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Uncut Gems, The Lighthouse, Give Me Liberty Score Big as Film Independent Announces 2019 Spirit Award Nominees

Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems

Josh and Benny Safdie’s Uncut Gems and Robert Eggers’s The Lighthouse topped the nominations list with five nominations each as Film Independent announced today the 2019 Film Independent Spirit Award nominees. Chinonye Chukwu’s Sundance winner Clemency, Julius Onah’s Luce and Alma Har’el’s Honey Boy also received multiple nominations as did lesser-promoted films such as Kirill Mikhanovsky’s Give Me Liberty and Tom Quinn’s Colewell. And so did one festival sleeper that premiered in Tribeca before then going to Netflix: Stefan Bristol’s See You Yesterday.

That particular Spirit blend of higher-profile titles mixed with smaller ones continues throughout the rest of the list, with mini-major-produced films like Lorene Scafaria’s Hustlers and Laure de Clermont-Tonnere’s The Mustang rubbing up against bootstrapped indies like Shawn Snyder’s To Dust and Andrew Ahn’s Driveways.( All four titles above also each received multiple nominations.)

Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, one of the fall juggernauts, received two nominations — Best Feature and Best Screenplay — as well as receiving this year the Robert Altman Award for its cast — a group award that also means that its individual actors were not eligible in the acting categories.

The Bonnie Award, which is given to a mid-career filmmaker, spans a wide range this year, from second-time feature directors Lulu Wang and Marielle Heller to Kelly Reichardt, who made her debut in 1994.

The Film Independent Spirit Awards will be presented February 20, 2020, in Santa Monica, CA.

The complete list of nominations follows.

BEST FEATURE

A Hidden Life

Clemency

The Farewell

Marriage Story

Uncut Gems

BEST FIRST FEATURE

Booksmart

The Climb

Diane

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

The Mustang

See You Yesterday

BEST FEMALE LEAD

Karen Allen – Colewell

Hong Chau – Driveways

Elisabeth Moss – Her Smell

Mary Kay Place – Diane

Alfre Woodard – Clemency

Renée Zellweger – Judy

BEST MALE LEAD

Chris Galust – Give Me Liberty

Kelvin Harrison, Jr. – Luce

Robert Pattinson – The Lighthouse

Adam Sandler – Uncut Gems

Matthias Schoenaerts – The Mustang

BEST DIRECTOR

Robert Eggers – The Lighthouse

Alma Har’el – Honey Boy

Julius Onah – Luce

Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie – Uncut Gems

Lorene Scafaria – Hustlers

BEST DOCTUMENTARY

American Factory

Apollo 11

For Sama

Honeyland

Island of the Hungry Ghosts

BEST SUPPORTING MALE

Willem Dafoe – The Lighthouse

Noah Jupe – Honey Boy

Shia Labeouf – Honey Boy

Jonathan Majors – The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Wendell Pierce – Burning Cane

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE

Jennifer Lopez – Hustlers

Taylor Russell – Waves

Zhao Shuzhen – The Farewell

Lauren “Lolo” Spencer – Give Me Liberty

Octavia Spencer – Luce

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD

The Robert Altman Award is given to the ensemble cast, director & casting director of one film: Marriage Story – Noah Baumbach, Douglas Aibel, Francine Maisler, Alan Alda, Laura Dern, Adam Driver, Julie Hagerty, Scarlett Johansson, Ray Liotta, Azhy Robertson, Merritt Wever

BEST SCREENPLAY

Noah Baumbach – Marriage Story

Jason Begue, Shawn Snyder – To Dust

Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie – Uncut Gems

Chinonye Chukwu – Clemency

Tarell Alvin Mccraney – High Flying Bird

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY

Fredrica Bailey, Stefon Bristol – See You Yesterday

Hannah Bos, Paul Thureen – Driveways

Bridget Savage Cole, Danielle Krudy – Blow the Man Down

Jocelyn Deboer, Dawn Luebbe – Greener Grass

James Montague, Craig W. Sanger – The Vast of Night

BEST EDITING

Julie Béziau – The Third Wife

Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie – Uncut Gems

Tyler L. Cook – Sword of Trust

Louise Ford – The Lighthouse

Kirill Mikhanovsky – Give Me Liberty

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Todd Banhazl – Hustlers

Jarin Blaschke – The Lighthouse

Natasha Braier – Honey Boy

Chananun Chotrungroj – The Third Wife

Pawel Pogorzelski – Midsommar

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM

Invisible Life, Brazil

Les Miserables, France

Parasite, South Korea

Portrait of a Lady on Fire, France

Retablo, Peru

The Souvenir, United Kingdom

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD

The John Cassavetes Award is presented to the best feature made for under $500,000 and is given to the writer, director, and producer. 2020 Spirit Awards Nominees are:

Burning Cane

Colewell

Give Me Liberty

Premature

Wild Nights with Emily

PRODUCERS AWARD

Now in its 23rd year, honors emerging producers who demonstrate creativity, tenacity and vision, despite highly limited resources. The award includes an unrestricted grant. These are the finalists:

Mollye Asher

Krista Parris

Ryan Zacarias

SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD

The Someone To Watch Award, in its 26th year, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision and includes an unrestricted grant. The finalists are:

Rashaad Ernesto Green – Premature

Ash Mayfair – The Third Wife

Joe Talbot – The Last Black Man in San Francisco

TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD
The Truer Than Fiction Award, in its 25th year, is for emerging directors of non-fiction features and includes an unrestricted grant. Finalists:

Khalik Allah – Black Mother

Davy Rothbart – 17 Blocks

Nadia Shihab – Jaddoland

Erick Stoll & Chase Whiteside – América

THE BONNIE AWARD
Now in its 3rd year, the Bonnie Award will recognize a mid-career female director with a $50,000 unrestricted grant sponsored by American Airlines. The 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards Bonnie Award finalists are:

Marielle Heller

Kelly Reichardt

Lulu Wang

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