Tuesday, March 05, 2019

2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards Winners

Updating blog.  The indie awards one day before the Oscars gave honors to many films, spreading the wealth all over.  Still, If Beale Street Could Talk by Barry Jenkins became the top winner by winning three awards.

To check winners at official site go here. Winners are in *BLUE.


The 2019 Film Independent Spirit Award nominees were announced last Friday's morning at the W Hotel in Hollywood, presented by Gemma Chan and Molly Shannon and featuring yet another diverse group of talented creators with a shared belief in the power and promise of independent storytelling.

Perhaps the most remarkable fact in nominees list is that honors are well-spread among many films as pack leader is We the Animals by Jeremiah Zagar with five nominations followed by three feature films Eight Grade, First Reformed and You Were Never Really Here with four each.  Then we have the distributor breakdown where A24 scored 12 nominations followed by Amazon Studios, Netflix and the Orchard with six each plus Annapurna Pictures with five.

Can't help but to highlight the International category that looks very similar to what Oscar's Best Foreign Language could look, with the exception of the UK film that is not in a foreign-language (lol). It took only 34 years to find three (3) female directors nominated for Best Director, a long due milestone that Indie films should have broken long before, but better late than never, sigh.

No doubt there are many surprises, some really positive as the last mentioned but there are huge snubs for films like At Eternity's Gate by Julian Schnabel, Destroyer by Karyn Kusama, Boy Erased by Joel Edgerton, Tully by Jason Reitman films with actors like Willem Dafoe, Nicole Kidman, Lucas Hedges, Charlize Theron that were ignored in acting categories.  Definitively the biggest snub in my book is the absence of A Quiet Place but hope film critics will give film a push. Speculation says these snubs diminishes its Oscars nominations possibilities and probably so, but you never really know with indie films and the Oscars.  Nevertheless, believe there is one nomination below that has high probabilities to get a Best Actress Oscar nom, Glen Close in The Wife; then definitively rooting for Carey Mulligan in acclaimed Wildlife but know Best Actress category is once again crowded with magnificent performances.

On the very positive side, very glad for the honors to three filmmakers that even do are in a developing process have already released outstanding films and now their latest get top honors here, talking about Lynne Ramsay, Debra Granik and Barry Jenkins.

Now let’s meet this year’s nominees…

Best Feature
Eight Grade, Bo Burnham
First Reformed, Paul Schrader
*If Beale Street Could Talk, Barry Jenkins
Leave No Trace, Debra Granik
You Were Never Really Here, Lynne Ramsay

Best First Feature
Hereditary, Ari Aster
*Sorry to Bother You, Boots Riley
The Tale, Jennifer Fox
We the Animals, Jeremiah Zagar
Wildlife, Paul Dano

Best International Film
Burning, Lee Chang-Dong, South Korea
Happy as Lazzaro, Alice Rohrwacher, Italy
*Roma, Alfonso Cuaron, Mexico
Shoplifters, Kore-eda Hirokazu, Japan
The Favourite, Yorgos Lanthimos, UK

Best Director
Paul Schrader for First Reformed
*Barry Jenkins for If Beale Street Could Talk
Debra Granik for Leave No Trace
Tamara Jenkins for Private Life
Lynne Ramsay for You Were Never Really Here

Best Screenplay
*Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty for Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Richard Glatzer, Rebecca Lenkiewics and Wash Westmoreland for Colette
Paul Schrader for Fist Reformed
Tamara Jenkins for Private Life
Boots Riley for Sorry to Bother You

Best First Screenplay
Quinn Shephard and Laurie Shephard for Blame
*Bo Burnham for Eight Grade
Christina Choe for Nancy
Jennifer Fox for The Tale
Cory Finley for Thoroughbreds

John Cassavetes Award (Given to feature film made under $500,000)
A Bread Factory, Patrick Wang
*En el Séptimo Día (On The Seventh Day), Jim McKay
Never Goin' Back, Augustine Frizzell
Sócrates, Alex Moratto
Thunder Road, Jim Cummings

Best Female Lead
Elsie Fisher in Eight Grade
Toni Collette in Hereditary
Helena Howard in Madeline's Madeline
Regina Hall in Support the Girls
*Glenn Close in The Wife
Carey Mulligan for Wildlife

Best Supporting Female
Tyne Daly in A Bread Factory
*Regina King in If Beale Street Could Talk
Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie in Leave No Trace
J. Smith-Cameron in Nancy
Kayli Carter in Private Life

Best Male Lead
Daveed Diggs in Blindspotting
*Ethan Hawke in First Reformed
John Cho in Searching
Christian Malheiros in Sócrates
Joaquin Phoenix in You Were Never Really Here

Best Supporting Male
Adam Driver in BLACKkKlansman
*Richard E. Grant in Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Josh Hamilton in Eight Grade
John David Washington in Monsters and Men
Raúl Castillo in We the Animals

Best Cinematography
Ashley Connor for Madeline's Madeline
Benjamin Loeb for Mandy
*Sayombhu Mukdeeprom for Suspiria
Zak Mulligan for We the Animals
Diego Garcia for Wildlife

Best Editing
Luke Dunkley, Nick Fenton, Chris Gill and Julian Hart for American Animals
Nick Houdy for Mid90s
Anne Fabini, Alex Hall and Gary Levy for The Tale
Keiko Deguchi, Brian A. Kates and Jeremiah Zagar for We the Animals
*Joe Bini for You Were Never Really Here

Best Documentary
Hale Country This Morning, This Evening, RaMell Ross
Minding The Gap, Bing Liu
Of Fathers and Sons, Talal Derki
On Her Shoulders, Alexandria Bombach
Shirkers, Sandi Tan
*Won't You Be My Neighbor?, Morgan Neville

Robert Altman Award (Given to director, casting director and cast)
Suspiria, 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

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 annual Bonnie Award will recognize a mid-career female director with a $50,000 unrestricted grant.
Karyn Kusama
Tamara Jenkins
*Debra Granik

Producers Award
The Producers Award, now in its 22nd year, 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
Now in its 25th year, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted.
Ioana Uricaru for Lemonade
*Alex Moratto for Sócrates
Jeremiah Zagar for We The Animals

Truer Than Fiction Award
Now in its 24th year, 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.
RaMell Ross for Hale County This Morning, This Evening
*Bing Liu for Minding The Gap
Alexandria Bombach for On Her Shoulders

The 2019 Spirit Awards will be held February 23, 2019 at its usual spot on the beach in Santa Monica and broadcast live on IFC. To vote for the winners of this year’s awards, become a Film Independent Member by December 6 for full voter benefits—including screeners and access to our Member screening series in Los Angeles.

Watch the entire press conference below.

Press Conference Highlights

Check highlights from the Awards ceremony

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