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Spirit Awards Co-Hosted by Nick Kroll and John Mulaney
Broadcast Live Exclusively on IFC Saturday, March 3, 2018 at 2:00 pm PT / 5:00 pm ET

LOS ANGELES (November 21, 2017) – This morning, Film Independent announced the nominations for the 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards and revealed that director

Ava DuVernay (Selma, 13th, A Wrinkle in Time) will be this year’s Honorary Chair. Past Honorary Chairs include David Oyelowo, Jessica Chastain, Kerry Washington, Ang Lee and Martin Scorsese. The Spirit Awards are the primary fundraiser for Film Independent’s year-round programs, which cultivate the careers of emerging filmmakers and promote diversity in the industry. Film Independent President Josh Welsh presided over the press conference held at the Jeremy Hotel in West Hollywood, with actors Lily Collins and Tessa Thompson presenting the nominations. Nominees for Best Feature included Call Me by Your Name, The Florida Project, Get Out, Lady Bird and The Rider.

“This year’s nominations reflect the range and vitality of artist-driven, independent film,” said Film Independent President Josh Welsh. “Diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision are the hallmarks of the Film Independent Spirit Awards, and the films this year powerfully embody all those qualities.”

“We are so happy to have Ava DuVernay as our Spirit Awards Honorary Chair,” added Welsh, “Ava is a remarkable filmmaker – a writer, director and producer we have celebrated at the Spirit Awards and the LA Film Festival. More than that, she is a leader and a powerful voice for change, in the industry and beyond.”

Mudbound 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.

Winners, who are selected by Film Independent Members, will be announced at the Spirit Awards on Saturday, March 3, 2018. The awards ceremony co-hosted by Nick Kroll and John Mulaney will be held on the beach in Santa Monica, just north of the Santa Monica Pier. 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 announced at the Film Independent Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grants and Nominee Brunch on Saturday, January 6, 2018, at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood.

The Spirit Awards Nominating Committees selected nominees from 400 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.

To learn more about table sales, attendance and donations please contact Jennifer Murby, Associate Director of Institutional Giving, [email protected].

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Albina Oks, Director of Corporate Sponsorship, [email protected].

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

To download the Film Independent Spirit Awards logo and laurels, click here.

Media Credential


Want to vote?

Film Independent Members vote to determine the winners at the Spirit Awards. Members can attend free Nominee Screening Series in Los Angeles, receive DVD screeners of select nominees by mail and digital screeners online. Members must be current by December 7, 2017 to receive full voting benefits.

Join today at





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


Call Me by Your Name         

Producers: Peter Spears, Luca Guadagnino, Emilie Georges, Rodrigo Teixeira, Marco Morabito, James Ivory, Howard Rosenman

The Florida Project  

Producers: Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch, Kevin Chinoy, Andrew Duncan, Alex Saks, Francesca Silvestri, Shih-Ching Tsou

Get Out         

Producers: Jason Blum, Edward H. Hamm Jr., Sean McKittrick, Jordan Peele

Lady Bird      

Producers: Eli Bush, Evelyn O’Neill, Scott Rudin

The Rider      

Producers: Mollye Asher, Bert Hamelinck, Sacha Ben Harroche, Chloé Zhao



(Award given to the director and producer.)



Director: Kogonada

Producers: Danielle Renfrew Behrens, Aaron Boyd, Giulia Caruso, Ki Jin Kim, Andrew Miano, Chris Weitz

Ingrid Goes West

Director: Matt Spicer

Producers: Jared Ian Goldman, Adam Mirels, Robert Mirels, Aubrey Plaza, Tim White, Trevor White


Director/Producer: Joshua Z. Weinstein

Producers: Yoni Brook, Traci Carlson, Daniel Finkelman, Alex Lipschultz

Oh Lucy!

Director/Producer: Atsuko Hirayanagi

Producers: Han West, Yukie Kito, Jessica Elbaum

Patti Cake$

Director: Geremy Jasper

Producers: Chris Columbus, Michael Gottwald, Dan Janvey, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Noah Stahl, Rodrigo Teixeira


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.)



Writer/Director/Producer: Amman Abbasi

Writer: Steven Reneau

Producers: Lachion Buckingham, Alexander Uhlmann

A Ghost Story        

Writer/Director: David Lowery

Producers: Adam Donaghey, Toby Halbrooks, James M. Johnston

Life and nothing more      

Writer/Director: Antonio Méndez Esparza

Producers: Amadeo Hernández Bueno, Alvaro Portanet Hernández, Pedro Hernández Santos

