Film Independent Awards Spirit Filmmaking Grants

Film Independent Spirit Awards

This year's ceremony will be held on Feb. 25 in Santa Monica.

Directors Adam Leon and Peter Nicks claimed two of four prizes at Film Independent's annual Nominees Brunch.

Adam Leon, director of Gimme the Loot, has been awarded Film Independent’s Someone to Watch Award, which “recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition” and carries with it a $25,000 unrestricted grant. The finalists for the award included Rebecca Thomas for Electrick Children and David Fenster for Pincus.

The award was one of four Spirit Awards filmmaker grants that Film Independent announced at its annual Spirit Awards Nominees Brunch, held Saturday at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood and hosted by Salma Hayek and Jeremy Renner.

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Peter Nicks, director of The Waiting Room, received the Stella Artois Truer Than Fiction Award presented to an emerging director of nonfiction and including another $25,000 grant. Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims for Only the Young and Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel for Leviathan also were finalists for the award.

Mynette Louie received the Piaget Producers Award, which honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality, independent films and includes a $25,000 grant. Finalists also included Derrick Tseng and Alicia Van Couvering.

Laura Colella received the third annual Jameson FIND Your Audience Award for Breakfast With Curtis, which premiered at the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival. The award, which includes a $50,000 marketing and distribution grant, helps a low-budget independent film find a broader audience. The other finalists were Sara Lamm, Mary Wigmore, Kate Roughan and Zachary Mortensen for Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and the Farm Midwives and Jeremy Kipp Walker and John Mitchell for History of Future Folk.

Winners in the remaining Spirit Award categories will be revealed at the 2013 Film Independent Spirit Awards, held in a tent at Santa Monica beach Feb. 23 and broadcast later that evening on IFC. Andy Samberg will serve as host of the ceremony.

“We at Film Independent understand how valuable these grants are in the world of independent film,” said Film Independent co-president Josh Welsh. “The additional financial support it affords the winners will ensure their artistic vision moves forward.”

Added Film Independent co-president Sean McManus: "We love to highlight talented, hardworking filmmakers whose Herculean efforts can be seen in their films. We commend all the finalists and recipients for keeping the independent spirit alive through their tireless work."