Indie Spirits Nominate a Diverse Group of Filmmakers
The Oscars are about to adopt new guidelines for diversity, but the Independent Spirit Awards are already on their way.
None of the nominees announced Tuesday for the Indie Spirits Best Feature Award – “First Cow,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “Minari,” “Never Seldom Sometimes” and “Nomadland” – were from whites Men headed whose efforts are usually far overrepresented during the awards season.
All five nominees for the best director are women and also people of color. And of the directorial debuts, which are nominated in the category of the best first films (including “Ich trage dich mit mir” by Heidi Ewing, “The Forty Years Version” by Radha Blank, “Miss Juneteenth” by Channing Godfrey Peoples and “Nine Days” by Edson Oda), only one was staged by a white man – Darius Marder’s “Sound of Metal”.
For too many years the Indie Spirits, awarded by the nonprofit Film Independent, could feel like they were following the example of the Academy Awards, handing over their trophies to those who were considered Oscar top-rated. They have even been accused of bending their own rules to allow larger, more prominent productions. In one memorable example, Harvey Weinstein successfully campaigned for the organization to raise its budget threshold of $ 20 million for Silver Linings Playbook to be considered. Four awards were won at the 2013 ceremony, including best feature.
But the indie ghosts work best as a fix for the larger, more prestigious ceremony. The last two Best Indie Spirit winners – “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “The Farewell” – weren’t even nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars and should have been. And although the Indie Spirits nominated what some consider to be this year’s Oscar-winning film, Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland,” the race is still flowing.
(The best feature nominees echoed other recently announced awards. On Sunday, “First Cow” won Best Picture at the New York Film Critics Circle ceremony. On Monday, the American Film Institute included several lower-budget films in its films Year: “Da 5 Bloods”, “Judas and the Black Messiah”, “Ma Rainey’s Black Butt”, “Mank”, “Minari”, “Nomadland”, “One Night in Miami”, “Soul”, “Sound of Metal” “” And “The Trial of Chicago 7.”)
Among the indie spirits are Steven Yeun (“Minari”), Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”), Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), Adarsh Gourav (“The White Tiger”) and Adarsh Gourav (“The White Tiger”) nominated Rob Morgan (“Bull”). The best female leading actors are Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”), Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Butt”), Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”), Nicole Beharie (“Miss Juneteenth”) and Julia Garner (“The Assistant”) ) and Sidney Flanigan (“Never, Seldom, Sometimes Always”).
Regina King’s “One Night in Miami” won the group’s Robert Altman Award, given to the director, casting director and cast of a single film.
The ceremony will be broadcast live on the IFC channel on April 22nd. The full list of nominations can be found here.