'The Kill Team's' Dan Krauss Wins Spirit Award Filmmaking Grant

'Kill Team'

Film Independent announced three of this year's Spirit Awards at its annual nominees brunch

Dan Krauss, director of The Kill Team, is this year’s recipient of the LensCrafters Truer Than Fiction Award, one of three Spirit Awards filmmakers grants that were announced today by Film Independent. The award is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not received significant recognition and includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by LensCrafters. The Kill Team, a documentary about soldiers in Afghanistan, is one of the 15 documentaries that have been shortlisted for Academy Award consideration. The other finalists for the award were Sara Dosa for The Last Season, Darius Clark Monroe for Evolution of a Criminal and Amanda Rose Wilder for Approaching the Elephant.

Chris Ohlson received the Piaget Producers Award, honoring emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality, independent films. The annual award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant. Finalists were Chad Burris and Elisabeth Holm.

Read more Documentary Roundtable: Roger Ebert's Final Days, Secret Edward Snowden Meetings

Rania Attieh and Daniel Garcia, directors of H., received the Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award, which recognizes talented filmmakers of singular vision who have not yet received appropriate recognition and includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant. Finalists for the award were Ana Lily Amirpour for A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
 and Chris Eska for The Retrieval.

The awards were announced at the annual Spirit Awards Nominee Brunch held at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood. Actors Michael Peñaand Emmy Rossum hosted the event and handed out the honors.

Read more Oscars: 15 Documentaries That Must Be Seen

"At Film Independent our mission is to support independent filmmakers all year long, helping them to get their films made and to build the audience for their work," said Film Independent president Josh Welsh. "One of the most direct ways to do that is through the cash grants. Since 1995, Film Independent has given away $1,250,000 in cash grants at the Spirit Awards. This year's recipients are terrifically talented, and I look forward to seeing their work for years to come."

Winners for the remaining Spirit Award categories will be revealed at the 2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards in a tent at Santa Monica beach on Feb. 21. The awards ceremony will be broadcast live exclusively on IFC at 2:00 pm PT / 5:00 pm ET.