36th Film Independent Spirit Awards Winners Announced

Top honors were handed out tonight at the 36th Film Independent Spirit Awards ceremony to NomadlandSound of MetalPromising Young WomanUnorthodox and I May Destroy YouCrip CampMinariPalm SpringsQuo Vadis, Aida?Residue and Immigration Nation also received awards at the ceremony, which was broadcast live on IFC and AMC+. The virtual ceremony was hosted by SNL breakout star Melissa Villaseñor. In addition to being the celebration that honors artist-driven films and shows that embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision, the Spirit Awards is the primary fundraiser for Film Independent’s year-round programs.

This year’s major winners in the film categories were Nomadland, which won 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.

For the first time in its history, 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.

Previously announced winners of the Spirit Awards grants are Ekwa Msangi, who received the Someone to Watch Award; Gerry Kim, who received the Producers Award; and Elegance Bratton who received the Truer Than Fiction Award.

All three grants were supported by Genesis Motor North America. “Genesis is pleased to support these independent voices at the Spirit Awards,” said Mark Del Rosso, President & CEO of Genesis Motor North America. “We want to encourage independent voices to use their stories and films to inspire others all over the world.” As Premier Sponsor, Genesis Motor North America is also supporting the ongoing Film Independent Directors Close-Up series.

The ceremony aired live tonight on IFC and AMC+, and virtually on Looped. Clips from the ceremony will be available on Film Independent’s YouTube channel after the show.

The following is a complete list of the winners:


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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