Each year, the Independent Spirit Awards honors the best in the world of independent film, while at the same time starting the wheels going for the season of awards voting at large. With big studios pictures and independent films racing towards the finish line known as the Academy Awards, the smaller portion of the equation gets the head start with the 32 year old tradition. Without further delay, here are the nominees fighting it out for independent glory.
BEST FEMALE LEAD
BEST MALE LEAD
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
BEST SUPPORTING MALE
BEST FIRST FEATURE
BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM
JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD (Best Feature Made For Under $5,000)
ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD (Best Director / Casting Director / Ensemble)
KIEHL'S SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD
Deadline broke the list of the Independent Spirit Awards, with a couple of long touted films taking their places at the prestige season starting line. Tied with 6 nominations, both Moonlight & American Honey are at the forefront of the race. Both have been low-key buzz drivers, with the former grabbing a lot of critical acclaim and the acclaimed Robert Altman Award, and the latter bringing actor Shia LaBeouf a nomination for Best Supporting Male. For an actor who thought he was going to be on the outs with the awards committees this year, that's not a bad start to something that could end up being much bigger. Meanwhile, fellow big talkers Manchester By The Sea and Jackie have five and four Independent Spirit Award nominations, respectively.
A glaring omission, and a possible indication on what its awards fortunes are going to amount to come Oscar season, is the former front-runner The Birth of A Nation. This must be dismaying for distributor Fox Searchlight, which went all in on Nat Parker's historical drama, in the hopes of cashing in on the immense buzz the film has cultivated at Sundance. However, the other side of the coin has seen fans of the criminally underseen Hell or High Water cheering for joy, as the film's nominations for Best Screenplay, Best Editing, and in the case of actor Ben Foster, Best Supporting Male, are already throwing coal into the film's awards season hype train.
While the nominations will certainly kindle the nomination committees for all the other big awards in town, the actual Independent Spirit Awards will take place on February 25th, airing live on IFC starting at 5 PM EST.