‘Nomadland’ Captures the Independent Spirit With Top Awards

Tonight was the final stop on the road to the Academy Awards as Film Independent presented the 36th Independent Spirit Awards. Melissa Villaseñor of Saturday Night Live brought her impressions and sketch comedy to a night that celebrated a who’s who of awards season favorites.

Chloé Zhao and Nomadland were the big winners with four awards including Best Feature, Director, Cinematography and Editing. Sound of Metal collected both male acting prizes with Riz Ahmed and Paul Raci celebrating alongside Darius Marder and the producers of the Best First Feature. Promising Young Woman also picked up wins for Emerald Fennell with Best Screenplay and Carey Mulligan in Best Female Lead.

This year, the Spirit Awards also introduced new categories for scripted series, celebrating such exceptional episodic work as Scripted Series, I May Destroy You and lead performers Shira Haas and Amit Rahav for Unorthodox.

Presenters included Leslie Odom, Jr., Daveed Diggs, Julia Garner, and last year’s winners Laura Dern, Adam Sandler, Renee Zellweger and Lulu Wang.

Here is the complete list of winners:

Best Feature

  • “First Cow”
  • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
  • “Minari”
  • “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
  • “Nomadland” (WINNER)

Best Director

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

Best First Feature

  • “I Carry You With Me”
  • “The 40 Year Old Version”
  • “Sound of Metal” (WINNER)
  • “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, “Promising Young Woman” (WINNER)

Best Male Lead

  • Riz Ahmed, “The Sound of Metal” (WINNER)
  • 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” (WINNER)

Best Supporting Male

  • Colman Domingo, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
  • Orion Lee, “First Cow”
  • Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal” (WINNER)
  • Glynn Turmann, “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” (WINNER)

Best First Screenplay

  • Kitty Green, “The Assistant”
  • Noah Hutton, “Lapsis”
  • Channing Godfrey Peoples, “Miss Juneteenth”
  • Andy Siara, “Palm Springs” (WINNER)
  • 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” (WINNER)

Best Editing

  • “I Carry You With Me”
  • “The Invisible Man”
  • “Residue”
  • “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
  • “Nomadland” (WINNER)

Robert Altman Award
“One Night in Miami”

Best Documentary

  • “Collective”
  • “Crip Camp” (WINNER)
  • “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?” (WINNER)

Piaget Producers Award

  • Kara Durrett
  • Lucas Joaquin
  • Gerry Kim (WINNER)

Someone to Watch Award

  • David Midell, “The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain”
  • Ekwa Msangi, “Farewell Amor” (WINNER)
  • Annie Silverstein, “Bull”

Truer Than Fiction Award

  • Cecilia Aldarondo, “Landfall”
  • Elegance Bratton, “Pier Kids” (WINNER)
  • Elizabeth Lo, “Stray”

John Cassavetes Awards

  • “The Killing of Two Lovers”
  • “La Leyenda Negra”
  • “Lingua Franca”
  • “Residue” (WINNER)
  • “Saint Frances”

Best New Non-Scripted or Documentary Series

  • “Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children”
  • “City So Real”
  • “Immigration Nation” (WINNER)
  • “Love Fraud”
  • “We’re Here”

Best Scripted Series

  • “I May Destroy You” (WINNER)
  • “Little America”
  • “Small Axe”
  • “A Teacher”
  • “Unorthodox”

Best Female Performance in a Scripted Series

  • Elle Fanning, “The Great”
  • Shira Haas, “Unorthodox” (WINNER)
  • 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” (WINNER)
  • Harold Torres, “Zero, Zero, Zero”

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

Who were some of your favorite winners at the 36th Independent Spirit Awards?

Written by
Karen Peterson is the Awards Editor for We Live Entertainment. She previously worked as the Assistant Editor at Awards Circuit, now owned by Variety. Her work can also be found at Citizen Dame and at the Watch and Talk podcast. Her non-awards season hobbies include Angels baseball, taking pictures of other peoples' pets, and tweeting about The Bachelor franchise.

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