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Spirit Award Nods Announced: ‘Carol,’ ‘Tangerine,’ ‘Diary of a Teenage Girl’ and More

Spirit Award Nods Announced: 'Carol,' 'Tangerine,' 'Diary of a Teenage Girl' and More

The nominations for the Film Independent Spirit Awards are in, and while the indie film world — including its own awards circuit — is slightly more hospitable to female filmmakers than Hollywood at large, exactly zero women directors are up for this year’s Best Director award. More bad news: Five films are competing for the Best Feature award — “Anomalisa,” Beasts of No Nation,” “Carol,” “Spotlight” and “Tangerine” — none of which are directed by women. The top award is, however, granted to the producer of the film, not the director, and happily all of the nominated producing teams include at least one female producer.

Of the five filmmakers nominated for Best First Feature, two are women — Marielle Heller for “The Diary of a Teenage Girl” and Chloe Zhao for “Songs My Brother Taught Me.”

On the writing front, only one of the five nominees for Best Screenplay is a woman, Phyllis Nagy, who adapted Patricia Highsmith’s novel “The Price of Salt” into “Carol” for the big screen. As for Best First Screenplay, two screenwriting rookies of the five nominated are women: author Emma Donoghue, who adapted her own novel, “Room,” and Marielle Heller for her adaptation of Phoebe Gloeckner’s graphic novel “The Diary of a Teenage Girl.” 

As is usually the case, women directors are better represented in the documentary category, with three of the six Best Documentary nominees helmed by women: “(T)ERROR, directed by Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe, Laurie Anderson’s “Heart of a Dog” and “Meru” by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin.

Not one woman is nominated for Best Editing. Reed Morano is the only female competitor in the Best Cinematography category, nominated for her work in “Meadowland,” which also marked her directorial debut. “I partly decided to do both jobs so I could prove that I could, because I felt like I could and I would be happier,” Morano told Women and Hollywood. “It would be a better creative experience for me If I could control that aspect. I can’t turn off that side of my brain, the DP part. That’s something I feel I really know how to do. I thought maybe I could do it with my eyes closed then spend my time thinking about the actors, the arc, and if I was feeling [what was happening]. I put my camera on my shoulder and just followed them. Because I was in control of the cinematography I could decide how to do it that would completely cater to what I wanted for the actors, which was complete freedom.”

The Spirit Awards will take place on February 27, 2016. The ceremony will be broadcast live on IFC at 2 pm PT/5 pm ET. 

Check out all of the women nominees below. List adapted from a press release.

BEST FEATURE

(Award given to the Producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.)

Anomalisa

Producers: Duke Johnson, Charlie
Kaufman, Dino Stamatopoulos, Rosa Tran

Beasts
of No Nation

Producers: Daniel Crown, Idris Elba,
Cary Joji Fukunaga, Amy Kaufman, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Riva Marker

Carol

Producers: Elizabeth Karlsen, Christine
Vachon,
Stephen Woolley 

Spotlight

Producers: Blye Pagon Faust, Steve
Golin, Nicole Rocklin, Michael Sugar

Tangerine

Producers: Sean Baker, Karrie Cox, Marcus Cox, Darren Dean, Shih-Ching
Tsou

BEST FIRST FEATURE

(Award given to the director and producer)

The
Diary of a Teenage Girl

Director: Marielle Heller

Producers:
Miranda Bailey, Anne Carey, Bert Hamelinck, Madeline Samit

Songs
My Brothers Taught Me

Director/Producer: Chloé Zhao

Producers: Mollye Asher, Nina Yang
Bongiovi, Angela C. Lee
, Forest Whitaker

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.

Advantageous

Writer/Director/Producer: Jennifer Phang

Writer/Producer: Jacqueline Kim

Producers: Robert Chang, Ken Jeong, Moon Molson, Theresa Navarro

BEST SCREENPLAY

Phyllis
Nagy

Carol

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY

Emma Donoghue

Room

Marielle Heller

The
Diary of a Teenage Girl

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Reed Morano

Meadowland

BEST FEMALE LEAD

Cate Blanchett

Carol

Brie Larson

Room

Rooney Mara

Carol

Bel Powley

The Diary of a Teenage Girl

Kitana Kiki Rodriguez

Tangerine

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE

Robin Bartlett

H.

Marin Ireland

Glass Chin

Jennifer Jason Leigh

Anomalisa

Cynthia Nixon

James White

Mya Taylor

Tangerine

BEST DOCUMENTARY
 (Award given to the director and producer) 

(T)ERROR 

Directors/Producers: Lyric R. Cabral & David Felix Sutcliffe

Producer: Christopher St. John

Heart of a Dog          

Director/Producer: Laurie Anderson

Producer: Dan Janvey

Meru

Directors/Producers: Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth
Chai Vasarhelyi


Producer: Shannon Ethridge

 BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (Award given to the director) 

Girlhood

(France)

Director: Céline Sciamma

Mustang

(France, Turkey)

Director: Deniz Gamze Ergüven

19th ANNUAL 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.

Mel Eslyn

Rebecca Green and Laura D. Smith

22nd ANNUAL 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.

Songs
My Brothers Taught Me

Director: Chloé Zhao

21st TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The 21st annual Truer
Than Fiction Award 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.

Incorruptible

Director: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

A Woman Like Me

Directors: Elizabeth Giamatti and Alex
Sichel

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