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Independent Spirit Awards Nominations Announced

Film Independent today announced the nominations for the 2019 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 in the industry. Film Independent President Josh Welsh presided over the press conference held at the W Hotel in Hollywood, with actors Gemma Chan and Molly Shannon presenting the nominations. Nominees for Best Feature included Eighth Grade, First Reformed, If Beale Street Could Talk, Leave No Trace and You Were Never Really Here.

“This year’s nominees reflect the bold originality that is the heart of independent film,” said Film Independent President Josh Welsh. “At a time when huge tent-pole franchises threaten to dominate our film culture, this year’s films and filmmakers offer something completely different – something vital, uncompromising, and needed. The nominees also show that, when it comes to diversity and inclusion, independent film is leading the way for the rest of the industry.”

Suspiria 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.

Winners, who are selected by Film Independent Members, will be announced at the Spirit Awards on Saturday, February 23, 2019. 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.

2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominations

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

Eighth Grade
Producers: Eli Bush, Scott Rudin, Christopher Storer, Lila Yacoub

First Reformed
Producers: Jack Binder, Greg Clark, Gary Hamilton, Victoria Hill, David Hinojosa, Frank Murray, Deepak Sikka, Christine Vachon

If Beale Street Could Talk
Producers: Dede Gardner, Barry Jenkins, Jeremy Kleiner, Sara Murphy, Adele Romanski

Leave No Trace
Producers: Anne Harrison, Linda Reisman, Anne Rosellini

You Were Never Really Here
Producers: Rosa Attab, Pascal Caucheteux, Rebecca O’Brien, Lynne Ramsay, James Wilson

(Award given to the director and producer)

Director: Ari Aster
Producers: Kevin Frakes, Lars Knudsen, Buddy Patrick

Sorry to Bother You
Director: Boots Riley
Producers: Nina Yang Bongiovi, Jonathan Duffy, Charles D. King, George Rush, Forest Whitaker, Kelly Williams

The Tale
Director/Producer: Jennifer Fox
Producers: Sol Bondy, Lawrence Inglee, Mynette Louie, Oren Moverman, Simone Pero, Reka Posta, Laura Rister, Regina K. Scully, Lynda Weinman

We the Animals
Director: Jeremiah Zagar
Producers: Andrew Goldman, Christina D. King, Paul Mezey, Jeremy Yaches

Director/Producer: Paul Dano
Producers: Andrew Duncan, Jake Gyllenhaal, Riva Marker, Oren Moverman, Ann Ruark, Alex Saks

Given to the best feature made for under $500,000. (Award given to the writer, director and producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.)

A Bread Factory
Writer/Director/Producer: Patrick Wang
Producers: Daryl Freimark, Matt Miller

En el Séptimo Día
Writer/Director/Producer: Jim McKay
Producers: Alex Bach, Lindsey Cordero, Caroline Kaplan, Michael Stipe

Never Goin’ Back
Writer/Director: Augustine Frizzell
Producers: Liz Cardenas, Toby Halbrooks, James M. Johnston

Writer/Director/Producer: Alex Moratto
Writer: Thayná Mantesso
Producers: Ramin Bahrani, Jefferson Paulino, Tammy Weiss

Thunder Road
Writer/Director: Jim Cummings
Producers: Natalie Metzger, Zack Parker, Benjamin Weissner


Debra Granik – Leave No Trace

Barry Jenkins – If Beale Street Could Talk

Tamara Jenkins – Private Life

Lynne Ramsay – You Were Never Really Here

Paul Schrader – First Reformed


Richard Glatzer (Writer/Story By), Rebecca Lenkiewicz & Wash Westmoreland – Colette

Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty – Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Tamara Jenkins – Private Life

Boots Riley – Sorry to Bother You

Paul Schrader – First Reformed


Bo Burnham – Eighth Grade

Christina Choe – Nancy

Cory Finley – Thoroughbreds

Jennifer Fox – The Tale

Quinn Shephard (Writer/Story By), Laurie Shephard (Story By) – Blame


Ashley Connor – Madeline’s Madeline

Diego Garcia – Wildlife

Benjamin Loeb – Mandy

Sayombhu Mukdeeprom – Suspiria

Zak Mulligan – We the Animals


Joe Bini – You Were Never Really Here

Keiko Deguchi, Brian A. Kates, Jeremiah Zagar – We the Animals

Luke Dunkley, Nick Fenton, Chris Gill, Julian Hart – American Animals

Anne Fabini, Alex Hall, Gary Levy – The Tale

Nick Houy – Mid90s


Glenn Close – The Wife

Toni Collette – Hereditary

Elsie Fisher – Eighth Grade

Regina Hall – Support the Girls

Helena Howard – Madeline’s Madeline

Carey Mulligan – Wildlife


John Cho – Searching

Daveed Diggs – Blindspotting

Ethan Hawke – First Reformed

Christian Malheiros – Sócrates

Joaquin Phoenix – You Were Never Really Here


Kayli Carter – Private Life

Tyne Daly – A Bread Factory

Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk

Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie – Leave No Trace

J. Smith-Cameron – Nancy


Raúl Castillo – We the Animals


Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Josh Hamilton – Eighth Grade

John David Washington – Monsters and Men

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

Director: Luca Guadagnino
Casting Directors: Avy Kaufman, Stella Savino
Ensemble Cast: Malgosia Bela, Ingrid Caven, Lutz Ebersdorf, Elena Fokina, Mia Goth, Jessica Harper, Dakota Johnson, Gala Moody, Chloë Grace Moretz, Renée Soutendijk, Tilda Swinton, Sylvie Testud, Angela Winkler

(Award given to the director and producer)

Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Director/Producer: RaMell Ross
Producers: Joslyn Barnes, Su Kim

Minding the Gap
Director/Producer: Bing Liu
Producer: Diane Quon

Of Fathers and Sons
Director: Talal Derki
Producers: Hans Robert Eisenhauer, Ansgar Frerich, Eva Kemme, Tobias N. Siebert

On Her Shoulders
Director: Alexandria Bombach
Producers: Hayley Pappas, Brock Williams

Director/Producer: Sandi Tan
Producers: Jessica Levin, Maya Rudolph

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Director/Producer: Morgan Neville
Producers: Caryn Capotosto, Nicholas Ma

(Award given to the director)

Burning – South Korea
Director: Lee Chang-Dong

The Favourite – United Kingdom
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Happy as Lazzaro – Italy
Director: Alice Rohrwacher

Roma – Mexico
Director: Alfonso Cuarón

Shoplifters – Japan
Director: Kore-eda Hirokazu

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 second Bonnie Award will recognize a mid-career female director with a $50,000 unrestricted grant, sponsored by American Airlines.

Debra Granik

Tamara Jenkins

Karyn Kusama

The 22nd 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.

Jonathan Duffy and Kelly Williams

Gabrielle Nadig

Shrihari Sathe

The 25th 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.

Alex Moratto – Director of Sócrates

Ioana Uricaru – Director of Lemonade

Jeremiah Zagar – Director of We the Animals

The 24th 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.

Alexandria Bombach – Director of On Her Shoulders

Bing Liu – Director of Minding the Gap

RaMell Ross – Director of Hale County This Morning, This Evening

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