Emerging Filmmaker Awards

Every year, exceptional emerging filmmakers are acknowledged at the Spirit Awards, with nominees and winners chosen by committee.

The 2022 Emerging Filmmaker Awards winners were revealed on February 10, 2022, announced by the winners of the 2021 Emerging Filmmaker Awards: Ekwa Msangi, Gerry Kim and Elegance Bratton.

The winners of the 2022 Emerging Filmmaker Awards, listed below, each received an unrestricted $25,000 cash grant.
 

PRODUCERS AWARD

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).

2022 Producers Award Winner

Lizzie Shapiro

2021 Producers Award Winner

Gerry Kim

2020 Producers Award Winner

Mollye Asher
 

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).

2022 Someone to Watch Award Winner

Alex Camilleri – director, Luzzu

2021 Someone to Watch Award Winner

Ekwa Msangi – director, Farewell Amor

2020 Someone to Watch Award Winner

Rashaad Ernesto Green – director, Premature
 

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. 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).

2019 Truer Than Fiction Award Winner

Jessica Beshir – director, Faya Dayi

2021 Truer Than Fiction Award Winner

Elegance Bratton – director, Pier Kids

2020 Truer Than Fiction Award Winner

Nadia Shihab – director, Jaddoland