Spirit Awards Nominees Announced: ‘We the Animals’ Tops with 5 Nominations

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Film Independent Spirit Awards

We the Animals topped the list of the 2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards nominees, picking up five nominations including Best First Feature, Best Cinematography, and Best Editing. Eighth Grade, You Were Never Really Here, and First Reformed followed close behind with four nominations each.

The coming of age tale Eighth Grade earned nominations in the Best Feature, Female Lead, Supporting Male, and Best First Screenplay categories. First Reformed starring Ethan Hawke was recognized with nominations in the Best Feature, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Male Lead categories. And You Were Never Really Here with Joaquin Phoenix scored Best Feature, Best Director, Best Editing, and Male Lead nominations.

“This year’s nominees reflect the bold originality that is the heart of independent film,” stated 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.”

The 2019 Spirit Awards recognizing the best in 2018 independent films will be held on Saturday, February 23, 2019 on the beach in Santa Monica.

2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominations:

  • BEST FEATURE
    Eighth Grade
    First Reformed
    If Beale Street Could Talk
    Leave No Trace
    You Were Never Really Here
  • BEST FIRST FEATURE
    Hereditary – Director: Ari Aster
    Sorry to Bother You – Director: Boots Riley
    The Tale – Director/Producer: Jennifer Fox
    We the Animals – Director: Jeremiah Zagar
    Wildlife – Director/Producer: Paul Dano
  • JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD – Given to the best feature made for under $500,000.
    A Bread Factory
    En el Séptimo Día
    Never Goin’ Back
    Sócrates
    Thunder Road
  • BEST DIRECTOR
    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
  • BEST SCREENPLAY
    Colette – Richard Glatzer, Rebecca Lenkiewicz & Wash Westmoreland
    Can You Ever Forgive Me? – Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty
    Private Life – Tamara Jenkins
    Sorry to Bother You – Boots Riley
    First Reformed – Paul Schrader
  • BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
    Eighth Grade – Bo Burnham
    Nancy – Christina Choe
    Thoroughbreds – Cory Finley
    The Tale – Jennifer Fox
    Blame – Quinn Shephard (Writer/Story By), Laurie Shephard (Story By)
  • BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
    Madeline’s Madeline – Ashley Connor
    Wildlife – Diego Garcia
    Mandy – Benjamin Loeb
    Suspiria – Sayombhu Mukdeeprom
    We the Animals – Zak Mulligan
  • BEST EDITING
    You Were Never Really Here – Joe Bini
    We the Animals – Keiko Deguchi, Brian A. Kates, Jeremiah Zagar
    American Animals – Luke Dunkley, Nick Fenton, Chris Gill, Julian Hart
    The Tale – Anne Fabini, Alex Hall, Gary Levy
    Mid90s – Nick Houy
  • BEST FEMALE LEAD
    Glenn Close – The Wife
    Toni Collette – Hereditary
    Elsie Fisher – Eighth Grade
    Regina Hall – Support the Girls
    Helena Howard – Madeline’s Madeline
    Carey Mulligan – Wildlife
  • BEST MALE LEAD
    John Cho – Searching
    Daveed Diggs – Blindspotting
    Ethan Hawke – First Reformed
    Christian Malheiros – Sócrates
    Joaquin Phoenix – You Were Never Really Here
  • BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
    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
  • BEST SUPPORTING MALE
    Raúl Castillo – We the Animals
    Adam Driver – BLACKkKLANSMAN
    Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
    Josh Hamilton – Eighth Grade
    John David Washington – Monsters and Men
  • ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD – Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast

    Suspiria
    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

  • BEST DOCUMENTARY
    Hale County This Morning, This Evening
    Minding the Gap
    Of Fathers and Sons
    On Her Shoulders
    Shirkers
    Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
  • BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM
    Burning
    The Favourite
    Happy as Lazzaro
    Roma
    Shoplifters
  • BONNIE AWARD – 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
  • PRODUCERS AWARD – 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
  • SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – 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
  • TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – 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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