‘Carol,’ ‘Spotlight’ and ‘Beasts of No Nation’ Lead 31st Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominees

'Carol,' 'Spotlight' and 'Beasts of No Nation' Lead 31st Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominees

READ MORE: For Your Consideration: Indiewire Predicts the 2015 Independent Spirit Award Nominations

Film Independent has announced the nominees for the 31st Independent Spirt Awards, which will take place Saturday, February 27 at 2:00pm PT / 5:00pm ET. While current Oscar power players "Carol" and "Spotlight" had a strong showing among this morning’s nominees — "Carol" leads all films with six nominations total, while "Spotlight" is tied for second place with "Beasts of No Nation" with five — it looks like the Spirit Awards largely rejected some of the season’s big favorites in favor of worthy smaller titles. 

Case in point: "Anomalisa" and "Tangerine," both of which walked away with four nominations in some of the biggest categories. Both films are nominated for Best Feature and Best Director, and they both surprised in the acting categories as Jennifer Jason Leigh’s vocal performance in the former landed her a Best Supporting Actress nomination, while acclaimed "Tangerine" actresses Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor earned Best Female Lead and Best Supporting Female nods for the latter, respectively. Other films benefitting from multiple nominations include "Heaven Knows What," "Songs My Brother Taught Me," "It Follows" and Sundance hits "James White" and "The Diary of a Teenage Girl."

Below find the full list of nominations. Check out Anne Thompson’s analysis here.

Best Feature
Award given to the Producer; Executive Producers are not awarded.
"Beasts of No Nation"

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

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

Best First Screenplay
Emma Donoghue, "Room"
Jesse Andrews, "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl"
John Magary, Russell Harbaugh, Myna Joseph, "The Mend"
Jonas Carpignano, "Mediterranea"
Marielle Heller, "The Diary of a Teenage Girl"

Best First Feature
Award given to the director and producer.
"James White"
"Manos Sucias"
"Songs My Brothers Taught Me"
"The Diary of a Teenage Girl"

Best Female Lead
Bel Powley, "The Diary of a Teenage Girl"
Brie Larson, "Room"
Cate Blanchett, "Carol"
Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, "Tangerine" 
Rooney Mara, "Carol"

Best Male Lead
Abraham Attah, "Beasts of No Nation"
Ben Mendelsohn, "Mississippi Grind"
Christopher Abbott, "James White"
Jason Segal, "The End of the Tour"
Koudous Seihon, "Mediterranea"

Best Supporting Female
Cynthia Nixon, "James White"
Jennifer Jason Leigh, "Anomalisa"
Marin Ireland, "Glass Chin"
Mya Taylor, "Tangerine"
Robin Bartlett, "H."

Best Supporting Male
Idris Elba, "Beasts of No Nation"
Kevin Corrigan, "Results"
Michael Shannon, "99 Homes"
Paul Dano, "Love & Mercy"
Richard Jenkins, "Bone Tomahawk"

Best Documentary
"Best of Enemies"
"Heart of a Dog"
"The Look of Silence"
"The Russian Woodpecker"

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

Best Editing
Julo C. Perez IV, "It Follows"
Kristan Sprague, "Manos Sucias"
Nathan Nugent, "Room"
Ronald Bronstein and Benny Safdie, "Heaven Knows What"
Tom McArdle, "Spotlight"

Best International Film
"A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence"
"Embrace of the Serpent"
"Son of Saul"

John Cassavetes Award
Given to the best feature made for under $500,000. Award given to the writer, director and producer; Executive Producers are not awarded.
"Christmas, Again"
"Heaven Knows What"
"Out of My Hand"

Robert Altman Award

Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award
The 22nd annual Someone to Watch Award, sponsored by Kiehl’s Since 1851, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Kiehl’s Since 1851.
Chloe Zhao, "Songs My Brothers Taught Me"
Felix Thompson, "King Jack"
Robert Machoian and Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck, "God Bless the Child"

Piaget Producers Award
The 19th annual Producers Award, sponsored by Piaget, honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality, independent films. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.
Darren Dean
Mel Eslyn
Rebecca Green & Laura D. Smith

Truer Than Fiction
The 21st annual Truer Than Fiction Award, sponsored by LensCrafters 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 funded by LensCrafters.
Alex Sichel and Elizabeth Giamatti, "A Woman Like Me"
Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, "Incorruptible"
Hemal Trivedi and Mohammed Ali Naqvi, "Among the Believers"

READ MORE: Jessica Chastain Named Honorary Chair of 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards

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Huge snub to Jacob Tremblay in "Room" as well as the director.

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