2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominations Announced

Winners will be announced at the Spirit Awards on Saturday, February 27, 2016.
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[Updated with the Winners marked in bold.]

Press release: Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards, the LA Film Festival and Film Independent at LACMA, announced nominations for the 2016 Spirit Awards this morning. Film Independent President Josh Welsh presided over the press conference held at W Hollywood, with actors John Boyega and Elizabeth Olsen presenting the nominations. Nominees for Best Feature included Anomalisa, Beasts of No Nation, Carol, Spotlight and Tangerine.  (Links to reviews appear on film's first mention below.) 

2016 FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARD NOMINATIONS

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

Anomalisa
Producers: Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman, Dino Stamatopoulos, Rosa Tran

Beasts of No Nation
Producers: Daniel Crown, Idris Elba, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Amy Kaufman, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Riva Marker

Carol
Producers: Elizabeth Karlsen, Christine Vachon, Stephen Woolley

Spotlight
Producers: Blye Pagon Faust, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, Michael Sugar

Tangerine
Producers: Sean Baker, Karrie Cox, Marcus Cox, Darren Dean, Shih-Ching Tsou

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

The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Director: Marielle Heller
Producers: Miranda Bailey, Anne Carey, Bert Hamelinck, Madeline Samit

James White
Director: Josh Mond
Producers: Max Born, Antonio Campos, Sean Durkin, Melody Roscher, Eric Schultz

Manos Sucias
Director: Josef Kubota Wladyka
Producers: Elena Greenlee, Márcia Nunes

Mediterranea
Director: Jonas Carpignano
Producers: Jason Michael Berman, Chris Columbus, Jon Coplon, Christoph Daniel, Andrew Kortschak, John Lesher, Ryan Lough, Justin Nappi, Alain Peyrollaz, Gwyn Sannia, Marc Schmidheiny, Victor Shapiro, Ryan Zacarias

Songs My Brothers Taught Me
Director/Producer: Chloé Zhao
Producers: Mollye Asher, Nina Yang Bongiovi, Angela C. Lee, Forest Whitaker

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.

Advantageous
Writer/Director/Producer: Jennifer Phang Writer/Producer: Jacqueline Kim Producers: Robert Chang, Ken Jeong, Moon Molson, Theresa Navarro

Christmas, Again
Writer/Director/Producer: Charles Poekel

Heaven Knows What
Directors: Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie Writers: Ronald Bronstein, Josh Safdie Producers: Oscar Boyson, Sebastian Bear McClard

Krisha
Writer/Director/Producer: Trey Edward Shults Producers: Justin R. Chan, Chase Joliet, Wilson Smith

Out of My Hand
Writer/Director: Takeshi Fukunaga Writer/Producer: Donari Braxton Producer: Mike Fox

BEST DIRECTOR

Sean Baker
Tangerine

Cary Joji Fukunaga
Beasts of No Nation

Todd Haynes
Carol

Duke Johnson & Charlie Kaufman
Anomalisa

Tom McCarthy
Spotlight

David Robert Mitchell
It Follows

BEST SCREENPLAY

Charlie Kaufman
Anomalisa

Donald Margulies
The End of the Tour

Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer
Spotlight

Phyllis Nagy
Carol

S. Craig Zahler
Bone Tomahawk

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY

Jesse Andrews
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Jonas Carpignano
Mediterranea

Emma Donoghue
Room

Marielle Heller
The Diary of a Teenage Girl

John Magary
Story by Russell Harbaugh and Myna Joseph
The Mend

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Cary Joji Fukunaga
Beasts of No Nation

Michael Gioulakis
It Follows

Ed Lachman
Carol

Reed Morano
Meadowland

Joshua James Richards
Songs My Brothers Taught Me

BEST EDITING

Ronald Bronstein and Benny Safdie
Heaven Knows What

Tom McArdle
Spotlight

Nathan Nugent
Room

Julio C. Perez IV
It Follows

Kristan Sprague
Manos Sucias

BEST FEMALE LEAD

Cate Blanchett
Carol

Brie Larson
Room

Rooney Mara
Carol

Bel Powley
The Diary of a Teenage Girl

Kitana Kiki Rodriguez
Tangerine

BEST MALE LEAD

Christopher Abbott
James White

Abraham Attah
Beasts of No Nation

Ben Mendelsohn
Mississippi Grind

Jason Segel
The End of the Tour

Koudous Seihon
Mediterranea

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE

Robin Bartlett
H.

