Spirit Awards Grants
Every year, filmmakers are acknowledged with Spirit Awards cash grants, with nominees and winners chosen by committee.
The 2020 Spirit Awards Grants were presented at the annual Film Independent Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grants and Nominee Brunch on Saturday, January 4, 2020, at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood.
Sponsored by American Airlines
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. The award was presented for the first time in 2018.
2020 Bonnie Award Winner
2019 Bonnie Award Winner
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).
2020 Producers Award Winner
2019 Producers Award Winner
2018 Piaget Producers Award Winner
SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD
Presented by Bulleit Frontier Whiskey
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, presented by Bulleit Frontier Whiskey. Past winners include Marc Forster (Everything Put Together), Andrew Bujalski (Funny Ha Ha) and Larry Fessenden (Habit).
2020 Someone to Watch Award Winner
Rashaad Ernesto Green, Director, Premature
2019 Someone to Watch Award Winner
Alex Moratto, Director, Sócrates
2018 Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award Winner
Justin Chon, Director, Gook
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).
2020 Truer Than Fiction Award Winner
Nadia Shihab, Jaddoland
2019 Truer Than Fiction Award Winner
Bing Liu, Minding the Gap
2018 Jeep Truer Than Fiction Award Winner
Jonathan Olshefski, Quest