Spirit Awards Grants
Every year at the Spirit Awards, Film Independent gives out several Filmmaker Grants, with nominees and winners selected and voted on by committee.
The 2018 Spirit Awards Grants were presented at the annual Film Independent Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grants and Nominee Brunch on Saturday, January 6, 2018, at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood. This year, The Bonnie Award sponsored by American Airlines and the Seattle Story Award funded by Visit Seattle were presented for the first time.
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 Bonnie Award recognizes a mid-career female director with a $50,000 unrestricted grant sponsored by American Airlines.
2018 Bonnie Award Winner
The Producers Award honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality independent films. The recipients of this award become Film Independent Fellows and receive unrestricted cash grants of $25,000. Past winners include Gina Kwon (Me and You and Everyone We Know), Caroline Baron (Capote) and Effie Brown (Real Women Have Curves).
2018 Piaget Producers Award Winner
2017 Piaget Producers Award Winner
2016 Piaget Producers Award Winner
SEATTLE STORY AWARD
The Seattle Story Award is presented to a filmmaker who exhibits innovation, diversity and uniqueness of vision while having a history of transforming perspectives through rich stories. The award includes a $25,000 cash grant, sponsored by Visit Seattle, to create a short film inspired by Seattle’s deep textures and independent spirit. This film will premiere during the Spirit Awards broadcast.
2018 Seattle Story 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 and receive unrestricted cash grants of $25,000. Past winners include Marc Forster (Everything Put Together), Andrew Bujalski (Funny Ha Ha) and Larry Fessenden (Habit).
2018 Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award Winner
Justin Chon, Director, Gook
2017 Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award Winner
Anna Rose Holmer, Director, The Fits
2016 Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award Winner
Felix Thompson, Director, King Jack
TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD
The Truer Than Fiction Award is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant attention. The recipients of this award become Film Independent Fellows and receive unrestricted cash grants of $25,000. Past winners include Adele Horne (The Tailenders), Garrett Scott and Ian Olds (Occupation: Dreamland), Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski (Born into Brothels) and Errol Morris (Fast, Cheap & Out of Control).
2018 Jeep Truer Than Fiction Award Winner
Jonathan Olshefski, Quest
2017 Truer Than Fiction Award Winner
Nanfu Wang, Hooligan Sparrow
2016 Truer Than Fiction Award Winner
Elizabeth Chai Vaserhelyi, Incorruptible