The Black Nominees for the Film Independent Spirit Awards 2023 Are...

Jeffrey Wright, left; Teyana Taylor, Sterling K. Brown.
Jeffrey Wright, left; Teyana Taylor, Sterling K. Brown.
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Jeffrey Wright, left; Teyana Taylor, Sterling K. Brown.

This week, nominees for the 2023 Film Independent Spirit Awards were revealed.

Slated to stream live on Feb. 25, the prestigious award highlights the best of the best in TV and film. And because y’all know how we get down on this side of the internet, let’s go ahead and get into the beautiful Black folks nominated for their contributions.

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In the A.V. Rockwell-directed, Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning film, Taylor plays Inez, an unapologetic and free-spirited mother who kidnaps her six-year-old son Terry from the foster care system. Holding onto their secret and each other, mother and son set out to reclaim their sense of home, identity, and stability, in a rapidly changing New York City.

Best First Feature: “All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt”

Directed by Raven Jackson and produced by Barry Jenkins, “All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt” is described as a “lyrical, decades-spanning exploration across a woman’s life in Mississippi” and a “haunting and richly layered portrait, a beautiful ode to the generations of people and places that shape us.” The film released to critical acclaim on Nov. 3. and is also up for Best Cinematography.

Best First Feature: “Earth Mama

Best Feature: “American Fiction”

Starring Jeffrey Wright, Sterling K. Brown, Erika Alexander and more, “American Fiction” centers around Monk, a frustrated novelist who’s fed up with the establishment profiting from “Black” entertainment that relies on tired and offensive tropes. To prove his point, Monk uses a pen name to write an outlandish “Black” book of his own, a book that propels him to the heart of hypocrisy and the madness he claims to disdain.

Best Screenplay: Cord Jefferson, “American Fiction”

Cord Jefferson attends the Los Angeles Premiere of MGM’s “American Fiction” at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on December 05, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
Cord Jefferson attends the Los Angeles Premiere of MGM’s “American Fiction” at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on December 05, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.


Cord Jefferson attends the Los Angeles Premiere of MGM’s “American Fiction” at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on December 05, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

Former The Root alum Cord Jefferson, who won an Emmy for his writing in the hit 2019 series Watchment, has been nominated for Best Screenplay for his satirical comedy, “American Fiction.”

Best Lead Performance: Teyana Taylor

Teyana Taylor attends the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures 3rd Annual Gala Presented by Rolex at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on December 03, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
Teyana Taylor attends the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures 3rd Annual Gala Presented by Rolex at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on December 03, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.


Teyana Taylor attends the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures 3rd Annual Gala Presented by Rolex at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on December 03, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

For her role in A Thousand and One, Teyana Taylor has been nominated for Best Lead Performance.

Best Lead Performance: Jeffrey Wright

Jeffrey Wright at the “American Fiction” Los Angeles Special Screening held at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater on December 5, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California.
Jeffrey Wright at the “American Fiction” Los Angeles Special Screening held at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater on December 5, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California.


Jeffrey Wright at the “American Fiction” Los Angeles Special Screening held at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater on December 5, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California.



For his role in “American Fiction,” Jeffrey Wright will be going up against Teyana Taylor for Best Lead Performance.

Best Supporting Performance: Erika Alexander

Erika Alexander attends the Los Angeles Premiere of MGM’s “American Fiction” at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on December 05, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
Erika Alexander attends the Los Angeles Premiere of MGM’s “American Fiction” at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on December 05, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.


Erika Alexander attends the Los Angeles Premiere of MGM’s “American Fiction” at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on December 05, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

For her role in “American Fiction,” Erika Alexander has been nominated for Best Supporting Performance.

Best Supporting Performance: Sterling K. Brown

Sterling K. Brown attends Los Angeles Special Screening of Amazon and MGM Studios’ “American Fiction” at Samuel Goldwyn Theater on December 05, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California.
Sterling K. Brown attends Los Angeles Special Screening of Amazon and MGM Studios’ “American Fiction” at Samuel Goldwyn Theater on December 05, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California.


Sterling K. Brown attends Los Angeles Special Screening of Amazon and MGM Studios’ “American Fiction” at Samuel Goldwyn Theater on December 05, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California.

For his role in “American Fiction,” Sterling K. Brown will be going up against Erika Alexander for Best Supporting Performance.

