Five women-directed films — Ava DuVernay’s Selma, Gillian Robespierre’s Obvious Child, Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Eliza Hittman’s It Felt Like Love, and Anja Marquadt’s She’s Lost Control — received multiple nominations for the 2015 Independent Spirit Awards.
Selma was recognized in five categories: Best Feature, Best Director, Best Male Lead, Best Supporting Female, and Best Cinematography. It was the only female-helmed nominee for Best Feature and Best Director.
Women comprised the majority of nominees in three categories: Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay, and Best Documentary. Best First Feature nods went to Obvious Child, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, and She’s Lost Control. (Four of the five Best First Feature nominees boasted female protagonists, the fourth being Dear White People.) She’s Lost Control was also a Best First Screenplay nominee, as were Desiree Akhavan’s Appropriate Behavior and Sara Colangelo’s Little Accidents.
Still, the picture wasn’t all rosy for female filmmakers or storytelling. None of the Best Feature nominees featured a female protagonist, and no women were recognized in the categories of Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, or Best International Film.
The Spirit Awards winners will be announced on February 21, 2015. Here are the women nominees:
BEST FEATURE (Award given to the Producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.) [Note from Women and Hollywood: Only the women-directed films are listed in this category.]
Selma – Producers: Christian Colson, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Oprah Winfrey
Ava DuVernay – Selma
BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer) [Note from Women and Hollywood: Only the women-directed films are listed in this category.]
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night – Director: Ana Lily Amirpour; Producers: Justin Begnaud, Sina Sayyah
Obvious Child – Director: Gillian Robespierre; Producer: Elisabeth Holm
She’s Lost Control – Director/Producer: Anja Marquardt; Producers: Mollye Asher, Kiara C. Jones
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Desiree Akhavan – Appropriate Behavior
Sara Colangelo – Little Accidents
Anja Marquardt – She’s Lost Control
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.
It Felt Like Love – Writer/Director/Producer: Eliza Hittman; Producers: Shrihari Sathe, Laura Wagner
Land Ho! – Writers/Directors: Aaron Katz & Martha Stephens; Producers: Christina Jennings, Mynette Louie, Sara Murphy
BEST FEMALE LEAD
Marion Cotillard – The Immigrant
Rinko Kikuchi – Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter
Julianne Moore – Still Alice
Jenny Slate – Obvious Child
Tilda Swinton – Only Lovers Left Alive
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year
Carmen Ejogo – Selma
Andrea Suarez Paz – Stand Clear of the Closing Doors
Emma Stone – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Sandra Adair – Boyhood
BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director and producer) [Note from Women and Hollywood: Only the women-directed films are listed in this category.]
20,000 Days on Earth – Directors: Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard; Producers: Dan Bowen, James Wilson
CITIZENFOUR – Director/Producer: Laura Poitras; Producers: Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky
Stray Dog – Director: Debra Granik; Producer: Anne Rosellini
18th ANNUAL PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD – The 18th 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.
21st ANNUAL KIEHL’S SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The 21st 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.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
Directors: Rania Attieh & Daniel Garcia
20th ANNUAL LENSCRAFTERS TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The 20th 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.
Approaching the Elephant
Director: Amanda Rose Wilder
The Last Season
Director: Sara Dosa