Spirit Awards: 'Hooligan Sparrow' Director Nanfu Wang Among Filmmaker Grant Winners

Courtesy of Sundance Institute
'Hooligan Sparrow'

Three grants were announced Saturday at Film Independent's annual Spirit Awards Nominees Brunch.

Film Independent on Saturday handed out three Spirit Awards filmmaker grants at its annual Spirit Awards Nominee Brunch, held at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood and co-hosted by Sterling K. Brown and Issa Rae.

Jordana Mollick 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.” The annual honor includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant. Other finalists for the award included Lisa Kjerulff, Melody C. Roscher and Craig Shilowich.

Anna Rose Holmer, director of The Fits, received the Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award, recognizing “talented filmmakers of singular vision who have not yet received appropriate recognition.” The prize also includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant. Other finalists for the award included Andrew Ahn, director of Spa Night; Claire Carré, director of Embers; and Ingrid Jungermann, director of Women Who Kill.

Nanfu Wang, director of Hooligan Sparrow, received the Truer Than Fiction Award, which includes another unrestricted $25,000 grant. The prize is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not received significant recognition. Other finalists for the award included Kristi Jacobson, director of Solitary, and Sara Jordenö, director of Kiki.

Hooligan Sparrow, a portrait of a Chinese woman activist, is also on the shortlist of feature documentaries currently under consideration for an Oscar nomination.

“Discovering and supporting new filmmaking talent is at the heart of what we do all year long,” said Film Independent president Josh Welsh. “This year’s filmmaker grant recipients are remarkably talented, and I look forward to seeing the work they go on to create in the years to come.”

Film Independent will host its annual Spirit Awards, to be co-hosted by Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, on Feb. 25. The awards ceremony, held in Santa Monica, and will be broadcast live on IFC.