Film Independent's Spirit Awards Announce Expansion Into TV

Spirit Awards Tent_2 - Getty - H 2020
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Film Independent's Spirit Awards, the celebration of indie work held down by the beach in Santa Monica, is adding five categories recognizing work in television ahead of its 2021 celebration: best new scripted series, best new nonscripted or documentary series, best male performance in a scripted series, best female performance in a scripted series and best ensemble cast in a scripted series.

Film Independent also confirmed that the 2021 Spirit Awards ceremony will be pushed back to April 24 — thereby remaining, as always, the day before the Oscars ceremony — and will again air on IFC, which has broadcast the event since 1994.

Spirit Award nominations will be announced Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021.

"The independent, diverse creators we've supported for decades now straddle the feature and episodic worlds," said Film Independent board chair Mary Sweeney. "Our mission supports and celebrates visual storytellers wherever they practice their craft. The addition of TV Spirit Awards recognizes this expansion by celebrating diverse independent, creative voices across platforms."

For several years, Film Independent has incorporated television and episodic work into its year-round programs, including Education, Artist Development and its screening program, Film Independent Presents. As opportunities have continued to grow for filmmakers to create bold, original work in the TV space, the organization decided it was time to celebrate that work at the Spirit Awards, beginning in 2021.

"2020 has been a year of endless change and chaos, so it's wonderful to be back with our friends at IFC," said Film Independent president Josh Welsh. "As tough as this year has been, there's so much great filmmaking and yes, television, that has sustained us throughout the pandemic. We look forward to celebrating that work at the Spirit Awards in April."

Added Blake Callaway, executive director of IFC and SundanceTV, "2020 provides an opportunity for a reimagined Spirit Awards and just about everything else. Expanding the most entertaining stop on the awards circuit to include television is just the start, and IFC is looking forward to a continued partnership with our friends at Film Independent."

Spirit Award nominations will be announced Tuesday, Jan. 26.