Film Independent Spirit Awards Submissions Open

Contact: Melanie Bates, Film Independent
Tel: 323 556 9338 or

Seanna Hore, Ginsberg/Libby
Tel: 323 645 6800 or


2021 & 2022 DATES SET

LOS ANGELES (August 6, 2019) – Film Independent announced today that it is accepting entries for the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards. The Spirit Awards is the primary fundraiser for Film Independent’s year-round programs, which cultivate the careers of emerging filmmakers and promote inclusion in the industry. The Early Deadline is August 27, 2019, the Regular Deadline is September 17, 2019, the Final Deadline is October 8, 2019 and the extended Film Independent Member Deadline is October 11, 2019. The nominations will be announced on Thursday, November 21, 2019 at a press conference in Los Angeles.

Celebrating 35 years, the 2020 Awards will be held on Saturday, February 8, 2020 and will air exclusively on IFC. In addition, the dates for the 2021 and 2022 awards have been set for Saturday, February 27, 2021 and Saturday, February 26, 2022.

The Spirit Awards budget cap for films entered has, for the past 14 years, been $20 million. For 2020, the Board of Directors voted to increase the budget cap to $22.5 million. In addition, the Board has added SXSW Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival to the list of qualifying festivals. Both festivals showcase exceptional independent voices and are aligned with the Spirit Awards’ mission of honoring artist-driven films by filmmakers whose films embody independence and originality. Please visit for submission guidelines and forms.

“We are excited to begin the nominations process for the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards,” said Josh Welsh, President of Film Independent. “Independent film is the heart of film culture today. It is where storytelling is bold, diverse and inclusive. We look forward to celebrating these original voices every year at the Spirit Awards.”

In its third year, the Bonnie Award will once again be presented, funded by American Airlines. The Bonnie Award recognizes a talented, mid-career female director with a $50,000 unrestricted cash grant. Additional grants for emerging filmmakers include the Producers Award, Someone to Watch Award, and the Truer Than Fiction Award.

Film Independent Members comprise the exclusive voting body who determines the winners of the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Members are filmmakers, film industry leaders and film lovers. Anyone passionate about film can join at by December 5, 2019 to be eligible to vote for the winners of the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards and receive full nominee screening privileges.

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Stephanie Terifay Bédiée at 323 556 9352 or To learn more about attending, please contact Jennifer Murby at 323 556 9353 or


Now in its 35th year, the Film Independent Spirit Awards is an annual celebration honoring artist-driven films made with an economy of means by filmmakers whose films embody independence and originality. The Spirit Awards recognizes the achievements of American independent filmmakers and promotes the finest independent films of the year to a wider audience.

The 2020 Spirit Awards is sponsored by Premier Sponsors American Airlines and IFC. FIJI Water is the Official Water. Getty Images is the Official Photographer.


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