News

2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominations Announced

Minari, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Nomadland highlight a diverse selection of nominees.

by | January 26, 2021 | Comments

Steven Yeun and Alan S. Kim in Minari

(Photo by Melissa Lukenbaugh/©A24)

This morning, Film Independent announced nominations for the 2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards. Laverne Cox and previous Spirit Award winners Barry Jenkins and Olivia Wilde presented the nominations via YouTube, revealing that 57% of the nominees in the writer-director categories are women and 48% of them are BIPOC, while the latter also made up 69% of all the acting nominations.

Never Rarely Sometimes Always sparked some much-needed rejuvenation for the 2021 season with seven nominations, followed by Minari with six, and both were nominated for Best Feature and Best Director alongside Oscar front runner Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland. For the first time, the Spirit Awards recognized exceptional television, and the Apple series Little America and the Netflix series Unorthodox led those nominations with three each. As has been the case with every major ceremony this year, Netflix led with 16 nominations, followed by Focus Features with 10 and A24, the studio that typically dominates the annual celebration of independent film, close behind with nine total nominations.

One Night in Miami was selected to receive the Robert Altman Award, which is bestowed upon one film’s director, casting director, and an ensemble cast, and HBO’s I May Destroy You was selected for the same honor on the television side.

Winners will be announced at the Spirit Awards on Thursday, April 22, 2021. In a one-time break from tradition, the awards ceremony will move from its usual spot as a live daytime event to primetime on Thursday, broadcast live exclusively on IFC at 10pm ET / 7pm PT.

Did they get it right? See the full list of nominees below and let us know what you think of the 2021 Film Independent Spirit Award nominations in the comments.


FILM


Best Feature


Best Director

Lee Isaac Chung

Minari
98%

Emerald Fennell

Promising Young Woman
90%

Kelly Reichardt

First Cow
96%

Chloé Zhao

Nomadland
94%

Best Screenplay

Lee Isaac Chung

Minari
98%

Emerald Fennell

Promising Young Woman
90%

Mike Makowsky

Bad Education
94%

Alice Wu

The Half of It
97%

Best First Feature


Best First Screenplay

Kitty Green

The Assistant
92%

Noah Hutton

Lapsis
93%

Channing Godfrey Peoples

Miss Juneteenth
99%

Andy Siara

Palm Springs
95%

James Sweeney

Straight Up
93%

Best Male Lead


Riz Ahmed

Sound of Metal


Chadwick Boseman

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom


Adarsh Gourav

The White Tiger


Best Female Lead


Nicole Beharie

Miss Juneteenth


Viola Davis

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom


Sidney Flanigan

Never Rarely Sometimes Always


Julia Garner

The Assistant


Carey Mulligan

Promising Young Woman


Best Supporting Male


Colman Domingo

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom


Orion Lee

First Cow


Paul Raci

Sound of Metal


Glynn Turman

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom


Benedict Wong

Nine Days


Best Supporting Female


Alexis Chikaeze

Miss Juneteenth


Yeri Han

Minari


Valerie Mahaffey

French Exit


Talia Ryder

Never Rarely Sometimes Always


Best Cinematography

Jay Keitel

She Dies Tomorrow
83%

Shabier Kirchner

Bull
90%

Micheal Latham

The Assistant
92%

Joshua James Richards

Nomadland
94%

Best International Film


Best Documentary


Best Editing

Andy Canny

The Invisible Man
91%

Merawi Gerima

Residue
93%

Chloé Zhao

Nomadland
94%

John Cassavetes Award (Best Feature under $500,000)


Robert Altman Award (Best Ensemble)


Truer Than Fiction Award

Celilia Aldarondo

Landfall
91%

Elegance Bratton

Pier Kids
100%

Elizabeth Lo

Stray
95%

Someone to Watch Award


David Midell

The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain


Ekwa Msangi

Farewell Amor


Producers Award

  • Lucas Joaquin
  • Gerry Kim
  • Kara Durrett

TELEVISION


Best New Scripted Series


Best New Non-Scripted or Documentary Series


Best Female Performance in a Scripted Series 


Elle Fanning

The Great


Shira Haas

Unorthodox


Abby McEnany

Work in Progress


Maitreyi Ramakrishnan

Never Have I Ever


Jordan Kristine Seamón

We Are Who We Are


Best Male Performance in a Scripted Series


Adam Ali

Little America


Conphidance

Little America


Nicco Annan

P-valley


Amit Rahav

Unorthodox


Harold Torres

ZeroZeroZero


Best Ensemble Cast in a New Scripted Series


Thumbnail image by Melissa Lukenbaugh/©A24

Are you as obsessed with awards as we are? Check out our Awards Leaderboard for 2020/2021.