Marin Ireland
Glass Chin

Jennifer Jason Leigh
Anomalisa

Cynthia Nixon
James White

Mya Taylor
Tangerine

BEST SUPPORTING MALE

Kevin Corrigan
Results

Paul Dano
Love & Mercy

Idris Elba
Beasts of No Nation

Richard Jenkins
Bone Tomahawk

Michael Shannon
99 Homes

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD - (Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast)

Spotlight
Director: Tom McCarthy
Casting Directors: Kerry Barden and Paul Schnee
Ensemble Cast: Billy Crudup, Paul Guilfoyle, Neal Huff, Brian d'Arcy James, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, Jamey Sheridan, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci

BEST DOCUMENTARY
(Award given to the director and producer)

(T)ERROR
Directors/Producers: Lyric R. Cabral & David Felix Sutcliffe
Producer: Christopher St. John

Best of Enemies
Directors/Producers: Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville

Heart of a Dog
Director/Producer: Laurie Anderson
Producer: Dan Janvey

The Look of Silence
Director: Joshua Oppenheimer
Producer: Signe Byrge Sørensen

Meru
Directors/Producers: Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
Producer: Shannon Ethridge

The Russian Woodpecker
Director/Producer: Chad Gracia
Producers: Ram Devineni, Mike Lerner

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM
(Award given to the director)

Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia)
Director: Ciro Guerra

Girlhood (France)
Director: Céline Sciamma

Mustang (France, Turkey)
Director: Deniz Gamze Ergüven

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (Sweden)
Director: Roy Andersson

Son of Saul (Hungary)
Director: László Nemes

19th ANNUAL PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD - The 19th annual Producers Award, sponsored by Piaget, 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 funded by Piaget. Darren Dean Mel Eslyn Rebecca Green and Laura D. Smith

22nd ANNUAL KIEHL’S SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD - The 22nd annual Someone to Watch Award, sponsored by Kiehl’s Since 1851, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Kiehl’s Since 1851.

God Bless the Child
Directors: Robert Machoian & Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck

King Jack
Director: Felix Thompson

Songs My Brothers Taught Me
Director: Chloé Zhao

21st TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD - The 21st 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.

Among the Believers
Directors: Mohammed Ali Naqvi and Hemal Trivedi

Incorruptible
Director: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

A Woman Like Me
Directors: Elizabeth Giamatti and Alex Sichel

"This year's nominees are a testament to the strength, vitality and diversity of independent, artist-driven filmmaking,” said Film Independent President Josh Welsh. “It’s an astonishingly strong group of films and performances this year and we look forward to celebrating them all at the Spirit Awards."

Spotlight 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.

Spotlight is a remarkable film that excels on every level, but the Nominating Committee thought it was especially deserving of the Robert Altman Award,” said Welsh. “The film is beautifully cast with every member of the ensemble working together to tell the story of the Boston Globe investigating allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church."

Winners will be announced at the Spirit Awards on Saturday, February 27, 2016. The awards ceremony will be held as a daytime luncheon in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica, in a new location this year just north of the Santa Monica Pier. The show will broadcast live exclusively on IFC at 2:00 pm PT/ 5:00 pm ET.

Winners of the Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grants will be highlighted during the awards ceremony and announced at the Film Independent Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grants and Nominee Brunch on Saturday, January 9, 2016, at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood.

The Spirit Awards Nominating Committees selected nominees from 362 submissions this year and applied the following guidelines in determining the nominations: uniqueness of vision, original and provocative subject matter, economy of means (with particular attention paid to total production cost and individual compensation) and percentage of financing from independent sources. 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.

In addition to celebrating the broad spectrum of independent filmmaking, the Spirit Awards is also the primary fundraiser for Film Independent’s year-round programs, which cultivate the careers of emerging filmmakers and promote diversity in the industry. To learn more about table sales, attendance and donations please contact jmurby@filmindependent.org or 310.432.1253.

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

Update: Winners in bold.)

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