Hollywood Reporter's Guide to the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards

Aubrey Plaza Film Independent Spirit Awards - Getty - H 2019
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Everything you need to know about this year's indie-film ceremony.

On Saturday, under the shade of a beachside tent in Santa Monica, some of Hollywood's biggest stars will gather for the 35th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards. The ceremony, honoring the best of independent film, will be airing live on IFC. 

Here is everything you need to know about this year's kudocast.

How to Watch

The ceremony will air live on IFC beginning at 2 p.m. PT on Saturday. Cable subscribers can also view a live stream of the show on IFC's website by logging in with their account information. 

Clips and selections of the award ceremony will be uploaded to Film Independent's YouTube page.  

Who to Watch

Aubrey Plaza is set to return as emcee following her hosting premiere at last year's Indie Spirit ceremony. The Legion and Parks and Recreation actress won her own best first feature Film Independent Spirit Award in 2018 for Ingrid Goes West.

“Like all great independent film performances, this one deserves a sequel,” said Plaza in a statement. “The people have spoken. Bow down to your host!”    

This year's Robert Altman Award recipient will be Marriage Story. The prize, created in 2008 to honor late director Robert Altman, is given in recognition of a film's director, casting director and ensemble cast. Previous award winners have included Amazon Studios' Suspiria, Netflix's Mudbound, A24's Moonlight and Open Road Films' Spotlight

The Film Independent Spirit Award nominees were announced by Joker actor Zazie Beetz and Russian Doll actor Natasha Lyonne during a Nov. 21 press conference.


Film studio A24 secured the lion's share of noms at 18, with two of its films, Uncut Gems and The Lighthouse, scoring five mentions a piece. 

The Safdie brothers' frenetic drama may have been snubbed by the Film Academy, but the Adam Sandler-led Uncut Gems is up for best feature, director, editing, screenplay and male lead Spirit Awards.

The Lighthouse, directed by Robert Eggers and starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe, is nominated for best cinematography, director, editing, male lead (Pattinson) and supporting male (Dafoe).

Other best feature contenders include Terrence Malick's A Hidden Life; Chinonye Chukwu's Clemency, starring Alfre Woodard; Lulu Wang's The Farewell; and Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story, starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson. 

Shia LaBeouf's meta-fictional Honey Boy and Kirill Mikhanovsky's Give Me Liberty earned four mentions each, followed by Clemency, Hustlers, The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Luce and The Third Wife with three apiece. Burning Cane, Colewell, Driveways, Diane, The Farewell, Marriage Story, The Mustang, Premature and See You Yesterday each scored two noms.

Give Me Liberty is up for best editing, male lead, supporting female and the John Cassavetes Award, given to the best feature made for under $500,000.

Besides Eggers and the Safdie brothers, best director noms went to Honey Boy's Alma Har'el, Hustlers' Lorene Scafaria and Luce's Julius Onah.  

Clemency's Alfre Woodard will face off in the best female lead category against Judy star Renee Zellweger, Colewell's Karen Allen, Driveways' Hong Chau, Her Smell's Elisabeth Moss and Diane's Mary Kay Place. Hustlers' Jennifer Lopez scored a best supporting female nod, alongside Waves' Taylor Russell, Give Me Liberty's Lolo Spencer, Luce's Octavia Spencer and The Farewell's Zhao Shuzhen.

In the best male lead category, Sandler and Pattinson join Give Me Liberty's Chris Galust, Luce's Kelvin Harrison Jr. and The Mustang's Matthias Schoenaerts.

Joe Talbot's The Last Black Man in San Francisco is up for best first feature along with Olivia Wilde's Booksmart, Michael Angelo Covino's The Climb, Kent Jones' Diane, Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre's The Mustang and Stefon Bristol's Spike Lee-produced See You Yesterday.

Get Ready for Full Coverage

The Hollywood Reporter will provide coverage of all things Film Independent Spirit Awards. Make sure to bookmark THR’s Independent Spirit Awards page for the latest news about the awards show, from who’s winning to what else is happening at the ceremony.