The nominees for the 31st annual Spirit Awards were announced this morning by John Boyega and Elizabeth Olsen. Last year, the Spirit Awards gave us an early glimpse at several Oscar winners by naming Patricia Arquette as Best Supporting Female, Julianne Moore as Best Female Lead, J.K. Simmons as Best Supporting Male, Emmanuel Lubezki for Best Cinematography and Birdman for Best Feature. So it’s not outside the realm of logic to suggest that these nominees may be our first glimpse at future Oscar contenders.

The Film Independent Spirit Awards is the first awards event to exclusively provide attention to independent films and filmmakers. The nonprofit organization prides itself in celebrating diversity and unique visions within the independent film community. Its open membership includes filmmakers, industry professionals, and ordinary film goers. The Spirit Awards will be broadcast on IFC on February 27th, LIVE at 2:00 pm PT / 5:00 pm ET. You can find more information on the Spirt Awards official website (

Best Feature


Beasts of No Nation




Best Director

Sean Baker, Tangerine

Cary Fukunaga, Beasts of No Nation

Todd Haynes, Carol

Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson, Anomalisa

Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

David Roger Mitchell, It Follows

Best Screenplay

Charlie Kaufman, Anomalisa

Donald Margulies, The End of the Tour

Phyllis Nagy, Carol

Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer, Spotlight

Craig Zahler, Bone Tomahawk

Best Female Lead

Cate Blanchett, Carol

Brie Larson, Room

Rooney Mara, Carol

Bel Polowy, Diary of a Teenage Girl

Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Tangerine

Best Male Lead

Christopher Abbot, James White

Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation

Ben Mendelshon, Mississippi Grind

Jason Segel, End of the Tour

Koudous Seihon, Mediterranea

Best Supporting Female

Robin Bartlet, H.

Marin Ireland, Glass Chin

Jennifer Jason Leigh, Anomalisa

Cynthia Nixon, James White

Mya Taylor, Tangerine

Best Supporting Male

Kevin Corrigan, Results

Paul Dano, Love & Mercy

Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation

Richard Jenkins, Bone Tomahawk

Michael Shannon, 99 Homes

Best Documentary

Best of Enemies

Heart of a Dog

The Look of Silence


Russian Woodpecker


Best First Feature

The Diary of a Teenage Girl

James White

Manos Sucas


Songs My Brothers Taught Me

Best First Screenplay

Jesse Andrews, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Joseph Carpignano, Mediterranea

Emma Donoghue, Room

Marielle Heller, The Diary of a Teenage Girl

John Magary, Russell Harbaugh, Myna Joseph, The Mend

Best Editing

Beasts of No Nation

Heaven Knows What

It Follows



Best Cinematography

Beasts of No Nation


It Follows


Songs My Brothers Taught Me

Best International Film

Embrace of the Serpent



Son of Saul

John Cassavettes Award (Best Feature Under $500,000)


Christmas, Again

Heaven Knows What


Out of My Hand

Robert Altman Award


Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award

Chloe Zhoa

Felix Thompson

Robert Machoian & Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck


Recap: Todd Haynes’ Carol seems like the early favorite right now, though Cary Fukunaga’s Beasts of No Nation is also making quite a name for itself. It’s also quite nice to see the horror genre represented with multiple nominations for two of our favorites from this year: It Follows and Bone Tomahawk. Of course we’ll see some of these films fall by the wayside as the competition heats up between the independent and studio films as awards season goes on, but for right now things are shaping up quite nicely.

Source: Variety

Featured Image: The Weinstein Company/StudioCanal