The 2021 Spirit Award Nominees Have Arrived

This year marks the 36th Annual Film Independent Spirit Awards. Earlier this morning, Laverne Cox, Barry Jenkins, and Olivia Wilde revealed the nominees for this year’s ceremony, which will air on IFC Thursday, April 22 at 10:00 pm ET/ 7:00 pm PT. The Film Independent team also mixed things up a bit this year, not only by changing the show’s air date, which was typically held on Saturday but also by incorporating television into the ceremony.

The nominations for the Spirit Awards this year offered a few surprises. Still, given the industry’s current state, I am predicting that there will be a lot more crossover between the Spirit Awards and The Academy this year. While Film Independent still stands out for honoring films that will more than likely be completely overlooked by the Academy, such as Miss Juneteenth, The White Tiger, Bull, The Assistant, The Half of It, and Bad Education, I do expect a lot of nominees in some of the bigger categories to be same. One thing that we can definitely say about 2020 is that it allowed more people to celebrate and embrace Independent films more than ever before.  

Here are the nominees for the 2021 Spirit Awards:

Best Feature
“First Cow”
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
“Minari”
“Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
“Nomadland”

Best Director
Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”
Eliza Hittman,” Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Kelly Reichardt, “First Cow”
Chloe Zhao, “Nomadland”

Best First Feature
“I Carry You With Me”
“The 40 Year Old Version”
“The Sound of Metal”
“Miss Juneteenth”
“Nine Days”

Best Female Lead
Nicole Beharie, “Miss Juneteenth”
Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Sidney Flanigan, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Julia Garner, “The Assistant”
Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
Carey Mulligan, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”

Best Male Lead
Riz Ahmed, “The Sound of Metal”
Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Rob Morgan, “Bull”
Steven Yeun, “Minari”
Adarsh Gourav, “The White Tiger”

Best Supporting Female
Alexis Chikaeze, “Miss Juneteenth”
Yeri Han, “Minari”
Valerie Mahaffey, “French Exit”
Talia Ryder, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Yuh-jung Youn, “Minari”

Best Supporting Male
Coleman 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 Screenplay
“Bad Education”
“Minari”
“The Half of It”
“Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
“Promising Young Woman”

Best First Screenplay
Kitty Green, “The Assistant”
Noah Hutton, “Lapsis”
Channing Godfrey Peoples, “Miss Juneteenth”
Andy Siara, “Palm Springs”
James Sweeney, “Straight Up”

Best Cinematography
Jay Keitel, “She Dies Tomorrow”
Shabier Kirchner, “Bull”
Michael Latham, “The Assistant”
Hélène Louvart, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Joshua James Richards, “Nomadland”

Best Editing
“I Carry You With Me”
“The Invisible Man”
“Residue”
“Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
“Nomadland”

Robert Altman Award
“One Night in Miami”

Best Documentary
“Collective”
“Crip Camp”
“Dick Johnson Is Dead”
“Time”
“The Mole Agent”

Best International Film
“Bacurau”
“The Disciple”
“Night of the Kings”
“Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time”
“Quo Vadis, Aida?”

Piaget Producers Award
Kara Durrett
Lucas Joaquin
Gerry Kim

Someone to Watch Award
David Midell, “The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain”
Ekwa Msangi, “Farewell Amor”
Annie Silverstein, “Bull”

Truer Than Fiction Award
Cecilia Aldarondo, “Landfall”
Elegance Bratton, “Pier Kids”
Elizabeth Lo, “Stray”

Best New Non-Scripted or Documentary Series
Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children
City So Real
Immigration Nation
Love Fraud
We’re Here

Best Scripted Series
I May Destroy You
Little America
Small Axe
A Teacher
Unorthodox

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
Conphidance, Little America
Adam Ali, Little America
Nicco Annan, P-Valley
Amit Rahav, Unorthodox
Harold Torres, Zero, Zero, Zero

Best Ensemble Cast in a New Scripted Series
I May Destroy You
Ensemble Cast: Michaela Coel, Paapa Essiedu, Wruche Opia,
Stephen Wight

Written by
Born in New Jersey, Scott D. Menzel has been a film fanatic since he was three years old. Growing up, he watched as many movies as he could and was highly influenced by Tim Burton, John Hughes, Robert Zemeckis, and Steven Spielberg. Scott has an Associates Degree in Marketing, a Bachelors in Mass Media, Communications and a Masters in Electronic Media. He has been writing film reviews under the alias of MovieManMenzel since 2003 and started his writing career as a contributing critic at IMDB.com and Joblo.com. In 2009, Scott launched MovieManMenzel.com where he posted several of his film reviews but in 2011 decided to shut down the site when he launched We Live Film.com, which he founded. In 2015, We Live Film became We Live Entertainment. The domain name changed occurred after months of debate but was done so that he and his fellow staff members could write about anything and everything in the world of entertainment.

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