The 36th Film Independent Spirit Awards were handed out Thursday night  and Nomadland, Sound of Metal, Promising Young Woman, Unorthodox and I May Destroy You. Crip Camp, Minari, Palm Springs, Quo Vadis, Aida?, Residue and Immigration Nation all recevied awards at the ceremony, which was broadcast live on IFC and AMC .

The virtual ceremony was hosted by absolutely terrific SNL breakout star Melissa Villaseñor who slays it every SNL episode.

This award show honors artist-driven films and shows that reflect diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision. These awards are the main fundraiser for Film Independent’s year-round programs.

This year’s major winners where: Nomadland  for Best Feature, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Editing; Sound of Metal which won Best First Feature, Best Male Lead and Best Supporting Male; Promising Young Woman which won Best Female Lead and Best Screenplay; Minari which won Best Supporting Female; Palm Springs which won Best First Screenplay; Residue which won the John Cassavetes Award; Crip Camp which won Best Documentary; and Quo Vadis, Aida? which won Best International Film.

This year’s Spirit Awards also honored exceptional content in TV. This year’s major winners in the TV categories were Unorthodox which won Best Female and Male Performance in a New Scripted Series, I May Destroy You which won Best New Scripted Series and Best Ensemble Cast in a New Scripted Series; and Immigration Nation which won Best New Non-Scripted or Documentary Series.

The 14th annual Robert Altman Award was given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast. One Night in Miami… director Regina King received this award, along with casting director Kimberly R. Hardin as well as ensemble cast Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, and Leslie Odom Jr.

Best Feature

Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)

Producers: Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey, Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Chloé Zhao

Best Director

Chloé Zhao, Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)

Best Screenplay

Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman (Focus Features)

Best First Feature

Sound of Metal (Amazon Studios)

Director: Darius Marder

Producers: Bill Benz, Kathy Benz, Bert Hamelinck, Sacha Ben Harroche

Best First Screenplay

Andy Siara, Palm Springs (NEON/Hulu)

John Cassavetes Award

(for best feature made under $500,000):


Writer/Director: Merawi Gerima

Best Supporting Female

Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari (A24)

Best Supporting Male

Paul Raci, Sound of Metal (Amazon Studios)

Best Female Lead

Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman (Focus Features) 

Best Male Lead

Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal (Amazon Studios)

Robert Altman Award

One Night in Miami... (Amazon Studios)

Director: Regina King

Casting Director: Kimberly R. Hardin

Ensemble Cast: Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, Leslie Odom Jr.

Best Cinematography

Joshua James Richards, Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)

Best Editing

Chloé Zhao, Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)

Best International Film

Quo Vadis, Aida? (Cinéart / Indie Sales)

Director: Jasmila Žbanić

Best Documentary

Crip Camp (Netflix)

Directors/Producers: Jim LeBrecht, Nicole Newnham

Producer: Sara Bolder 


Best New Scripted Series

I May Destroy You (HBO)

Creator/Executive Producer: Michaela Coel

Executive Producers: Phil Clarke, Roberto Troni

Best New Non-Scripted Or Documentary Series

Immigration Nation (Netflix)

Executive Producers: Christina Clusiau, Shaul Schwarz, Dan Cogan, Jenny Raskin, Brandon Hill, Christian Thompson

Co-Executive Producers: Andrey Alistratov, Jay Arthur Sterrenberg, Lauren Haber

Best Female Performance In A New Scripted Series

Shira Haas, Unorthodox (Netflix)

Best Male Performance In A New Scripted Series

Amit Rahav, Unorthodox (Netflix)

Best Ensemble Cast In A New Scripted Series

I May Destroy You (HBO)

Ensemble Cast: Michaela Coel, Paapa Essiedu, Weruche Opia, Stephen Wight 



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