Recognizing the best (and budget-friendliest) in independent cinema this year marks the awards’ 35th anniversary. First begun as a casual industry luncheon tucked into the dining room of a small West Hollywood eatery, the Spirit Awards have steadily ascended in prominence and prestige, growing to its current state—to a much nicer lunch inside a tent a few miles West, in Santa Monica.
Clemency – Best Feature, Best Screenplay, Best Female Lead
Bernadine Williams, a Death Row prison warden whose job has taken a psychological toll on her, must confront her demons when she has to execute another inmate.
Datyon Connection: Chinonye Chukwu- former FilmDayton Board Member , former Professor at Tom Hanks Motion Picture Center at WSU
Give Me Liberty- Best Male Lead, Best Supporting Female, Best Editing and the John Cassavettes Award- given to the best feature made for under $500,000; award given to the writer, director and producer.
In this freewheeling comedy, medical transport driver Vic risks his job to shuttle a group of rowdy seniors and a Russian boxer to a funeral, dragging clients like Tracy, a young woman with ALS, along for the ride.
Datyon Connection: Karri O’Reilly Line Producer FilmDayton Advisor
American Factory – Best Documentary- Award given to the director and producer
End 2008, GM closes a plant in Ohio. A Chinese billionaire/Fuyao Glass buys the plant 2014 and invests in auto glass production. There are 2000 jobs there by late 2016. USA meets PRChina.
Director/Producers: Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert
Producers: Julia Parker Benello, Jeff Reichert
Datyon Connection: Steve was a FilmDayton Board Member and Steve & Julia are both FilmDayton members
TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – now in its 25th year, is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.
América is a story of brothers confronting the chasm between adolescent yearning and adult realities when brought together to care for their ailing ninety-three year old grandmother.
AMÉRICA – Directors: Erick Stoll, Chase Whiteside
Datyon Connection: WSU Filmmakers, former FilmDayton Members
The 2020 Film Independent Spirit Award nominees were announced this morning, November 21, at The LINE LA in Los Angeles—presented by Zazie Beetz (Atlanta, Joker) and Natasha Lyonne (Orange is the New Black, Russian Doll) and recognizing yet another tremendous group of independent storytellers.
“At a time when the film business is undergoing such change and challenges, it’s important to loudly celebrate the work itself–the films!–and to recognize 2019 as a year of bold, audacious and accomplished filmmaking,” said President of Film Independent Josh Welsh. “That’s what the Spirit Awards are all about.”
Spirit Award winners are voted on exclusively by FilmIndependent Members. Join by Dec 5 to receive awards screeners and full Spirit Award Member benefits. The 2020 Film Independent Sprit Awards will be held Sat, February 8 on the beach in Santa Monica, broadcast live EXCLUSIVELY on IFC at 5:00 pm ET.