Your Film Independent Spirit Awards questions—answered.

Is it true that the date of next year’s Spirit Awards has changed?

Yes, the date of the upcoming Film Independent Spirit Awards has changed. Originally scheduled for February 27, the show will now take place on Saturday, April 24, 2021.

Are there changes to the eligibility requirements for next year’s Spirit Awards?

Yes, there are some changes. For the 2021 Spirit Awards only, Film Independent has expanded eligibility requirements to support films whose release has been impacted by COVID-19.

Our existing eligibility guidelines are still in place, meaning films that have played at least one Spirit Awards qualifying festival (Sundance, SXSW, New Directors/New Films, Tribeca, Telluride, Toronto, New York) in 2020, or had a theatrical release of one week or longer between January 1, 2020 – February 28, 2021 are eligible.

Additionally, films that intended to have a commercial theatrical release between March 16, 2020 – February 28, 2021, but instead made the film available through a virtual cinema, commercial streaming or VOD service may be eligible. Films must have utilized a fee-based service, with a “ticket” or “subscription” required to view the content. Submissions that fall under this description must include a letter from the submitter (producer or distributor) describing the shift to VOD/streaming/virtual cinema.

Great! When do Spirit Awards submissions open?

Submissions open in September 2020.

Will there be any changes to how winners are selected?

No changes there. Film Independent Members vote to decide the winners of the Spirit Awards each year, and they enjoy a number of additional Spirit Awards-related benefits.

Become a Member today and you’ll be eligible to vote in 2021.

I’d like my company/business to be featured at the Spirit Awards.

Not sure if a declarative statement should have made it into a list of questions, but we wrote this, so you’re off the hook. We offer a range of Spirit Awards sponsorship and advertising opportunities. To learn more, email Kate Walker D’Angelo, Senior Director of Development, at kwalker@filmindependent.org.

I still have questions…

We’re here to help! You can reach us via email at spiritawards@filmindependent.org.