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American Honey, Moonlight, Free in Deed Score as 2017 Independent Spirit Awards are Announced


in Festivals & Events
on Nov 22, 2016

Jenny Slate and Edgar Ramirez unveiled the nominations for the 2017 Independent Spirit Awards today at Los Angeles’s W Hollywood Hotel. As always, many of the most heralded independent films of the year scored multiple nominations, including Andrea Arnold’s American Honey, Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight, Pablo Larrain’s Jackie and Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea. All these pictures were nominated for Best Picture as well as receiving nominations in several other categories. But one film that has yet to receive distribution in the States — Free in Deed, by 25 New Face Jake Mahaffy — also received many nods, including Best Male Lead, Best Supporting Female, Best Cinematography and a nomination for the Cassavetes Award. Another surprise was the multiple nominations given to Michel Franco’s dark drama, Chronic (Best Feature, Best Male Lead). The Tim Roth-starring film grossed less than $10,000 in release this Fall from Monument Releasing.

The Spirit Awards have a number of awards given to emerging filmmakers that are always worthy of highlighting. This year’s documentary Truer than Fiction features films by three female filmmakers; the Piaget Producers Award nominees include The Fits producer Lisa Kjerulff, who graced our Spring issue cover; and the 23rd Annual Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award featured Kjerulff’ cover partner, Ana Rose Holmer, as well as IFP Narrative Lab filmmaker Claire Carre.

A complete list of Spirit Award nominees follows, with more coverage to come in the months ahead.

Best Feature:

American Honey



Manchester by the Sea


Best Director:

Andrea Arnold, American Honey

Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Pablo Larraín, Jackie

Jeff Nichols, Loving

Kelly Reichardt, Certain Women

Best First Feature:

The Childhood of a Leader

The Fits

Other People

Swiss Army Man

The Witch

Best Male Lead:

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

David Harewood, Free In Deed

Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

Jesse Plemons, Other People

Tim Roth, Chronic

Best Female Lead:

Annette Bening, 20th Century Women

Isabelle Huppert, Elle

Sasha Lane, American Honey

Ruth Negga, Loving

Natalie Portman, Jackie

Best Supporting Female:

Edwina Findley, Free In Deed

Paulina García, Little Men

Lily Gladstone, Certain Women

Riley Keough, American Honey

Molly Shannon, Other People

Best Supporting Male:

Ralph Fiennes, A Bigger Splash

Ben Foster, Hell or High Water

Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea

Shia LaBeouf, American Honey

Craig Robinson, Morris from America

Best Screenplay:

Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney, Moonlight

Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Mike Mills, 20th Century Women

Ira Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias, Little Women

Taylor Sheridan, Hell or High Water

Best First Screenplay:

Robert Eggers, The Witch

Chris Kelly, Other People

Adam Mansbach, Barry

Stella Meghie, Jean of the Joneses

Craig Shilowich, Christine

Best Cinematography:

Ava Berkofsky, Free In Deed

Lol Crawley, The Childhood of a Leader

Zach Kuperstein, The Eyes of My Mother

James Laxton, Moonlight

Robbie Ryan, American Honey

Best Editing:

Matthew Hannam, Swiss Army Man

Jennifer Lame, Manchester by the Sea

Joi McMillon and Nat Sanders, Moonlight

Jake Roberts, Hell or High Water

Sebastián Sepúlveda, Jackie

John Cassavetes Award:

Free In Deed

Hunter Gatherer



Spa Night

Robert Altman Award:


Best Documentary:



I Am Not Your Negro

O.J.: Made in America


Under the Sun

Best International Film:

Aquarius (Brazil)

Chevalier (Greece)

My Golden Days (France)

Toni Erdmann (Germany and Romania)

Under the Shadow (Iran and U.K.)

Piaget Producers Award:

Lisa Kjerulff

Jordana Mollick

Melody C. Roscher & Craig Shilowich

23rd Annual Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award:

Andrew Ahn, Spa Night

Claire Carré, Embers

Anna Rose Holmer, The Fits

Ingrid Jungermann, Women Who Kill

22nd Truer Than Fiction Award:

Kristi Jacobson, Solitary

Sara Jordenö, Kiki

Nanfu Wang, Hooligan Sparrow

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