Best Supporting Performance: Da’Vine Joy Randolph

Da’Vine Joy Randolph at The Critics Choice Association Celebration of Cinema & Television: Honoring Black, Latino and AAPI Achievements held at the Fairmont Century Plaza on December 4, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
Da’Vine Joy Randolph at The Critics Choice Association Celebration of Cinema & Television: Honoring Black, Latino and AAPI Achievements held at the Fairmont Century Plaza on December 4, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.


Da’Vine Joy Randolph at The Critics Choice Association Celebration of Cinema & Television: Honoring Black, Latino and AAPI Achievements held at the Fairmont Century Plaza on December 4, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

For her role in “The Holdovers,” Da’Vine Joy Randolph will be up against Sterling K. Brown and Erika Alexander for Best Supporting Performance.

Best Breakthrough Performance: Marshawn Lynch

Former NFL player Marshawn Lynch looks on during the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at T-Mobile Park on Monday, July 10, 2023 in Seattle, Washington.
Former NFL player Marshawn Lynch looks on during the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at T-Mobile Park on Monday, July 10, 2023 in Seattle, Washington.


Former NFL player Marshawn Lynch looks on during the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at T-Mobile Park on Monday, July 10, 2023 in Seattle, Washington.

For his role in “Bottoms,” former NFL star Marshawn Lynch has been nominated for Best Breakthrough Performance.

Best Breakthrough Performance: Tia Nomore

Tia Nomore arrives at the screening of “Earth Mama” during the 66th San Francisco International Film Festival at CGV San Francisco 14 on April 15, 2023 in San Francisco, California.
Tia Nomore arrives at the screening of “Earth Mama” during the 66th San Francisco International Film Festival at CGV San Francisco 14 on April 15, 2023 in San Francisco, California.


Tia Nomore arrives at the screening of “Earth Mama” during the 66th San Francisco International Film Festival at CGV San Francisco 14 on April 15, 2023 in San Francisco, California.

For her role in “Earth Mama,” Tia Nomore will go up against Marshawn Lynch for Best Breakthrough Performance.

Best Documentary: “Kokomo City”

Up for Best Documentary, “Kokomo City” follows four Black transgender sex workers in Atlanta and New York City – Daniella Carter, Koko Da Doll, Liyah Mitchell, and Dominique Silver – who unapologetically break down the walls of their profession. Holding nothing back, the film vibrates with energy, sex, challenge, and hard-earned wisdom.

Best Documentary: “Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project”

Up for Best Documentary alongside “Kokomo City,” “Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project” pushes the boundaries of biographical documentary film by traveling through time and space to reveal the enduring influence of one of America’s greatest living artists and social commentators. Through intimate vérité, archival footage, and visually innovative treatments of her poetry, viewers are given an intimate look at the life and legacy of the incomparable Nikki Giovanni.

Best International Film: “Mami Wata”

Up for Best International Film, Mami Wati chronicles when the harmony in a village is threatened by outside elements, two sisters must fight to save their people and restore the glory of a mermaid goddess to the land.

Best New Non-Scripted or Documentary Series: “Dear Mama”

Nominated for Best New Non-Scripted or Documentary Series, Dear Mama tells the story of activist Afeni Shakur and hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur, two voices that could not be silenced. Told through the eyes of the people who knew them best, Dear Mama is an intimate wide-angle portrait of the most inspiring and dangerous mother-son duo in American history, whose unified message of freedom, equality, persecution and justice are more relevant today than ever.



Best New Scripted Series: I’m a Virgo

Nominated for Best New Scripted Series, the Boots Riley-created series stars Emmy award-winning actor Jharrel Jerome as Cootie, a 13-foot-tall Black man living in Oakland.

Best New Scripted Series: Dreaming Whilst Black

Nominated for Best New Scripted Series, Dreaming Whilst Black is loosely inspired by real-life events, following Kwabena, an aspiring filmmaker stuck in a dead-end recruitment job who takes the first step to achieving his dream. However, he is quickly confronted with the tribulations of balancing finances, love and his own sense of reality.

Best Lead Performance in a New Scripted Series: Dominique Fishback

Dominique Fishback at the premiere of “The Color Purple” held at The Academy Museum on December 6, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
Dominique Fishback at the premiere of “The Color Purple” held at The Academy Museum on December 6, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.


