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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
93%

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
93%

Noah Hutton

Lapsis
95%

Channing Godfrey Peoples

Miss Juneteenth
99%

Andy Siara

Palm Springs
94%

James Sweeney

Straight Up
93%

Best Male Lead


Riz Ahmed

Sound of Metal


Chadwick Boseman

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom



The White Tiger



Bull


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



Minari


Valerie Mahaffey

French Exit


Talia Ryder

Never Rarely Sometimes Always



Minari


Best Cinematography

Jay Keitel

She Dies Tomorrow
84%

Shabier Kirchner

Bull
90%

Micheal Latham

The Assistant
93%

Joshua James Richards

Nomadland
93%

Best International Film


Best Documentary


Best Editing

Andy Canny

The Invisible Man
92%

Merawi Gerima

Residue
94%

Chloé Zhao

Nomadland
93%

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


Robert Altman Award (Best Ensemble)


Truer Than Fiction Award

Celilia Aldarondo

Landfall
93%

Elegance Bratton

Pier Kids
100%

Elizabeth Lo

Stray
96%

Someone to Watch Award



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



We Are Who We Are


Best Male Performance in a Scripted Series



Little America



Little America


Nicco Annan

P-valley



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.