The 31st Annual Film Independent Spirit Awards ceremony might still be over a month away, but the nonprofit arts organization began honoring the winners earlier today by announcing the three filmmaker grant recipients at its Spirit Award Nominees Brunch in West Hollywood.
“Orange is the New Black” Emmy winner Uzo Aduba and “Mr. Robot” breakout Rami Malek co-hosted the event and gave out the honors.
“This year’s recipients of the Spirit Award cash grants are so talented and we’re thrilled to be able to support them,” said Film Independent President Josh Welsh. “Our hope is that these unrestricted grants will enable the filmmakers to continue to make great and daring work.”
The Piaget Producers Award, which honors emerging producers who “demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality, independent films,” was awarded to Mel Eslyn. “King Jack” director Felix Thompson received the Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award, while filmmaker Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (“Incorruptible”) received the Truer Than Fiction Award, which is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not received significant recognition. All winners received grants worth $25,000.
The remainder of this year’s Film Independent Spirit Awards winners will be announced and honored at the official ceremony on Saturday, February 27. The awards presentation will air on IFC Channel.