The Film Independent Spirit Award nominees were announced Nov. 21, featuring several nominations for women in film. Voted on exclusively by Film Independent members, the awards will be held February 8, broadcast on IFC.
Two films directed by women are nominated for Best Feature: The Farewell (Lulu Wang) and Clemency (Chinonye Chukwu). Alfre Woodard is the only actor nominated for best female lead in a film directed by a woman, while Chukwu is also the only woman nominated for best screenplay of eight nominees.
Six of the 10 nominees for Best First Screenplay are women, however: Joceyln Deboer and Dawn Luebbe for Greener Grass, Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy for Blow the Man Down, Hannah Boss for co-writing Driveways and Fredrica Bailey for co-writing See You Yesterday.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Celine Sciamma) and The Souvenir are nominated for Best International Film. Four of the five films nominated for Best Documentary are directed by women – American Factory, For Sama, Honeyland and Island of the Hungry Ghosts.
Female editors are also recognized: Louise Ford is nominated for editing The Lighthouse and Julie Bezaiau for The Third Wife, whose cinematographer Chananun Chotrungroj is also nominated along with director Ash Mayfair in the “Someone to Watch” category.
Honey Boy has the most nominations of a female-directed film this year: cinematographer Natasha Braier, actors Noah Jupe and Shia LaBeouf and director Alma Har’el are all nominated in their respective categories.
Lorene Scafaria is also nominated for Best Director for Hustlers alongside Har’el, which means two of the five nominees for Best Director are female. Jennifer Lopez is also nominated for best supporting female in Hustlers, in a category with The Farewell’s Zhao Shuzen. Lauren “Lolo” Spencer and Chris Galust are nominated for their performances in Give Me Liberty. Galust is nominated alongside Matthias Schoenarts for The Mustang, directed by Laure Clermont-Tonnere, and up for Best First Feature along with Olivia Wilde-directed Booksmart.
Give Me Liberty and Wild Nights with Emily are nominated for the John Cassavetes Award, which is presented to the creative team of a film budgeted at less than $500,000.
The Truer Than Fiction Award is presented to “an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant attention,” who will receive a grant of $25,000 and become a Film Independent Fellow. This year’s only female nominee is Madia Shihab of Jaddoland.
The third annual Bonnie Award will recognize a mid-career female director with a $50,000 unrestricted grant sponsored by American Airlines. Marielle Heller, Kelly Reichardt and Lulu Wang are nominated this year. Debra Granik was last year’s recipient after directing Leave No Trace.
© Georgiana E. Presecky (11/21/2019) FF2 Media
Cinematographer Natasha Braier with Director Alma Har’el on the set of HONEY BOY Courtesy of Amazon Studios