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Thursday, November 21, 2019

F3PR: 35th Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominations Announced

Film Flam Flummox



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 (November 21, 2019) – 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 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.


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

  • 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
  • A Hidden Life
    Producers: Elisabeth Bentley, Dario Bergesio, Grant Hill, Josh Jeter
  • Marriage Story
    Producers: Noah Baumbach, David Heyman
  • Uncut Gems
    Producers: Eli Bush, Sebastian Bear-McClard, Scott Rudin
(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

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

  • Robert Eggers, The Lighthouse
  • Alma Har'el, Honey Boy
  • Julius Onah, Luce
  • Lorene Scafaria, Hustlers
  • Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie, Uncut Gems

  • 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

  • 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

  • Todd Banhazl, Hustlers
  • Jarin Blaschke, The Lighthouse
  • Natasha Braier, Honey Boy
  • Chananun Chotrungroj, The Third Wife
  • Pawel Pogorzelski, Midsommar

  • Julie B├ęziau, The Third Wife
  • Ronald Bronstein & Benny Safdie, Uncut Gems
  • Tyler L. Cook, Sword of Trust
  • Louise Ford, The Lighthouse
  • Kirill Mikhanovsky, Give Me Liberty

  • Karen Allen, Colewell
  • Hong Chau, Driveways
  • Elisabeth Moss, Her Smell
  • Mary Kay Place, Diane
  • Alfre Woodard, Clemency
  • Renée Zellweger, Judy

  • Chris Galust, Give Me Liberty
  • Kelvin Harrison Jr., Luce
  • Robert Pattinson, The Lighthouse
  • Matthias Schoenaerts, The Mustang
  • Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems

  • Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers
  • Taylor Russell, Waves
  • Lauren “Lolo” Spencer, Give Me Liberty
  • Octavia Spencer, Luce
  • Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell

  • 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

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

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

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 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

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

Presented by Bulleit Frontier Whiskey, 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

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, directors of América

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