Most Beautiful Island        

Writer/Director/Producer: Ana Asensio

Producers: Larry Fessenden, Noah Greenberg, Chadd Harbold, Jenn Wexler

The Transfiguration          

Writer/Director: Michael O’Shea

Producer: Susan Leber




Sean Baker

The Florida Project   

Jonas Carpignano

A Ciambra    

Luca Guadagnino

Call Me by Your Name

Jordan Peele

Get Out

Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie

Good Time

Chloé Zhao

The Rider     




Greta Gerwig

Lady Bird

Azazel Jacobs

The Lovers

Martin McDonagh

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri 

Jordan Peele

Get Out

Mike White

Beatriz at Dinner




Kris Avedisian

Story By: Kyle Espeleta, Jesse Wakeman

Donald Cried  

Emily V. Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani

The Big Sick   

Ingrid Jungermann

Women Who Kill



David Branson Smith, Matt Spicer

Ingrid Goes West




Thimios Bakatakis

The Killing of a Sacred Deer 

Elisha Christian


Hélène Louvart

Beach Rats

Sayombhu Mukdeeprom

Call Me by Your Name

Joshua James Richards

The Rider




Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie

Good Time

Walter Fasano

Call Me by Your Name

Alex O’Flinn

The Rider

Gregory Plotkin

Get Out

Tatiana S. Riegel

I, Tonya          




Salma Hayek Pinault

Beatriz at Dinner

Frances McDormand

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Margot Robbie

I, Tonya

Saoirse Ronan

Lady Bird

Shinobu Terajima

Oh Lucy!           

Regina Williams

Life and nothing more




Timothée Chalamet

Call Me by Your Name 

Harris Dickinson

Beach Rats

James Franco

The Disaster Artist

Daniel Kaluuya

Get Out

Robert Pattinson

Good Time     




Holly Hunter

The Big Sick

Allison Janney

I, Tonya

Laurie Metcalf

Lady Bird

Lois Smith

Marjorie Prime

Taliah Lennice Webster

Good Time




Nnamdi Asomugha

Crown Heights 

Armie Hammer

Call Me by Your Name

Barry Keoghan

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Sam Rockwell

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Benny Safdie

Good Time



(Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast.)



Director: Dee Rees

Casting Directors: Billy Hopkins, Ashley Ingram

Ensemble Cast: Jonathan Banks, Mary J. Blige, Jason Clarke, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Mitchell, Rob Morgan, Carey Mulligan



(Award given to the director and producer.)


The Departure          

Director/Producer: Lana Wilson

Faces Places

Directors: Agnés Varda, JR

Producer: Rosalie Varda

Last Men in Aleppo 

Director: Feras Fayyad

Producers: Kareem Abeed, Søeren Steen Jespersen, Stefan Kloos


Director/Producer: Ramona S. Diaz

Producer: Rey Cuerdo


Director: Jonathan Olshefski

Producer: Sabrina Schmidt Gordon



(Award given to the director.)


BPM (Beats Per Minute)      


Director: Robin Campillo

A Fantastic Woman 


Director: Sebastián Lelio

I Am Not a Witch      


Director: Rungano Nyoni

Lady Macbeth          


Director: William Oldroyd



Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev


BONNIE AWARD – Bonnie Tiburzi Caputo joined American Airlines in 1973 at age 24, becoming the first female pilot to fly for a major U.S. airline. In her honor, the inaugural Bonnie Award will recognize a mid-career female director with a $50,000 unrestricted grant, sponsored by American Airlines.


So Yong Kim

Lynn Shelton

Chloé Zhao


JEEP TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The 23rd annual Truer Than Fiction Award, funded by the Jeep brand, 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 the Jeep brand.


Shevaun Mizrahi

Director of Distant Constellation

Jonathan Olshefski

Director of Quest

Jeff Unay

Director of The Cage Fighter


KIEHL’S SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The 24th annual Someone to Watch Award, funded 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.


Amman Abbasi

Director of Dayveon 

Justin Chon

Director of Gook

Kevin Phillips

Director of Super Dark Times


PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD – The 21st annual Producers Award, funded 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.


Giulia Caruso & Ki Jin Kim

Ben LeClair

Summer Shelton


In addition, Visit Seattle will fund the Seattle Story Award, which is still open for nominations. The winning filmmaker will exhibit innovation, diversity and uniqueness of vision while having a history of transforming perspectives through rich stories. The recipient will receive a $25,000 cash grant to create a short film inspired by Seattle’s independent spirit. This film will premiere during the Spirit Awards broadcast.






Now in its 33rd 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 Film Independent Spirit Awards are sponsored by Premier Sponsors American Airlines, AT&T, IFC and the Jeep brand, as well as Principal Sponsors Piaget and Visit Seattle. FIJI Water is the Official Water. WireImage is the Official Photographer.



Film Independent is a nonprofit arts organization that champions independent visual storytelling and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds an audience for their projects, and works to diversify the film industry. Film Independent’s Board of Directors, filmmakers, staff and constituents is comprised of an inclusive community of individuals across ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race and sexual orientation. Anyone passionate about film can become a Member, whether you are a filmmaker, industry professional or a film lover.

In addition to producing the Spirit Awards, Film Independent produces the LA Film Festival and Film Independent at LACMA Film Series, a year-round, weekly program that offers unique cinematic experiences for the Los Angeles creative community and the general public.

With over 250 annual screenings and events, Film Independent provides access to a network of like-minded artists who are driving creativity in the film industry. Film Independent’s Artist Development program offers free Labs for selected writers, directors, producers and documentary filmmakers and presents year- round networking opportunities. Project Involve is Film Independent’s signature program dedicated to fostering the careers of talented filmmakers from communities traditionally underrepresented in the film industry.

For more information or to become a Member, visit


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