Spirit Awards Thu 11.17.2022

2023 Spirit Awards Film Nominations Coming November 22!

We’re not quite sure how half of this fall is already over and we’re a mere week away from Thanksgiving! And yet, before we can indulge in all the scrumptious excesses of this holiday – buckets of gravy on mashed potatoes and three helpings of stuffing (!) – we will be spreading some awards season joy on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

At 7:00am PT/10:00am ET on Tuesday, November 22, we will announce the film Nominees of the 38th Film Independent Spirit Awards! The feature nominations will be presented by last year’s Spirit Awards Best Female Lead winner Taylour Paige and 2019 Spirit Awards Best Supporting Male nominee Raúl Castillo. Television category nominees will be announced by Orange Is the New Black alum, Asia Kate Dillon, on Tuesday, December 13.

As was done in years past, the nominees will be revealed on Film Independent’s YouTube channel. With the film industry finally making a comeback at full throttle post-pandemic – we should have an abundance of compelling and cerebral films to look forward to during this awards season!

The 38th Film Independent Spirit Awards will be returning to the beaches of Santa Monica on Saturday, March 4, 2023. A reminder that this year, the budget cap for eligible films was increased to $30 million, with the cap for the John Cassavetes Award also rising to $1 million.

And as we shared, the 2023 Spirit Awards will be making a move to gender-neutral acting categories for the first time. Other category updates include new awards for Best Breakthrough Performance (film) and Best Supporting Performance in a New Scripted Series (television).

Until then, let’s whet our appetite with a look back at some of the highlights from the Film Independent Spirit Awards of the past few years.


After scoring the Best Director and Best Screenplay prizes, writer-director Maggie Gyllenhaal’s psychological drama The Lost Daughter also went on to win Best Feature at the end of the show. Producer Osnat Handelsman Keren was especially grateful to all the parents – especially the mothers – who have shared with the producing team that they “felt they were seeing their own experiences on the screen and that it’s OK to not always be perfect in everything.” After praising the film’s cast and crew, fellow producer Talia Kleinhendler gave special thanks to Netflix for being “such a wonderful home for filmmakers.” Finally, Gyllenhaal capped off the evening with a rousing cheer for “Women in Film!”


Former SNL castmember Melissa Villaseñor kicked off the show by acknowledging the toll of the yearlong pandemic: “Who spends all day reading COVID statistics and then goes like ‘Hmm … I could really go for a long slow film with an ambiguous ending right now.’” Villaseñor wrapped up her monologue by acknowledging the long list of bleak-yet-serious issues tackled by this year’s nominees: “Tonight, we’re showcasing films that expose racism, sexism, agism, rape culture, abortion, the immigrant experience, ableism, financial insecurity, the prison industrial complex and healthcare corruption. Now who’s ready to have a good time? Let’s do this!”


The biggest applause and laughs by far for the evening – even the press tent erupted in cheers! – came when comedy-superstar-and-occasional-dramatic-thespian Adam Sandler won Best Male Lead for his portrayal of compulsive gambler Howard Ratner in Uncut Gems. Delivering his five-plus minute speech entirely in the voice of his iconic Waterboy character Bobby Boucher, Sandler first gave a shout out to “my fellow nominees, who will now and forever be known as the guys who lost to fucking Adam Sandler.”


Even in an awards show featuring Shangela, the one character who really stole the show was Glenn Close’s adorable dog Pippin, the Havanese she brought as her “date,” bringing the canine onstage to help accept her Best Female Lead prize for The Wife.

Excited like us? Be sure to mark your calendar for Tuesday, November 22 at 7:00am PST/10:00am EST and bookmark our YouTube page to tune-in to the 2023 Film Independent Spirit Awards Film Nominee announcements. See you then!

Winners of the Spirit Awards are voted upon by Members of Film Independent. Members must be current as of December 20, 2022 to receive full voting benefits, including access to nominee screeners. To join Film Independent and vote on the Spirit Awards, please visit filmindependent.org/join to Join. Watch. Vote.

The Spirit Awards is the primary fundraiser for Film Independent’s year-round programs, which cultivate the careers of emerging filmmakers and promote diversity and inclusion within the filmed entertainment industry. To learn more about attending and supporting Film Independent’s mission and programs, please click here. To support our work with a donation, please click here.

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[Pictured: Taylour Paige, photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images; Raùl Castillo, photo by Stephanie Diana.] and Asia Kate Dillon, photo by Lia Clay Miller.]