Tag Cloud

Marvel 24 frames sports Calendar Trophy Talk YA Reality Competition TCA social media Black Mirror unscripted Set visit Bravo comic The Purge El Rey Spectrum Originals venice Countdown Baby Yoda tv talk GIFs 99% Broadway Best and Worst teaser SundanceTV Lionsgate indie reviews spinoff Travel Channel TV renewals TV Land Turner Classic Movies mission: impossible Netflix Christmas movies Fox News Polls and Games Peacock 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt canceled TV shows all-time Apple TV+ kong Elton John fast and furious LGBT ViacomCBS chucky TCA Winter 2020 Character Guide docuseries Comic Book dark adaptation Masterpiece BET dramedy WGN women Thanksgiving natural history Paramount strong female leads DC Universe green book Musicals Star Trek nfl foreign game of thrones Mystery BBC America Comics on TV CBS All Access Summer documentaries emmy awards Apple TV Plus die hard Cosplay Film Festival First Reviews harry potter mutant 45 BBC One spider-man Binge Guide mockumentary independent OneApp E3 Writers Guild of America theme song a nightmare on elm street IFC Films twilight TCM parents Discovery Channel Stephen King American Society of Cinematographers historical drama Exclusive Video Musical indiana jones Shondaland critics Crunchyroll E! sag awards christmas movies History Sci-Fi Disney+ Disney Plus Academy Awards Marathons CW Seed Cannes cartoon YouTube Premium Amazon Prime AMC Martial Arts name the review festivals Valentine's Day TCA 2017 blaxploitation Anna Paquin X-Men archives Rocketman justice league psycho Hallmark Chernobyl Sundance Now Spring TV Funimation laika Ovation Extras Food Network renewed TV shows free movies Toys ABC Family Alien 2018 Pop TV USA Network FOX scorecard Holiday CBS series Winter TV Fall TV HBO Go dceu TV Cartoon Network Britbox halloween tv satire RT History transformers true crime Ghostbusters Holidays OWN football thriller MSNBC spanish language canceled screenings Disney streaming service animated Black History Month children's TV travel vampires Warner Bros. APB rom-coms cooking award winner 71st Emmy Awards prank Marvel Studios deadpool Year in Review Interview Tubi Shudder nature comedies Legendary TBS VOD superman serial killer ratings films dogs hollywood monster movies PBS The Witch psychological thriller YouTube Red toy story popular PaleyFest 4/20 Arrowverse Emmys Lifetime A&E period drama ID TV One ITV Western Sundance TV based on movie biography Creative Arts Emmys Reality Trivia Marvel Television supernatural comic books Paramount Network Pet Sematary Endgame quibi golden globes jamie lee curtis spy thriller hidden camera The Walt Disney Company VH1 Dark Horse Comics Brie Larson TCA Awards Film singing competition dragons Premiere Dates child's play 2020 A24 National Geographic documentary VICE stoner Red Carpet police drama hispanic GoT Netflix stop motion Television Academy Esquire Oscars french Quiz war facebook disaster Adult Swim doctor who FXX Trailer Epix fresh The Arrangement Vudu Fantasy political drama Sundance Freeform king kong 2019 elevated horror Superheroes Podcast Amazon Studios Disney Plus Television Critics Association cancelled TV shows Comedy toronto new star wars movies Pride Month Pop DC Comics joker Turner zombie Apple black spain NBC remakes halloween sequels See It Skip It cults 20th Century Fox Ellie Kemper scary movies sequel rt archives dc NYCC aliens Women's History Month directors FX cancelled best TLC kids Nominations Awards Mary poppins festival space Watching Series adventure Paramount Plus 72 Emmy Awards batman The Walking Dead hist The CW Comedy Central Chilling Adventures of Sabrina concert composers Winners spanish 21st Century Fox Lifetime Christmas movies TruTV Fox Searchlight 2021 Song of Ice and Fire Acorn TV Heroines HBO Max ABC Signature Star Wars slashers zombies HBO Lucasfilm Tumblr Action First Look breaking bad heist movie docudrama FX on Hulu crossover crime thriller BBC latino book 93rd Oscars Teen IFC Sneak Peek robots streaming richard e. Grant romantic comedy Rocky CNN movie anthology Pirates sitcom worst movies GLAAD obituary game show jurassic park Biopics crime drama 2015 Nat Geo news blockbuster rotten movies we love BET Awards Disney Channel miniseries Mary Tyler Moore universal monsters book adaptation Photos President science fiction MCU Awards Tour boxing Video Games Box Office diversity franchise werewolf kaiju witnail Walt Disney Pictures revenge romance SXSW talk show ABC Logo Tomatazos Super Bowl WarnerMedia PlayStation LGBTQ television BAFTA Mudbound ESPN The Academy japanese cancelled television USA technology pirates of the caribbean zero dark thirty Starz SDCC Pixar cars cinemax boxoffice movies Rom-Com San Diego Comic-Con reboot cats DGA Election crime superhero Sony Pictures Crackle Hallmark Christmas movies DC streaming service italian versus TNT rotten Mindy Kaling Kids & Family south america Country Showtime RT21 Opinion cancelled TV series medical drama casting nbcuniversal Avengers finale YouTube Horror Amazon Prime Video Emmy Nominations binge trailers blockbusters 2016 007 New York Comic Con Christmas Tarantino Classic Film comics Certified Fresh classics saw cops telelvision Universal Music anime Nickelodeon MTV Schedule Animation 2017 politics golden globe awards godzilla Mary Poppins Returns CMT high school TIFF Superheroe Disney razzies Hulu james bond ghosts Family video on demand video Columbia Pictures screen actors guild DirecTV Rock what to watch worst Grammys Amazon Drama comiccon discovery Syfy Captain marvel australia stand-up comedy asian-american Hear Us Out Infographic criterion Spike