Independent Spirit Awards: 'Moonlight,' 'American Honey' Score Leading 6 Nominations Each

12:04 PM 11/28/2016

by Hilary Lewis

'Manchester by the Sea' landed five noms, with 'Other People,' 'Jackie' and 'Free in Deed' racking up four mentions each.

'Moonlight'
'Moonlight'
David Bornfriend/A24

American Honey and Moonlight scored a leading six nominations each as Film Independent on Tuesday announced the nominations for its 2017 Spirit Awards. Kenneth Lonergan's Manchester by the Sea came in second with five noms. Other People, Jackie and Free in Deed each earned four mentions.

The nominees, celebrating the best of independent film, were revealed at a press conference hosted by Edgar Ramirez and Jenny Slate.

American Honey, Moonlight, Manchester by the Sea and Jackie all will face off in the best feature category, along with Chronic.

Although Moonlight didn't score any acting nominations, it was selected to receive the Robert Altman Award given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast. Its writer-director Barry Jenkins also is up for best director and best screenplay. The film's final two nominations come in the categories of best cinematography and editing.

American Honey, which follows a group of teenagers as they drift across the country selling magazine subscriptions, will face off against Moonlight, which looks at the life of a young black man growing up in a tough Miami neighborhood, in the categories of best director (Andrea Arnold), cinematography and editing. American Honey also earned nominations for best female lead (Sasha Lane), best supporting male (Shia LaBeouf) and best supporting female (Riley Keough).

Joining American Honey and Moonlight's helmers in the best director category are Jackie's Pablo Larrain, Loving's Jeff Nichols and Certain Women's Kelly Reichardt

In addition to best feature, Manchester is nominated for best editing, best male lead (Casey Affleck), best screenplay and best supporting male (Lucas Hedges).

Jackie also got a best editing nomination, as well as one for star Natalie Portman, who's up for best female lead for her portrayal of Jacqueline Kennedy.

Other People is nominated for best first feature and best first screenplay for writer Chris Kelly, and stars Jesse Plemons and Molly Shannon are up for best male lead and supporting female, respectively.

Free in Deed also is competing in the cinematography, male lead and supporting female categories and was nominated for the John Cassavetes Award given to the best feature made for under $500,000.

Hell or High Water scored three nominations, with the following films earning two noms each: 20th Century Women, Certain Women, The Childhood of a Leader, Chronic, The Fits, Little Men, Loving, Spa Night, Swiss Army Man and The Witch.

The documentary O.J.: Made in America had a big day, scoring a Spirit award nomination as well as one for a Producers Guild Award, as the PGA also announced its documentary nominees on Tuesday.

The nominations marked a major victory for four-year-old A24, which released both Moonlight and American Honey, as well as 20th Century Women, Morris From America, Swiss Army Man and The Witch, racking up a total of 19 nominations. Amazon Studios, Fox Searchlight, Magnolia and Vertical Entertainment each had five noms.

A number of movies were deemed ineligible for Spirit Award nominations, including Oscar frontrunner La La Land, as well as Focus Features' Nocturnal Animals and A Monster Calls.

After three years in which the nominees leaked early, this year the finalists remained under wraps until the scheduled unveiling at 10 a.m. PT.

The 32nd Film Independent Spirit Awards will air live on IFC on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET. As usual, the show will be held in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica, just north of the Santa Monica Pier.

A full list of this year's nominees follows.

  • 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 [Pictured Above]
    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, Istvan 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 [Pictured Above]
    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.)

