Spirit Awards Nominations: ‘Moonlight’, ‘American Honey’, ‘Manchester’ & ‘Jackie’ Rally

Anthony D'Alessandro
Deadline

A24 looks to have led the 2017 Film Independent Spirit Nominations with as many as 18 noms split up between American Honey, Moonlight, 20th Century Women, Swiss Army Man and The Witch. Among those films leading with noms, Moonlight counts six (including a Robert Altman award), American Honey also six, Amazon’s Manchester By The Sea boasts five with Fox Searchlight’s Jackie counting four.

This year’s nominations for the best films with budgets under $20 million included the marquee Best Feature category, which featured American Honey, Moonlight, Manchester By The Sea, Jackie and Wild Bunch’s Chronic starring Tim Roth, who also received a Best Male Lead nom for the France-Mexico drama.

Also on the Best Male lead list: Manchester By The Sea‘s Casey Affleck, David Harewood for multiple nominee Free In Deed, Viggo Mortensen for Captain Fantastic and Jesse Plemons
for Other People. Plemons’ co-star Molly Shannon earned a Supporting nom.

For Best Female Lead: Annette Bening for 20th Century Women, Isabelle Huppert for Elle, Sasha Lane for American Honey, Ruth Negga for Loving and Natalie Portman for Jackie.

Moonlight has been gaining awards momentum, with A24 carefully creating buzz among upscale audiences. It has a current domestic box office take of $6.6 million in its fifth weekend, 300% ahead of last year’s Room at the same point in time. The pic was overlooked in the acting categories today despite sublime turns by Naomie Harris, Alex R. Hibbert and Ashton Sanders.

Unlike the last two years, this morning’s ceremony at the W Hotel in Hollywood hosted by Jenny Slate and Edgar Ramirez wasn’t upset by an accidental leaking of the nominees, which was the case over the last two years. Bravo, Film Independent.

Over the last three years the Spirit Awards have been a hot streak, matching Oscar’s Best Picture win with this year’s Spotlight, 2015’s Birdman and 2014’s 12 Years A Slave. Beacuse of the budget threshold, this awards season’s most buzzed-about title, Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, has to sit out. On Focus Features’ side, the only contender eligible out of their live-action trio of Nocturnal Animals, A Monster Calls and Loving, is the latter directed by Jeff Nichols. He landed a Best Director nom alongside American Honey‘s Andrea Arnold, Moonlight‘s Barry Jenkins, Jackie‘s Pablo Larraín and Certain Women‘s Kelly Reichardt.

Essentially, the Oscars mirroring the Spirit Awards is a testament to the Academy’s continued embrace of independent and lower-budget fare. Among above-the-line wins, Oscars and Indie Spirits synced up this year with Best Picture and Screenplay for Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight and a best actress win for Brie Larson in Room.

The 32nd annual kudo ceremony takes place the day before the Oscars on February 25, live on IFC at 2 PM PT.

Here’s the complete list of noms:

BEST FEATURE
(Award given to the producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.)

American Honey
Producers: Thomas Benski, Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, Lucas Ochoa, Pouya Shahbazian, Alice Weinberg

Chronic
Producers: Michel Franco, Gina Kwon, Gabriel Ripstein, Moisés Zonana

Jackie
Producers: Darren Aronofsky, Scott Franklin, Ari Handel, Juan de Dios Larraín, Mickey Liddell

Manchester by the Sea
Producers: Lauren Beck, Matt Damon, Chris Moore, Kimberly Steward, Kevin J. Walsh

Moonlight
Producers: Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Adele Romanski

BEST FIRST FEATURE
(Award given to the director and producer)

The Childhood of a Leader
Director: Brady Corbet
Producers: Antoine de Clermont-Tonnerre, Chris Coen, Ron Curtis, Helena Danielsson, Mona Fastvold, István Major

The Fits
Director/Producer: Anna Rose Holmer
Producer: Lisa Kjerulff

Other People
Director: Chris Kelly
Producers: Sam Bisbee, Adam Scott, Naomi Scott

Swiss Army Man
Directors: Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
Producers: Miranda Bailey, Lawrence Inglee, Lauren Mann, Amanda Marshall, Eyal Rimmon, Jonathan Wang

The Witch
Director: Robert Eggers
Producers: Daniel Bekerman, Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, Jodi Redmond, Rodrigo Teixeira

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.

