Moonlight and American Honey were the two leading movies nominated for the 2017 Independent Spirit Awards after the Nominating Committees selected the nominees from 382 film submissions. Film Independent President Josh Welsh introduced American actress Jenny Slate and Venezuelan actor Edgar Ramirez, who announced the nominees on Tuesday at the W Hotel in Los Angeles.
Each of the leading movies got six nominations for the awards created to celebrate artistic films made for less than $20 million. The winners often do well at the Academy Awards, which are aired the day after the Spirit Awards. Spotlight, Birdman and 12 Years a Slave won the best picture Oscar after winning the Independent Spirit Awards.
American Honey is on the list for best film, best director, and best actress for Sasha Lane. The newcomer plays a teenage runaway, and she felt a strong connection with her vulnerable character because of what she lived in her troubled childhood, as she told The Guardian in October. The film features the character traveling across the American Midwest with a band of misfits. Shia LaBeouf also earned a nod for his performance as best supporting actor in American Honey.
Moonlight’s three main actors play the main character at different stages of his life as he grows to adulthood, but their performance did not receive a nod in these awards. Still, the film was also chosen for the Robert Altman Award, in honor of the director who was widely acclaimed for his ability to assemble remarkable ensemble casts. The cast, casting director Yesi Ramirez and director Barry Jenkins, are set to receive the prize.
Manchester by the Sea also joined Moonlight and American Honey on the best picture list. Although director Kenneth Lonergan and actress Michelle Williams were left off the list announced Tuesday in Hollywood, the family drama earned nods for best film and best actor (Casey Affleck).
Jackie, a drama that tells the story of former U.S. first lady Jacqueline Kennedy after his husband’s assassination, was also nominated for best film and Natalie Portman earned a nod for her lead.
This year’s Spirit Awards celebrate diversity and innovation
“Now more than ever, the voices of independent artists play a critically important role in our culture,” Josh Welsh said, as quoted by The Los Angeles Times. “The films we celebrate at this year’s Spirit Awards embody the diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision that we champion all yearlong.”
Aside from recognizing great work, Welsh noted that the Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grants represented an opportunity to provide direct financial support to the most talented filmmakers. He thanked Kielh for having been a grant funder since 1851 and also expressed how much he appreciated Piaget’s support through funding of the Producers Award.
The ceremony of the 2017 Independent Spirit Awards will be held in Santa Monica, California, on Feb. 25. IFC is set to broadcast the event live at 5 p.m. ET.
Source: LA Times