Dominique Fishback at the premiere of “The Color Purple” held at The Academy Museum on December 6, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

For her role in “Swarm,” Dominique Fishback has been nominated for Best Lead Performance in a New Scripted Series.

Best Lead Performance in a New Scripted Series: Jharrel Jerome

Jharrel Jerome attends the 33rd Annual Gotham Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on November 27, 2023 in New York City.
Jharrel Jerome attends the 33rd Annual Gotham Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on November 27, 2023 in New York City.


Jharrel Jerome attends the 33rd Annual Gotham Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on November 27, 2023 in New York City.

For his role in “I’m a Virgo,” Jharrel Jerone has been nominated for Best Lead Performance in a New Scripted Series.

Best Supporting Performance in a New Scripted Series: Olivia Washington

Olivia Washington at the premiere of “I’m a Virgo” held at the Harmony Gold on June 21, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
Olivia Washington at the premiere of “I’m a Virgo” held at the Harmony Gold on June 21, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.


Olivia Washington at the premiere of “I’m a Virgo” held at the Harmony Gold on June 21, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

For her role in “I’m a Virgo,” Olivia Washington (daughter of Denzel and Pauletta Washington if you couldn’t tell) has been nominated for Best Supporting Performance in a New Scripted Series.

Best Supporting Performance in a New Scripted Series: Jessica Williams

Jessica Williams attends the Film Independent 2023 Directors Close-Up - Casting and Directing Actors: “Shrinking” With Creator Jason Segel and Team event at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 28, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California.
Jessica Williams attends the Film Independent 2023 Directors Close-Up - Casting and Directing Actors: “Shrinking” With Creator Jason Segel and Team event at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 28, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California.


Jessica Williams attends the Film Independent 2023 Directors Close-Up - Casting and Directing Actors: “Shrinking” With Creator Jason Segel and Team event at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 28, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California.

For her role in “Shrinking,” Jessica Williams has been nominated for Best Supporting Performance in a New Scripted Series.

Best Supporting Performance in a New Scripted Series: Adina Porter

Adina Porter attends the world premiere of Sony Pictures Animation’s “Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse” at Regency Village Theatre on May 30, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
Adina Porter attends the world premiere of Sony Pictures Animation’s “Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse” at Regency Village Theatre on May 30, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.


Adina Porter attends the world premiere of Sony Pictures Animation’s “Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse” at Regency Village Theatre on May 30, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

For her role in “The Changeling,” Adina Porter has been nominated for Best Supporting Performance in a New Scripted Series.

Best Breakthrough Performance in a New Scripted Series: Kara Young

Kara Young attends Variety The Business Of Broadway Presented By City National Bank at The Pool on October 02, 2023 in New York City.
Kara Young attends Variety The Business Of Broadway Presented By City National Bank at The Pool on October 02, 2023 in New York City.


Kara Young attends Variety The Business Of Broadway Presented By City National Bank at The Pool on October 02, 2023 in New York City.

For her role in “I’m a Virgo,” Kara Young has been nominated for Best Supporting Performance in a New Scripted Series.

Best Breakthrough Performance in a New Scripted Series: Adjani Salmon

Adjani Salmon attends as Flannels Presents A Celebration by Letitia Wright at Flannels Oxford Street on November 12, 2022 in London, England.
Adjani Salmon attends as Flannels Presents A Celebration by Letitia Wright at Flannels Oxford Street on November 12, 2022 in London, England.


Adjani Salmon attends as Flannels Presents A Celebration by Letitia Wright at Flannels Oxford Street on November 12, 2022 in London, England.

Going up against Kara Young, Adjani Salmon has been nominated for Best Breakthrough Performance in a New Scripted Series for his role in “Dreaming Whilst Black.”

Best Breakthrough Performance in a New Scripted Series: Clark Backo

Clark Backo from the cast of ‘I Want You Back’ poses for an exclusive IMDb portrait session at Quixote Studios West Hollywood in West Hollywood, California.
Clark Backo from the cast of ‘I Want You Back’ poses for an exclusive IMDb portrait session at Quixote Studios West Hollywood in West Hollywood, California.


Clark Backo from the cast of ‘I Want You Back’ poses for an exclusive IMDb portrait session at Quixote Studios West Hollywood in West Hollywood, California.

Going up against Adjani Salmon and Kara Young, Clark Backo has been nominated for Best Breakthrough Performance in a New Scripted Series for her role in “The Changeling.”

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