Kelly Reichardt, Producer Mollye Asher Among Spirit Award Grant Winners

Film Independent Spirit Award Grant Winners - H - 2019
Araya Diaz/Getty Images

During Saturday's brunch, filmmaker Jon Chu and actress Alfre Woodard handed out $125,000 in unrestricted grants.

Four indie filmmakers were bestowed with sizable checks to help fund their next projects at Film Independent's Spirit Awards Nominees Brunch on Saturday. 

The annual gathering, which fetes the contenders for this year's Spirit Awards, recognized achievements made in the independent film space. 

Kelly Reichardt, the director and co-writer of the period drama First Cow, was named the recipient of the Bonnie Award, a $50,000 grant given to a mid-career female filmmaker. 

"I think [writer] Rachel Cusk said that being in these women awards groups, it always feels like sitting at the child's table, and I've felt that way too, but the table's gotten so much less lonely and the company's become so great," said Reichardt, shouting out The Farewell filmmaker Lulu Wang and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood director Marielle Heller, the other contenders for the award. 

Premature helmer Rashaad Ernesto Green was the winner of the $25,000 Someone to Watch Award, which spotlights filmmakers that have not received the recognition their work deserves. Finalists in the category were The Third Wife director Ash Mayfair and Joe Talbot, the filmmaker behind The Last Black Man in San Francisco.

The Truer Than Fiction Award, a $25,000 unrestricted grant presented to an emerging non-fiction filmmaker, was given to Nadia Shihab, director of Jaddoland. Khalik Allah (Black Mother), Davy Rothbart (17 Blocks) and Erick Stoll & Chase Whiteside (América) were the other finalists.

The $25,000 unrestricted Producers Grant went to Mollye Asher, producer of The Rider. She thanked the filmmakers she worked with, saying, "You inspire me with the stories you want to say and how you want to say them. ... I want to be bold with you and challenge the industry and what they deem of value." Producers Krista Parris and Ryan Zacarias were the other finalists in the category. 

The Spirit Awards, which are set to be held Saturday, Feb. 8, the day before the Oscars, will reveal the winners in the other categories, including best feature, directing, acting and screenplay.