    'Lovesong'
    'Lovesong'
    Courtesy of Sundance Institute

    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 [Pictured Above]
    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 [Pictured Above]

    Barry Jenkins
    Moonlight

    Pablo Larrain
    Jackie
     
    Jeff Nichols
    Loving
     
    Kelly Reichardt
    Certain Women

  • Best Screenplay

    Barry Jenkins
    Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney
    Moonlight

    Kenneth Lonergan
    Manchester by the Sea

    Mike Mills
    20th Century Women

    Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias
    Little Men

    Taylor Sheridan
    Hell or High Water [pictured above]

  • Best First Screenplay

    Courtesy of Sundance Institute

    Robert Eggers
    The Witch

    Chris Kelly
    Other People [Pictured Above]

    Adam Mansbach
    Barry

    Stella Meghie
    Jean of the Joneses

    Craig Shilowich
    Christine

  • Best Cinematography

    Ava Berkofsky
    Free In Deed

    Lol Crawley
    The Childhood of a Leader

    Zach Kuperstein
    The Eyes of My Mother

    James Laxton
    Moonlight [Pictured Above]

    Robbie Ryan
    American Honey

  • Best Editing

    Matthew Hannam
    Swiss Army Man [Pictured Above]

    Jennifer Lame
    Manchester by the Sea

    Joi McMillon, Nat Sanders
    Moonlight

    Jake Roberts
    Hell or High Water

    Sebastian Sepulveda
    Jackie

  • Best Female Lead

    Courtesy of Stephanie Branchu/Fox Searchlight Pictures

    Annette Bening
    20th Century Women

    Isabelle Huppert
    Elle

    Sasha Lane
    American Honey

    Ruth Negga
    Loving

    Natalie Portman
    Jackie [Pictured Above]

  • Best Male Lead

    Courtesy of Sundance

    Casey Affleck
    Manchester by the Sea

    David Harewood
    Free in Deed

    Viggo Mortensen
    Captain Fantastic [Pictured Above]

    Jesse Plemons
    Other People

    Tim Roth
    Chronic

  • Best Supporting Female

    Courtesy of Park Pictures and Gettin’ Rad Productions

    Edwina Findley
    Free in Deed

    Paulina Garcia
    Little Men

    Lily Gladstone
    Certain Women

    Riley Keough
    American Honey

    Molly Shannon
    Other People [Pictured Above]

  • Best Supporting Male

    Claire Folger/Courtesy of Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions

    Ralph Fiennes
    A Bigger Splash

    Ben Foster
    Hell or High Water

    Lucas Hedges
    Manchester by the Sea [Pictured Above]

    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

    (Award given to the director and producer.)

    13th
    Director/producer: Ava DuVernay
    Producers: Spencer Averick, Howard Barish

    Cameraperson
    Director/producer: Kirsten Johnson
    Producer: Marilyn Ness

    I Am Not Your Negro

    Director/producer: Raoul Peck
    Producers: Remi Grellety, Herbert Peck

    O.J.: Made in America [Pictured Above]
    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

    (Award given to the director.)

    Aquarius
    (Brazil)
    Director: Kleber Mendonça Filho

    Chevalier
    (Greece)
    Director: Athina Tsangari

    My Golden Days
    (France)
    Director: Arnaud Desplechin

    Toni Erdmann [Pictured Above]
    (Germany and Romania)
    Director: Maren Ade

    Under the Shadow  
    (U.K., Jordan and Qatar)
    Director: Babak Anvari

  • 20th Annual Piaget Producers Award

    (The 20th 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.)

    Lisa Kjerulff

    Jordana Mollick

    Melody C. Roscher & Craig Shilowich

  • 23rd Annual Kiehl's Someone to Watch Award

    (The 23rd 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.)

    Courtesy of Sundance Institute

    Andrew Ahn
    Director of Spa Night

    Claire Carre
    Director of Embers   

    Anna Rose Holmer
    Director of The Fits [Pictured Above]

    Ingrid Jungermann
    Director of Women Who Kill

  • 22nd Truer Than Fiction Award

    (The 22nd annual Truer Than Fiction Award is presented to an emerging director of nonfiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.)

    Courtesy of Sean Price Williams

    Kristi Jacobson
    Director of Solitary [Pictured Above]

    Sara Jordeno
    Director of Kiki

    Nanfu Wang
    Director of Hooligan Sparrow

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