Free In Deed
Writer/Director: Jake Mahaffy
Producers: Mike Bowes, Mike S. Ryan, Brent Stiefel

Hunter Gatherer
Writer/Director: Josh Locy
Producers: Michael Covino, April Lamb, Sara Murphy, Isaiah Smallman

Lovesong
Writer/Director: So Yong Kim
Writer/Producer: Bradley Rust Gray
Producers: David Hansen, Alex Lipschultz, Johnny Mac

Nakom
Writer/Director/Producer: TW Pittman
Director/Producer: Kelly Daniela Norris
Writer/Producer: Isaac Adakudugu
Producer: Giovanni Ximénez

Spa Night
Writer/Director: Andrew Ahn
Producers: David Ariniello, Giulia Caruso, Ki Jin Kim, Kelly Thomas

BEST DIRECTOR

Andrea Arnold
American Honey

Barry Jenkins
Moonlight

Pablo Larraín
Jackie

Jeff Nichols
Loving

Kelly Reichardt
Certain Women

BEST SCREENPLAY

Moonlight
Barry Jenkins
Story By Tarell Alvin McCraney

Manchester by the Sea
Kenneth Lonergan

20th Century Women
Mike Mills

Little Men
Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias

Hell or High Water
Taylor Sheridan

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY

The Witch
Robert Eggers

Other People
Chris Kelly

Barry
Adam Mansbach

Jean of the Joneses
Stella Meghie

Christine
Craig Shilowich

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Free In Deed
Ava Berkofsky

The Childhood of a Leader
Lol Crawley

The Eyes of My Mother
Zach Kuperstein

Moonlight
James Laxton

American Honey
Robbie Ryan

BEST EDITING

Swiss Army Man
Matthew Hannam

Manchester by the Sea
Jennifer Lame

Moonlight
Joi McMillon, Nat Sanders

Hell or High Water
Jake Roberts

Jackie
Sebastián Sepúlveda

BEST FEMALE LEAD

Annette Bening
20th Century Women

Isabelle Huppert
Elle

Sasha Lane
American Honey

Ruth Negga
Loving

Natalie Portman
Jackie

BEST MALE LEAD

Casey Affleck
Manchester by the Sea

David Harewood
Free In Deed

Viggo Mortensen
Captain Fantastic

Jesse Plemons
Other People

Tim Roth
Chronic

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE

Edwina Findley
Free In Deed

Paulina Garcia
Little Men

Lily Gladstone
Certain Women

Riley Keough
American Honey

Molly Shannon
Other People

BEST SUPPORTING MALE

Ralph Fiennes
A Bigger Splash

Ben Foster
Hell or High Water

Lucas Hedges
Manchester by the Sea

Shia LaBeouf
American Honey

Craig Robinson
Morris from America

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD
(Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast)

Moonlight
Director: Barry Jenkins
Casting Director: Yesi Ramirez
Ensemble Cast: Mahershala Ali, Patrick Decile, Naomie Harris, Alex Hibbert, André Holland, Jharrel Jerome, Janelle Monáe, Jaden Piner, Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders

BEST DOCUMENTARY
(Given to the director and producer)

13th
Director/Producer: Ava DuVernay
Producers: Spencer Averick, Howard Barish
Director/Producer: Kirsten Johnson
Producer: Marilyn Ness

I Am Not Your Negro
Director/Producer: Raoul Peck
Producers: Rémi Grellety, Hérbert Peck

O.J.: Made in America
Director/Producer: Ezra Edelman
Producers: Nina Krstic, Tamara Rosenberg, Caroline Waterlow

Sonita
Director: Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami
Producer: Gerd Haag

Under the Sun
Director: Vitaly Mansky
Producer: Natalya Manskaya

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM
(Given to the director)

Aquarius (Brazil)
Director: Kleber Mendonça Filho

Chevalier (Greece)
Director: Athina Tsangari

My Golden Days (France)
Director: Arnaud Desplechin

Toni Erdmann (Germany and Romania)
Director: Maren Ade

Under the Shadow (Iran and U.K.)
Director: Babak Anvari

20th ANNUAL PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD
(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.)

Lisa Kjerulff

Jordana Mollick

Melody C. Roscher & Craig Shilowich

23rd ANNUAL KIEHL’S SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD
(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.)

Andrew Ahn
Director of Spa Night

Claire Carré
Director of Embers

Anna Rose Holmer
Director of The Fits

Ingrid Jungermann
Director of Women Who Kill

22nd TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD
(Presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.)

Kristi Jacobson
Director of Solitary

Sara Jordenö
Director of Kiki

Nanfu Wang
Director of Hooligan Sparrow

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