30th-spirit-awards-logo 1




– $75,000 in grants to be awarded to filmmakers –


LOS ANGELES (November 25, 2014) – Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards, the Los Angeles Film Festival and Film Independent at LACMA, announced nominations for the 2015 Spirit Awards this morning. Film Independent President Josh Welsh presided over the press conference held at the W Hollywood, with actors Rosario Dawson and Diego Luna presenting the nominations. Nominees for Best Feature included Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Boyhood, Love is Strange, Selma and Whiplash.


“As we celebrate 30 years of great independent film,” said Josh Welsh, President of Film Independent, “this year’s nominees are an astonishingly strong group of films and filmmakers which demonstrate the uniqueness of vision we honor at this show.”


Inherent Vice was selected to receive the Robert Altman Award, which is bestowed upon one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast. The Altman Award was created in 2008 in honor of legendary director Robert Altman who was known for creating extraordinary ensemble casts.


“Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice is a testament to the spirit of Altman’s tradition of artistic collaboration,” said Welsh. “The film features an exquisite ensemble of actors masterfully directed and cast.”


Film Independent also awarded a Special Distinction Award to Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher for its uniqueness of vision, honesty of direction and screenwriting, superb acting and achievement on every level of filmmaking. Due to Spirit Awards guidelines, Inherent Vice and Foxcatcher were not eligible for individual nominations.


Winners will be announced at the Spirit Awards on Saturday, February 21, 2015. The awards ceremony will be held as a daytime luncheon in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica. This year the show will broadcast live exclusively on IFC at 2:00 PM PT/ 5:00 PM ET.


Winners of the Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grants will be highlighted during the awards ceremony and announced at the Film Independent Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grants and Nominee Brunch on Saturday, January 10, 2015, at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood.


The Spirit Awards Nominating Committees selected nominees from 341 submissions this year and applied the following guidelines in determining the nominations: uniqueness of vision, original and provocative subject matter, economy of means (with particular attention paid to total production cost and individual compensation) and percentage of financing from independent sources. The Spirit Awards Nominating Committees are comprised of writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, editors, actors, critics, casting directors, film festival programmers and other working film professionals.


Over the past 30 years the Film Independent Spirit Awards has made a name for itself as the premiere awards show for the independent film community. Artists who have received industry recognition first at the Spirit Awards include Joel and Ethan Coen, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone, Ashley Judd, Robert Rodriguez, David O. Russell, Edward Burns, Aaron Eckhart, Neil LaBute, Darren Aronofsky, Spike Jonze, Charlie Kaufman, Hilary Swank, Marc Forster, Todd Field, Christopher Nolan, Zach Braff, Amy Adams, Lena Dunham and many more.


The Film Independent Spirit Awards are sponsored by Premier Sponsors Piaget, The Lincoln Motor Company, Bank of America, Heineken and IFC. T-Mobile is the Official Arrivals Show Sponsor and FIJI Water is the Official Water of the 2015 Spirit Awards. WireImage is the Official Photographer of Film Independent.


The Spirit Awards is the primary fundraiser for Film Independent’s year-round programs. To inquire about individual seating and tables at the Spirit Awards, please contact Jennifer Murby atjmurby@filmindependent.org or 310.432.1253.


For more information on submission guidelines, voting, media and publicist credentials, and the history of the Spirit Awards, please visit spiritawards.com.






(Award given to the Producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.)


            Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Producers: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, Arnon Milchan, James W.   Skotchdopole



Producers: Richard Linklater, Jonathan Sehring, John Sloss, Cathleen Sutherland


            Love is Strange

Producers: Lucas Joaquin, Lars Knudsen, Ira Sachs, Jayne Baron Sherman, Jay Van Hoy



Producers: Christian Colson, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Oprah Winfrey



Producers: Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, David Lancaster, Michael Litvak




            Damien Chazelle



            Ava DuVernay



            Alejandro G. Iñárritu

            Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)


            Richard Linklater



David Zellner

            Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter






            Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski

            Big Eyes


            J.C. Chandor

            A Most Violent Year


            Dan Gilroy



            Jim Jarmusch

            Only Lovers Left Alive


Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias

            Love is Strange


BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer)


            A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Director: Ana Lily Amirpour

Producers: Justin Begnaud, Sina Sayyah


            Dear White People

            Director/Producer: Justin Simien

Producers: Effie T. Brown, Ann Le, Julia Lebedev, Angel Lopez, Lena Waithe



Director: Dan Gilroy

Producers: Jennifer Fox, Tony Gilroy, Jake Gyllenhaal, David Lancaster,   Michel Litvak


            Obvious Child

Director: Gillian Robespierre

Producer: Elisabeth Holm


            She’s Lost Control

Director/Producer: Anja Marquardt

Producers: Mollye Asher, Kiara C. Jones







            Desiree Akhavan

            Appropriate Behavior


            Sara Colangelo

            Little Accidents


            Justin Lader

The One I Love


            Anja Marquardt

            She’s Lost Control


            Justin Simien         

            Dear White People


JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD – Given to the best feature made for under $500,000.  Award given to the writer, director and producer.  Executive Producers are not awarded.


