The 36th Film Independent Spirit Awards take place Thursday, April 22, 2021 and nominations were announced today. NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS takes the lead with a total seven nominations, with MINARI, MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM and NOMADLAND tying in second with six nods apiece. ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI, the Feature directorial debut of Oscar winner Regina King will be awarded the Robert Altman Award this year.
Interestingly, we see Chadwick Boseman, whom posthumously has been a frontrunner in the Support Actor category this Awards Season, is in the Lead Actor category here for his work in MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM.
The Spirit Awards’ commitment and diversity can be felt this year across several categories and in the Director race we have two Asian-American Filmmakers nominated in Lee Isaac Chung (Minari) and Chloe Zhao (Nomadland). Three out of five nominees in the category are female.
The Cast of HBO‘s I MAY DESTROY YOU starring, written, directed, produced by Michaela Coel also will be honoured for Best Ensemble Cast in a New Scripted Series.
Nominees are as follows:
Best Feature “First Cow” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” “Minari” “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” “Nomadland”
Best Director Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari” Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman” Eliza Hittman,” Never Rarely Sometimes Always” Kelly Reichardt, “First Cow” Chloe Zhao, “Nomadland”
Best First Feature “I Carry You With Me” “The 40 Year Old Version” “The Sound of Metal” “Miss Juneteenth” “Nine Days”
Best Female Lead Nicole Beharie, “Miss Juneteenth” Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” Sidney Flanigan, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” Julia Garner, “The Assistant” Frances McDormand, “Nomadland” Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”
Best Male Lead Riz Ahmed, “The Sound of Metal” Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” Rob Morgan, “Bull” Steven Yeun, “Minari” Adarsh Gourav, “The White Tiger”
Best Supporting Female Alexis Chikaeze, “Miss Juneteenth” Yeri Han, “Minari” Valerie Mahaffey, French Exit” Talia Ryder, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” Yuh-jung Youn, “Minari”
Best Supporting Male Coleman Domingo, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” Orion Lee, “First Cow” Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal” Glynn Turmann, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” Benedict Wong, “Nine Days”
Best Screenplay “Bad Education” “Minari” “The Half of It” “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” “Promising Young Woman”
Best First Screenplay Kitty Green, “The Assistant” Noah Hutton, “Lapsis” Channing Godfrey Peoples, “Miss Juneteenth” Andy Siara, “Palm Springs” James Sweeney, “Straight Up”
Best Cinematography Jay Keitel, “She Dies Tomorrow” Shabier Kirchner, “Bull” Michael Latham, “The Assistant” Hélène Louvart, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” Joshua James Richards, “Nomadland”
Best Editing “I Carry You With Me” “The Invisible Man” “Residue” “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” “Nomadland”
Robert Altman Award “One Night in Miami”
Best Documentary “Collective” “Crip Camp” “Dick Johnson Is Dead” “Time” “The Mole Agent”
Best International Film “Bacurau” “The Disciple” “Night of the Kings” “Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time” “Quo Vadis, Aida?”
Piaget Producers Award Kara Durrett Lucas Joaquin Gerry Kim
Someone to Watch Award David Midell, “The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain” Ekwa Msangi, “Farewell Amor” Annie Silverstein, “Bull”
Truer Than Fiction Award Cecilia Aldarondo, “Landfall” Elegance Bratton, “Pier Kids” Elizabeth Lo, “Stray”
Best New Non-Scripted or Documentary Series “Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children” “City So Real” “Immigration Nation” “Love Fraud” “We’re Here”
Best Scripted Series “I May Destroy You” “Little America” “Small Axe” “A Teacher” “Unorthodox”
Best Female Performance in a Scripted Series Elle Fanning, “The Great” Shira Haas, “Unorthodox” Abby McEnany, “Work in Progress Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, “Never Have I Ever” Jordan Kristine Seamón, “We Are Who We Are”
Best Male Performance in a Scripted Series Conphidance, “Little America” Adam Ali, “Little America” Nicco Annan, “P-Valley” Amit Rahav, “Unorthodox” Harold Torres, “Zero, Zero, Zero”
Best Ensemble Cast in a New Scripted Series “I May Destroy You” Ensemble Cast: Michaela Coel, Paapa Essiedu, Wruche Opia, Stephen Wight
While the 2020 FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS didn’t see a clean sweep for any particular Film, what made it most unique was the split of awards among deserving titles which may have been overseen on other circuits. Taking home top honours at this year’s Awards, held once again at Santa Monica Pier, was Lulu Wang‘s THE FAREWELL. The Film won Best Feature and Best Supporting Actress with Zhao Shuzhen, who sadly was unable to celebrate due to the Coronavirus situation in China. Wang‘s partner Barry Jenkins was with her to support her, showing his pride backstage.
