through noteworthy character portrayals. The nominees include, in addition to Stephanie Hsu, Frankie Corio of Aftersun, Gracija Filipović of Murina, Lily McInerny of Palm Trees and Power Lines, and Daniel Zolghadri of Funny Pages.

Also new this year is a switch to gender neutral acting awards, with the separate lead and supporting actor and actress categories being replaced by the ten-nominee Best Lead and Best Supporting Performance awards.

Women Talking, from director Sarah Polley, was selected to receive the Robert Altman Award, which is bestowed upon a single film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast. The Altman Award was created in 2008 in honor of legendary director Robert Altman, known for populating his films with extraordinary ensemble casts.

In addition to the film nominees, Academy Award-winning filmmakers and previous Film Independent Fellows Chloé Zhao (Nomadland, Eternals) and Siân Heder (CODA, Tallulah) were announced as the honorary co-chairs of the 38th Spirit Awards. Both co-chairs were also recognized at the 2021 Spirit Awards, where Chloé Zhao won Best Director, Best Editing and Best Feature for Nomadland, and Siân Heder was nominated for Best New Scripted Series for Little America. Previous honorary chairs include Kristen Stewart, Shaka King, and Ava DuVernay.

Celebrating creative independence, diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision, the 38th Film Independent Spirit Awards will take place on Saturday, March 4, 2023. The in-person show, held on the beach in Santa Monica, will be streamed internationally across multiple online and digital platforms. The Spirit Awards are the primary fundraiser for Film Independent’s year-round slate of programs, which cultivate the careers of emerging filmmakers and promote diversity and inclusion in the industry.

This year the Spirit Awards Film Nominating Committees selected nominees from over 25 different countries, applying the following guidelines in determining nominees: 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. Of all nominated writers and directors, 61% are women and 34% are BIPOC. Of all nominated actors, 70% are women and 27% are BIPOC. And of all 2023 nominees, 51% are women and 33% are BIPOC. This year, the Spirit Awards nominating committees are 50% female, 6% Nonbinary, 3% Transgender, and 61% BIPOC; 32% identify as LGBTQ+ and 8% identify as people with disabilities (PWD).

Spirit Awards nominations in television-specific categories will be announced separately on Tuesday, December 13.

The Film Independent Spirit Awards are supported by the Official Spirit, Bulleit Frontier Whiskey, and the Official Water, FIJI Water. Getty Images is the Official Photographer.



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

  • Bones and All
    Producers: Timothée Chalamet, Francesco Melzi d’Eril, Luca Guadagnino, David Kajganich, Lorenzo Mieli, Marco Morabito, Gabriele Moratti, Theresa Park, Peter Spears
  • Everything Everywhere All at Once
    Producers: Daniel Kwan, Mike Larocca, Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, Daniel Scheinert, Jonathan Wang
  • Our Father, the Devil
    Producers: Ellie Foumbi, Joseph Mastantuono
  • Tár
    Producers: Todd Field, Scott Lambert, Alexandra Milchan
  • Women Talking
    Producers: Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Frances McDormand


(Award given to the director and producer)

  • Aftersun
    Director: Charlotte Wells
    Producers: Mark Ceryak, Amy Jackson, Barry Jenkins, Adele Romanski
  • Emily the Criminal
    Director: John Patton Ford
    Producers: Tyler Davidson, Aubrey Plaza, Drew Sykes
  • The Inspection
    Director: Elegance Bratton
    Producers: Effie T. Brown, Chester Algernal Gordon
  • Murina
    Director: Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović
    Producers: Danijel Pek, Rodrigo Teixeira
  • Palm Trees and Power Lines
    Director/Producer: Jamie Dack
    Producers: Leah Chen Baker


Given to the best feature made for under $1,000,000. Award given to the writer, director and producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.

  • The African Desperate
    Writer/Director/Producer: Martine Syms
    Writer/Producer: Rocket Caleshu
    Producer: Vic Brooks
  • The Cathedral
    Writer/Director: Ricky D’Ambrose
    Producer: Graham Swon
  • Holy Emy
    Writer/Director: Araceli Lemos
    Writer/Producer: Giulia Caruso
    Producers: Mathieu Bompoint, Ki Jin Kim, Konstantinos Vassilaros
  • A Love Song
    Writer/Director/Producer: Max Walker-Silverman
    Producers: Jesse Hope, Dan Janvey
  • Something in the Dirt
    Writer/Director/Producer: Justin Benson
    Director/Producer: Aaron Moorhead
    Producer: David Lawson Jr.


