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.