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

Moonlight  Anatomy - Still - 6 - H - 2016
David Bornfriend/A24

Hibbert (left) with Ali, whom he credits with actually teaching him how to swim.

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

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

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

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
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
Writer/director: So Yong Kim
Writer/producer: Bradley Rust Gray
Producers: David Hansen, Alex Lipschultz, Johnny Mac
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
Andrea Arnold
American Honey
Barry Jenkins
Pablo Larrain       
Jeff Nichols
Kelly Reichardt
Certain Women
Barry Jenkins
Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney    
Kenneth Lonergan
Manchester by the Sea
Mike Mills
20th Century Women
Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias
Little Men

Taylor Sheridan
Hell or High Water
Robert Eggers
The Witch
Chris Kelly
Other People
Adam Mansbach
Stella Meghie
Jean of the Joneses
Craig Shilowich

Ava Berkofsky
Free In Deed
Lol Crawley
The Childhood of a Leader
Zach Kuperstein
The Eyes of My Mother
James Laxton
Robbie Ryan
American Honey
Matthew Hannam
Swiss Army Man
Jennifer Lame
Manchester by the Sea
Joi McMillon, Nat Sanders
Jake Roberts
Hell or High Water
Sebastian Sepulveda

Annette Bening
20th Century Women
Isabelle Huppert
Sasha Lane
American Honey
Ruth Negga
Natalie Portman
Casey Affleck
Manchester by the Sea
David Harewood
Free in Deed
Viggo Mortensen
Captain Fantastic
Jesse Plemons
Other People
Tim Roth

Edwina Findley
Free in Deed
Paulina Garcia
Little Men
Lily Gladstone
Certain Women
Riley Keough
American Honey
Molly Shannon
Other People
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.)
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.)
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
Director: Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami
Producer: Gerd Haag
Under the Sun
Director: Vitaly Mansky
Producer: Natalya Manskaya
BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (Award given to the director.)
Director: Kleber Mendonça Filho          

Director: Athina Tsangari
My Golden Days
Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Toni Erdmann
(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.)
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 (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.)
Kristi Jacobson
Director of Solitary    

Sara Jordenö
Director of Kiki
Nanfu Wang
Director of Hooligan Sparrow