  • Todd Field, Tár
  • Kogonada, After Yang
  • Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Sarah Polley, Women Talking
  • Halina Reijn, Bodies Bodies Bodies


  • Lena Dunham, Catherine Called Birdy
  • Todd Field, Tár
  • Kogonada, After Yang
  • Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Sarah Polley, Women Talking


  • Joel Kim Booster, Fire Island
  • Jamie Dack & Audrey Findlay, story by Jamie Dack, Palm Trees and Power Lines
  • K.D. Dávila, Emergency
  • Sarah DeLappe, story by Kristen Roupenian, Bodies Bodies Bodies
  • John Patton Ford, Emily the Criminal


  • Cate Blanchett, Tár
  • Dale Dickey, A Love Song
  • Mia Goth, Pearl
  • Regina Hall, Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul.
  • Paul Mescal, Aftersun
  • Aubrey Plaza, Emily the Criminal
  • Jeremy Pope, The Inspection
  • Andrea Riseborough, To Leslie
  • Taylor Russell, Bones and All
  • Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once


  • Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway
  • Nina Hoss, Tár
  • Brian d’Arcy James, The Cathedral
  • Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Trevante Rhodes, Bruiser
  • Theo Rossi, Emily the Criminal
  • Mark Rylance, Bones and All
  • Jonathan Tucker, Palm Trees and Power Lines
  • Gabrielle Union, The Inspection


  • Frankie Coiro, Aftersun
  • Gracija Filipović, Murina
  • Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Lily McInerny, Palm Trees and Power Lines
  • Daniel Zolghadri, Funny Pages


  • Florian Hoffmeister, Tár
  • Hélène Louvart, Murina
  • Gregory Oke, Aftersun
  • Eliot Rockett, Pearl
  • Anisia Uzeyman, Neptune Frost


  • Ricky D’Ambrose, The Cathedral
  • Dean Fleischer Camp & Nick Paley, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
  • Blair McClendon, Aftersun
  • Paul Rogers, Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Monika Willi, Tár


Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast.

  • Women Talking
    Director: Sarah Polley
    Casting Directors: John Buchan, Jason Knight
    Ensemble Cast: Shayla Brown, Jessie Buckley, Claire Foy, Kira Guloien, Kate Hallett, Judith Ivey, Rooney Mara, Sheila McCarthy, Frances McDormand, Michelle McLeod, Liv McNeil, Ben Whishaw, August Winter


Award given to the director and producer.

  • All That Breathes
    Director/Producer: Shaunak Sen
    Producers: Teddy Leifer, Aman Mann
  • All the Beauty and the Bloodshed
    Director/Producer: Laura Poitras
    Producers: Howard Gertler, Nan Goldin, Yoni Golijov, John Lyons
  • A House Made of Splinters
    Director: Simon Lereng Wilmont
    Producers: Monica Hellström
  • Midwives
    Director/Producer: Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing
    Producers: Mila Aung-Thwin, Ulla Lehmann, Bob Moore
  • Riotsville, U.S.A.
    Director: Sierra Pettengill
    Producers: Sara Archambault, Jamila Wignot


Award given to the director.

  • Corsage (Austria/Luxembourg/France/Belgium/Italy/England)
    Director: Marie Kreutzer
  • Joyland (Pakistan/USA)
    Director: Saim Sadiq
  • Leonor Will Never Die (Philippines)
    Director: Martika Ramirez Escobar
  • Return to Seoul (Cambodia)
    Director: Davy Chou
  • Saint Omer (France)
    Director: Alice Diop

PRODUCERS AWARD presented by Bulleit Frontier Whiskey

The Producers Award, now in its 26th year, honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality independent films.

  • Liz Cardenas
  • Tory Lenosky
  • David Grove Churchill Viste


The Someone to Watch Award, now in its 29th year, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition.

  • Adamma Ebo, Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul.
  • Nikyatu Jusu, Nanny
  • Araceli Lemos, Holy Emy


The Truer Than Fiction Award, now in its 28th year, is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition.

  • Isabel Castro, Mija
  • Reid Davenport, I Didn’t See You There
  • Rebeca Huntt, Beba

The Movie Report wants to attend all your film special events! Please send any and all invitations to this address. Thanks!

