American Honey and Moonlight storm the Spirit Awards Nominations

It’s nearly time for The Film Independent Spirit Awards 2017, an awards event for the independent film community. 2017 marks the 32nd anniversary of the event, and as usual, it will take place on the Santa Monica pier.

The Oscars take place on the 26th February, the day after the Spirit awards are aired. The outstanding winners of these two events are typically very similar, with the last three winners of the Film Independent Spirit Awards having also proceeded to win the Oscar for best picture. The matching winners were Spotlight in 2016, Birdman in 2015 and 12 Years A Slave in 2014. However, this year’s predicted winner for the Oscar’s best picture is, unsurprisingly, Damien Chazelle’s, La La Land. The Spirit Awards select films that have a budget of under $20 million, which excludes the highly-esteemed La La Land.

The films that have received a lot of recognition from the list of nominees are; Manchester By The Sea, which follows with five nominations; and Jackie, which isn’t too far behind, with four. The two films that take the limelight with six nominations each are American Honey and Moonlight.

Andrea Arnold’s American Honey is a coming-of-age drama that follows a teenage girl, Star (Sasha Lane), who joins a magazine-selling group that offers an escape from her unhappy life. The film captures the reckless side to youth culture. The film is nominated for best feature, best director, best female lead (Sasha Lane), best supporting male (Shia LaBeouf), best supporting female (Riley Keough) and best cinematography.

Barry Jenkin’s Moonlight makes an appearance in the nominations for best feature, best director, best screenplay, best cinematography, best editing whilst also managing to receive the Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award. This award is presented to the ensemble cast, director and casting director of a film by the Film Independent; a non-profit organization dedicated to independent film and independent filmmakers. It is named after the eccentric director, screenwriter, and producer Robert Altman, who is renowned for his naturalistic films.

Moonlight focuses on themes of identity as the film follows the teenage years and young adult life of Chiron (Alex Hibbert) who is growing up as a black homosexual living in Miami.

Full list of the nominations:

Best Feature:

American Honey



Manchester by the Sea


Best Director:

Andrea Arnold (American Honey)

Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)

Pablo Larrain (Jackie)

Jeff Nichols (Loving)

Kelly Reichardt (Certain Women)

Best First Feature:

The Childhood of a Leader

The Fits

Other People

Swiss Army Man

The Witch

Best Male Lead:

Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)

David Harewood (Free in Deed)

Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic)

Jesse Plemons (Other People)

Tim Roth (Chronic)

Best Female Lead:

Annette Bening (20th Century Women)

Isabelle Huppert (Elle)

Sasha Lane (American Honey)

Ruth Negga (Loving)

Natalie Portman (Jackie)

Best Supporting Male:

Ralph Fiennes (A Bigger Splash)

Ben Foster (Hell or High Water)

Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea)

Shia LaBeouf (American Honey)

Craig Robinson (Morris from America)

Best Supporting Female:

Edwina Findley (Free in Deed)

Paulina Garcia (Little Men)

Lily Gladstone (Certain Women)

Riley Keough (American Honey)

Molly Shannon (Other People)

Best Screenplay:

Hell or High Water

Little Men

Manchester by the Sea


20th Century Women 

Best First Screenplay:



Jean of the Joneses

Other People

The Witch

Best International Film:



My Golden Days

Toni Erdmann

Under the Shadow

Best Documentary Feature:



I Am Not Your Negro

O.J.: Made in America


Under the Sun

Best Cinematography:

American Honey


Free in Deed

Eyes of My Mother


Best Editing:

Hell or High Water


Manchester by the Sea


Swiss Army Man

John Cassavetes Award:

Free in Deed

Hunter Gatherer



Spa Night

Robert Altman Award:


Piaget Producers Award:

Lisa Kjerulff

Jordana Mollick

Melody C. Roscher

Craig Shilowich

Truer Than Fiction Award:

Kristi Jacobson (Solitary)

Sara Jordeno (Kiki)

Nanfu Wang (Holligan Sparrow)

Someone to Watch Award:

Andrew Ahn (Spa Night)

Claire Carre (Embers)

Anna Rose Holmer (The Fits)

Ingrid Jungermann (Women Who Kill) 

What are your predictions? 

Text: Isla Whiteford

Images: IMDB

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2017 Irina Gorskaia

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