Spirit Awards Tue 8.9.2016

The 2017 Film Independent Spirit Awards are Now Accepting Submissions

Let’s say you want to get on TV. Admittedly, there are probably a thousand or so more direct ways of doing this than getting yourself nominated for a 2017 Film Independent Spirit Award. You could try to break the Guinness World Record for the most slap-bracelets ever worn in a single sitting, or attempt to wow the judges on America’s Got Talent with your super fresh break dancing skills. But let’s be real: your wrist probably isn’t muscular enough to support that much bistable stainless steel, and your B-boy goods are sub-Napoleon Dynamite.

After all, you’re a filmmaker—and an independent filmmaker, no less. A few fleeting minutes of televisual exposure isn’t what necessarily motivates you or animates your career choices, and chances are you feel much more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it. But! Then again, being nominated for a major film honor at a nationally broadcast awards ceremony would be pretty cool, wouldn’t it? And guess what: beginning today, Film Independent has opened submissions for the 2017 Spirit Awards.

Feature film submissions are open beginning today, August 9, through September 20, with a no-joke final late deadline of October 11.

Marielle Heller (‘Diary of a Teenage Girl’) wins Best First Feature, 2016

The 2017 Film Independent Spirit Awards will be held next year on Saturday, February 25. That’s plenty of time to start comparison-shopping relaxed non-tuxedo looks and pricing out L.A. area limousine services (or, you could always Uber it) . Nominations will be announced November 22, and for a sneak preview of what that might look like check out the 2016 Nominations announcements, as revealed by Elizabeth Olsen and John Boyega:

But all kidding around aside, independent film production is, even now, one of the most difficult artistic endeavors in the world—a harrowing but (hopefully) ultimately rewarding exercise in communication, collaboration, resourcefulness and sheer endurance. And on a good day, it can be a lot of fun too.

So let’s say you’ve persevered through the trials and tribulations of production and somehow emerged with a feature-length film that’s actually pretty great. If so, you honestly deserve so much more than just a simple pewter statuette and a few minutes of weekend face time on IFC. But hey—a fine-looking statue and some choice basic cable glory aren’t a bad place to start, right? So why not submit your film for consideration? Here’s how. Recognized award categories include:

  • Best Feature
  • Best First Feature
  • Best Director
  • John Cassavetes Award (given to the best feature made for budget of under $500,000)
  • Best Male Lead
  • Best Female Lead
  • Best Supporting Male
  • Best Supporting Female
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Editing
  • Best International Film
  • Best Documentary

Filmmaker Grants for emerging filmmaking talent include the Piaget Producers Award (sponsored by Piaget for the 10th consecutive year), the Truer Than Fiction Award and the Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award, sponsored by Kiehls’s Since 1851. Piaget and IFC will return as premier sponsors, and the February 25 awards telecast will premiere exclusively on IFC.

For over 30 years, the Film Independent Spirit Awards have honored outstanding achievement in independent filmmaking, regardless of how small the production or unheralded the filmmakers. Winners are determined by voting Film Independent Members, which includes top entertainment industry leaders and influencers, filmmakers and cinema lovers.

To learn more about the Spirit Awards, please visit our website. To relive all the fun of this year’s awards, please enjoy the below playlist:

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