            Blue Ruin

Writer/Director: Jeremy Saulnier

Producers:  Richard Peete, Vincent Savino, Anish Savjani


            It Felt Like Love

Writer/Director/Producer: Eliza Hittman

Producers: Shrihari Sathe, Laura Wagner


            Land Ho!

Writers/Directors: Aaron Katz & Martha Stephens

Producers: Christina Jennings, Mynette Louie, Sara Murphy


            Man From Reno

Writer/Director: Dave Boyle

Writers: Joel Clark, Michael Lerman

Producer: Ko Mori



Writer/Director/Producer: Chris Mason Johnson

Producer: Chris Martin





            Marion Cotillard

            The Immigrant


            Rinko Kikuchi

            Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter


            Julianne Moore

            Still Alice


            Jenny Slate

            Obvious Child


            Tilda Swinton

            Only Lovers Left Alive                    




            André Benjamin

            Jimi: All Is By My Side


            Jake Gyllenhaal



            Michael Keaton

            Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)


            John Lithgow

            Love is Strange

            David Oyelowo






            Patricia Arquette



            Jessica Chastain

            A Most Violent Year


            Carmen Ejogo



            Andrea Suarez Paz

           Stand Clear of the Closing Doors


            Emma Stone

            Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)




            Riz Ahmed



            Ethan Hawke



            Alfred Molina

            Love is Strange


            Edward Norton

            Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)


            J.K. Simmons






            Darius Khondji

            The Immigrant


            Emmanuel Lubezki           

            Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)


            Sean Porter

            It Felt Like Love


            Lyle Vincent

            A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night


            Bradford Young



BEST EDITING                  


            Sandra Adair          



            Tom Cross  



            John Gilroy 



            Ron Patane 

            A Most Violent Year


            Adam Wingard       

            The Guest





BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director and producer)


            20,000 Days on Earth

Directors: Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard

Producers: Dan Bowen, James Wilson



Director/Producer: Laura Poitras

Producers: Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky


            Stray Dog

Director: Debra Granik

Producer: Anne Rosellini


            The Salt of the Earth

Directors: Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and Wim Wenders

Producer: David Rosier



Director/Producer: Orlando von Einsiedel

Producer: Joanna Natasegara


BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (Award given to the director)

            Force Majeure


Director: Ruben Östlund




Director: Pawel Pawlikowski




Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev




Director: Xavier Dolan


            Norte, the End of History


Director: Lav Diaz


            Under the Skin

(United Kingdom)

Director: Jonathan Glazer


ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD – (Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast)


Inherent Vice

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

Casting Director: Cassandra Kulukundis

Ensemble Cast: Josh Brolin, Martin Donovan, Jena Malone, Joanna Newsom, Joaquin Phoenix, Eric Roberts, Maya Rudolph, Martin Short Serena Scott Thomas, Benicio Del Toro, Katherine Waterston, Michael Kenneth Williams, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon





Director/Producer: Bennett Miller

Producers: Anthony Bregman, Megan Ellison, Jon Kilik

Writers: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman

Actors: Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum


18th ANNUAL PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD – The 18th annual Producers Award, sponsored by Piaget, 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 funded by Piaget.


            Chad Burris

            Elisabeth Holm

            Chris Ohlson


21st ANNUAL KIEHL’S SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The 21st annual Someone to Watch Award, sponsored by Kiehl’s Since 1851, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Kiehl’s Since 1851.


            A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Director: Ana Lily Amirpour



Directors: Rania Attieh & Daniel Garcia


            The Retrieval

Director: Chris Eska




20th ANNUAL LENSCRAFTERS TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The 20th annual Truer Than Fiction Award, sponsored by LensCrafters 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 funded by LensCrafters.


            Approaching the Elephant

            Director: Amanda Rose Wilder


            Evolution of a Criminal

            Director: Darius Clark Monroe


            The Kill Team

            Director: Dan Krauss


            The Last Season

            Director: Sara Dosa

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