Emerging Filmmaker Awards
Every year, exceptional emerging filmmakers are acknowledged at the Spirit Awards, with nominees and winners chosen by committee.
The 2023 Emerging Filmmaker Awards nominees were announced on November 22, 2022 by 2019 Spirit Awards nominee Raúl Castillo (We Are Animals) and 2022 Spirit Award winner Taylour Paige (Best Female Lead, Zola).
The winners of the 2023 Emerging Filmmaker Awards were revealed at the Spirit Awards ceremony on March 4, 2023.
The Producers Award honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality independent films. Past winners include Gina Kwon (Me and You and Everyone We Know), Caroline Baron (Capote) and Effie Brown (Real Women Have Curves).
2023 Producers Award Winner
2022 Producers Award Winner
2021 Producers Award Winner
SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD
The Someone to Watch Award recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The recipients of this award become Film Independent Fellows. Past winners include Marc Forster (Everything Put Together), Andrew Bujalski (Funny Ha Ha) and Larry Fessenden (Habit).
2023 Someone to Watch Award Winner
Nikyatu Jusu – director, Nanny
2022 Someone to Watch Award Winner
Alex Camilleri – director, Luzzu
2021 Someone to Watch Award Winner
Ekwa Msangi – director, Farewell Amor
TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD
The Truer Than Fiction Award is presented to an emerging director of nonfiction features who has not yet received significant attention. The recipients of this award become Film Independent Fellows. Past winners include Bing Liu (Minding the Gap), Adele Horne (The Tailenders), Garrett Scott and Ian Olds (Occupation: Dreamland) and Errol Morris (Fast, Cheap & Out of Control).
2023 Truer Than Fiction Award Winner
Reid Davenport – director, I Didn’t See You There
2022 Truer Than Fiction Award Winner
Jessica Beshir – director, Faya Dayi
2021 Truer Than Fiction Award Winner
Elegance Bratton – director, Pier Kids