UNCUT GEMS which surprisingly for many failed to garner an Academy Award nomination, performed very well at the Spirit Awards, rewarding Best Director to Co-Directors TheSafdie Brothers and also Best Male Lead (Adam Sandler). Sandler gave a spirited speech delivered completely as a different character, before thanking his family, while the Safdie Brothers both delivered a comical speech which saw them talking over one another.
Much like the rest of Awards Season, Renée Zellweger took home Best Female Lead for her work in JUDY, marking her first Spirit Award win after three nominations. Returning Host Aubrey Plaza delivered an opening number, a version of Judy Garland‘s Get Happy with hilarious lyrics, delivering the chuckles once again.
Watch it here:
MARRIAGE STORY also saw recognition with the Film’s team being awarded the Robert Altman Award, along with its Director/Writer Noah Baumbach who was also awarded Best Screenplay.Baumbach gave thanks to his partner Greta Gerwig, telling the audience “Even though she made a Movie (Little Women) too expensive to be here, she is just as independent as any of us.”. This was Baumbach‘s first Spirit Award.
Watch Film Independent’s YouTube Channel for more clips and speeches here.
We were thrilled once again to partner with Hollywood Suite, exclusive Canadian Broadcaster of the Awards!
See some of our star-studded Snaps. Navigate Albums by selecting the right arrow.
Now in their 34th year, the FILMINDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS took place in Santa Monica this past weekend, celebrating the achievement in Independent Film over the past year. Taking top honours was Barry Jenkins’ IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, winning Best Feature. The Adaptation of the Novel by James Baldwin also was awarded Best Director and Supporting Actress, Regina King who the next day, would win an Oscar for the same performance.
As is consistent with most of this Awards Season, we’ve seen a split in the recognition of Films and the Spirit Awards were on-trend. CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? and SUSPIRIA received two awards each, the former winning for Best Supporting Actor, Richard E. Grant and Best Screenplay, Jeff Whitty and Nicole Holofcener. Grant shared some inspiring words about his experience playing Jack Hock, himself having seen several of his friends die victims of HIV. He dedicated his award in memory of those who passed away as a result of the disease.
The Cast of SUSPIRIA received the prestigious Robert Altman Award, honouring its Female Ensemble including Chloë Grace-Moretz, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Dakota Johnson and more. Its Cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom also was awarded for her work.
Hosted by Aubrey Plaza, the audience were treated to her expletive-filled dead-pan humour where several including Netflix nor even THE FAVOURITE Director Yorgos Lanthimos (equating the sound of his name to a Harry Potter spell, “You just shout Yorgos Lanthimos and someone gets fingered in a corset!”) were safe from her jokes. Kidding aside, she points out that 60% of Director nominees at the Spirit Awards this year were women, stating “Don’t get too excited, in this case 60% just means three women, but calling it 60% makes it sound way scarier to your uncles.”. On the growing phenomenon of Films getting digital releases over theatrical, she says, “I truly believe people should see movies how they’re meant to seen in the theatres.”.
Plaza‘s amazing Opening Monologue
Not only did Best Actress winner Glenn Close rule at the Awards, she and her adorable Havanese dog Pip charmed on the Blue Carpet, she dressed in a shimmery pink lamé suit, before getting her own private dinner hosted by Chanel at STK. Pip also attended.
The Cast of Suspiria also ruled the Blue Carpet with Mother Suspiriorum herself, Dakota Johnson, leading the charge and giving her time generously to fans who queued on the sand for a chance to see the stars.
See some of our Snaps:
Glenn Close x Pip
Barry Jenkins and “If Beale Street Could Talk” Team
Josh Hamilton, Elsie Fisher x Bo Burnham
Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth and the ladies of Suspiria
Chloë Grace Moretz x Riley Keough
Ray Romano x Mark Duplass
Yalitza Aparicio x Javier Bardem
Taraji P. Henson x Shangela
You also cannot miss Shangela’s daring performance
We attended together with our friends at Hollywood Suite, the exclusive broadcaster of the Spirit Awards and will never forget this amazing journey. Their Cam Maitland did an awesome job interviewing talent on the Blue Carpet which will air at later points. You can subscribe via your television provider at $6 per month, plus basic cable. Hollywoodsuite.com.