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Friday, September 16, 2022

The Movie Report #1186 - September 16, 2022

The Movie Report

#1186 - September 16, 2022


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Review: A Jazzman's Blues

The Movie Report

***; Rated R

Even if one is unaware of the backstory of the 27-year journey it took for Tyler Perry to finally realize A Jazzman's Blues on the screen, it is quite evident from the first post-Netflix logo frames how much more this particular project, the first screenplay he ever wrote, means to the ever-prolific writer/director/producer. Even though the opening scenes (and, for that matter, the bookending epilogue) are set in the not too far-flung year of 1987, there is a richness to the image and, especially, flavor to the place. The antiseptic, blatantly studio-bound aesthetic characteristic of much of his recent work on both the big and small screens is gone, with the honeyed tones of Brett Pawlak's cinematography not only distinctly cinematic (a pity that 99.9% of the film's audience will only be viewing this on a television screen) but quite transporting to the film's primary setting of Hopewell, Georgia.

After the brief framing introduction, the film then further transports 50 or more years back to 1937 and familiar territory to, if not necessarily Perry's own films, many a movie melodrama of yesteryear, with two young, star-crossed lovers. Bayou (Joshua Boone) is the mild-mannered, mama's boy son of washer woman Hattie Mae (Amirah Vann) and jazz musician Buster (E. Roger Mitchell). Leanne (Solea Pfeiffer) is a young woman derisively nicknamed "Bucket" due to her mother leaving her to live with her grandfather. A humble meeting at a gathering leads to nightly secret meetings she summons via paper airplanes through his window, but such bliss is destined/doomed to be short-lived, and the two are forcibly separated. A full decade passes, and while the time has brought with it some inevitable change for Bayou and his family, his love for Leanne remains stronger than ever, despite having no reciprocated contact all this time -- even when she returns to town not only married to a white man, but passing as a white woman.

The love story is meant to be the primary hook for the whole film, but, ironically, this is the probably the angle that is the least captivating. This is no fault of the actors, however. Established stage stars Boone and Pfeiffer are appealingly fresh screen presences, with the dramatic chops to match and a natural, no-frills chemistry that sells the initial, pure connection between Bayou and Leanne. However, Perry's writing of Leanne after the time jump greatly diminishes rooting interest and investment in her and Bayou's ongoing relationship. With her decision to pass also comes a sense of self-involved entitlement, and if Perry more fully fleshed out the psychological and emotional fallout from her childhood trauma, there may have been some leeway for empathy. As is, though, she comes off as a bit too selfish in her actions and motivations, perhaps even consciously taking advantage of Bayou's intense devotion to her.

Luckily, Bayou's life and world are fully developed beyond his single-minded focus on Leanne, and more involving are the relationships with his family members. Vann is equal parts warmth and grit as the caring but steely strong Hattie Mae, who, like her portrayer, is a bona fide star in the juke joint she runs in the neighborhood. Driving most of the drama is the tension with Bayou's more Alpha-male older brother Willie Earl (Austin Scott), who could have easily fallen into a one-dimensional villain trap, given how the brothers' relationship fits into the Cain and Abel archetype. The title A Jazzman's Blues presumably refers to Bayou and his tortured romance with Leanne, but it actually is a more accurate description of Willie Earl's arc. While Bayou eventually falls into a career as a jazz singer in a rather flukish manner, Willie Earl, much like the father who blatantly favored him, has music as his primary pursuit since his youth. Even though it leads into some unsavory actions and a destructive drug habit, his bitterness and envy over Bayou's seemingly easy success comes from a very real and relatable place, made all the more so by the vulnerable shades in Scott's performance.

One wishes Scott also had more opportunity to showcase his own considerable vocal talents in the film, but even so, the film is at its best during its numerous musical performance scenes. Boone is magnetic with his smooth, Nat King Cole-esque vocal style, and providing variety and contrast is Vann's stellar voice at the centerpiece of the film's more energetic juke joint numbers. In fact, the film's music as a whole -- both the score by Aaron Zigman and songs produced by the great Terence Blanchard -- serves as a far more effective unifying element to A Jazzman's Blues than the central romance. This is no better exemplified than by the film's central original song, the Blanchard and Ruth B.-penned "Paper Airplanes," which packs a punch during its later reprises due to the soulful composition and performances of the song itself, and not so much the narrative it's attached to. But feeling is feeling all the same, and one cannot deny that Perry ultimately elicits an earnest emotional response with A Jazzman's Blues.

The Movie Report wants to attend all your film premieres and special events! Please send any and all invitations to this address. Thanks!

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Instagram: @twotrey23

Twitter: @twotrey23