Nominations for the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards

Nominations for the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards

Nominations for the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards were announced this morning and the lesbian-themed drama Carol starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara led the way with six nods.

The awards are for independent films made with a budget of under $20 million and they are presented the day before the Academy Awards in a ceremony that takes place in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica.

Carol earned nominations for Best Feature, Best Director (Todd Haynes), Best Screenplay (Phyllis Nagy), Best Female Lead (Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara) and Best Cinematography (Ed Lachman).
Carol 6 nominations

Carol is set in the 1950s and tells the story of a woman (Blanchett) unhappily married to a man who is threatened with never being able to see her daughter after the husband learns of her relationship with a young woman (Mara).

Another multiple nominee with an LGBTI storyline is Tangerine about trans woman sex worker named Sin-Dee Rella (played by transgender actress Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) who is released from a 28 day jail sentence and finds out her boyfriend and pimp Chester has been cheating on her with a white cisgender woman.

The film received nods for Best Feature, Best Director (Sean S. Baker), Best Female Lead (Rodriguez), and Best Supporting Female (transgender actress Mya Taylor).

Taylor’s competition in the supporting category includes out actress Cynthia Nixon who is nominated for her performance as a woman dying of cancer in the drama James White.

Nixon, previously best known for her role as Miranda on Sex and the City, has quietly amassed an impressive collection of awards in recent years including two Emmys, a Tony and a Grammy.

‘This year’s nominees are a testament to the strength, vitality and diversity of independent, artist-driven filmmaking,’ Film Independent President Josh Welsh said in a statement. ‘It’s an astonishingly strong group of films and performances this year and we look forward to celebrating them all at the Spirit Awards.’

Here is a full list of Independent Spirit Award nominees. The awards will be presented on 27 February.


Anomalisa, Beasts of No Nation, Carol, Spotlight, Tangerine


The Diary of a Teenage Girl, James White, Manos Sucias, Mediterranea, Songs My Brothers Taught Me

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD – Given to the best feature made for under $500,000.

Advantageous, Christmas Again, Heaven Knows What, Krisha, Out of My Hand


Sean Baker  (Tangerine), Cary Joji Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nation), Todd Haynes (Carol), Duke Johnson & Charlie Kaufman (Anomalisa), Tom McCarthy (Spotlight), David Robert Mitchell (It Follows)


Charlie Kaufman (Anomalisa), Donald Margulies (The End of the Tour), Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer (Spotlight), Phyllis Nagy (Carol), S. Craig Zahler (Bone Tomahawk)


Jesse Andrews (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl), Jonas Carpignano (Mediterranea), Emma Donoghue (Room), Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl), John Magary, story by Russell Harbaugh and Myna Joseph (The Mend)


Cary Joji Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nation), Michael Gioulakis (It Follows), Ed Lachman Carol Reed Morano Meadowland Joshua James Richards Songs My Brothers Taught Me


Ronald Bronstein and Benny Safdie (Heaven Knows What), Tom McArdle (Spotlight), Nathan Nugent (Room), Julio C. Perez IV (It Follows), Kristan Sprague (Manos Sucias)


Cate Blanchett (Carol), Brie Larson (Room), Rooney Mara (Carol), Bel Powley (The Diary of a Teenage Girl), Kitana Kiki Rodriguez (Tangerine)


Christopher Abbott (James White), Abraham Attah (Beasts of No Nation), Ben Mendelsohn (Mississippi Grind), Jason Segel (The End of the Tour), Koudous Seihon (Mediterranea)


Robin Bartlett (H.), Marin Ireland (Glass Chin), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Anomalisa), Cynthia Nixon (James White), Mya Taylor (Tangerine)


Kevin Corrigan (Results), Paul Dano (Love & Mercy), Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation), Richard Jenkins (Bone Tomahawk), Michael Shannon (99 Homes),

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD – (Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast)


Director: Tom McCarthy

Casting Directors: Kerry Barden and Paul Schnee

Ensemble Cast: Billy Crudup, Paul Guilfoyle, Neal Huff, Brian d’Arcy James, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, Jamey Sheridan, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci


(T)ERROR, Best of Enemies, Heart of a Dog, The Look of Silence, Meru, The Russian Woodpecker


Embrace of the Serpent, Girlhood, Mustang, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, Son of Saul

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