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Awards Season: Film Independent Spirit Awards 2021 Nominations – My Reactions

Credit: Amazon Studios

The nominations have just been revealed for the Film Independent Spirit Awards and this is particularly a special show for me this year as I am a voting member of the body and will be putting a ballot in for the winners. I want to spend this time talking about the nominees and the work that Film Independent does for the film community. I won’t be listing every nomination, so to see the full list click here.

It is easy to notice looking at the nominations that Film Independent really do care about diversity and representation. Their voting body consists of largely women and BIPOC, meaning a diverse range of films are always up for nominations. Last year, Lulu Wang’s The Farewell received the award for Best Picture, so this is a group of people who are invested in diverse filmmaking and I am so proud to be a member of the body for this year.

Film Independent has some exciting nominations this year, and one that particularly surprised me was the nomination of Best Editing for The Invisible Man. This is an incredible choice and a representation of horror which no other award show is bold enough to make. I also love the category of Best First Screenplay, and the fact that Palm Springs made it in.

The winner of the Robert Altman award, a category that honours a film ensemble, went to Regina King’s One Night in Miami. This is absolutely the perfect choice as each of those cast members are perfect in their roles and the casting in that film is the best of the year. It also meant that the boys weren’t split up into categories or competing against each other, being able to share this one honour.

The best director list has four women nominated for the honour, which is incredible. Of course, having Lee Isaac Chung take the fifth spot is amazing and I could not think of a better director for that place, but this heavy representation of female directors shows the quality of these films and what other award shows should be looking out for when considering their votes.

There were a few snubs that ended up surprising me. Whilst Nomadland had a strong showing for the most part, it missed the nomination for Best Screenplay. It also seemed like Sound of Metal did not get as much love as expected, only getting in for First Feature, Lead Actor, and Supporting Actor. Nothing there for the editing, screenplay, or direction, so it will be interesting to see if it can shine in the techs and get a push from the likes of Sound Design.

If you are looking for a show that truly celebrates film, the Film Independent Spirit Awards are the place to go. With the love for female-fronted films, stories featuring people-of-colour and embracing new and exciting talent across the world, this show has something for you. Whether you are going to discover movies such as Miss Juneteenth, I Carry You With Me, or Nine Days because of this, I am excited to see more of these films when I get access to them and to be able to vote in these awards.

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