2021 spirit awards

See you down the road at the Oscars, Nomadland. Chloé Zhao’s Western road drama became the unexpected front-runner during this year’s awards season, sweeping not only the independent circuit but every single major award. And in its last stop before Academy Awards this season, Nomadland was awarded by the independent film community it hails from, taking the top honors at the 2021 Spirit Awards.

The 36th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards, which recognizes the best work in the independent space, awarded Nomadland with the top honor of Best Feature — along with  three other trophies — at its virtual awards show on April 22 hosted by Saturday Night Live‘s Melissa Villaseñor. It seems like a fitting final stop for Nomadland, which is possibly the most indie Oscar front-runner you could imagine.

For the first time in the Spirit Awards history, television was also celebrated. Taking home the first TV Spirit Awards were critical darlings like HBO’s sorely overlooked I May Destroy You and Netflix’s incredible limited series Unorthodox.

See the full list of winners below.

Best Feature
 Nomadland
First Cow
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Minari
Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Best Female Lead
Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman)
Nicole Beharie (Miss Juneteenth)
Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom)
Sidney Flanigan (Never Rarely Sometimes Always)
Julia Garner (The Assistant)
Frances McDormand (Nomadland)

Someone to Watch Award
Ekwa Msangi  (Farewell Amor)
David Midell (The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain)
Annie Silverstein (Bull)

Best Male Lead
Riz Ahmed (The Sound of Metal)
Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom)
Rob Morgan (Bull)
Steven Yeun (Minari)
Adarsh Gourav (The White Tiger)

Piaget Producers Award
Gerry Kim
Kara Durrett
Lucas Joaquin

Best Director
Chloé Zhao (Nomadland)
Lee Isaac Chung (Minari)
Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman)
Eliza Hittman (Never Rarely Sometimes Always)
Kelly Reichardt (First Cow)

Best New Non-Scripted or Documentary Series
 Immigration Nation
Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children
City So Real
Love Fraud
We’re Here

John Cassavetes Award
 Residue
The Killing of Two Lovers
La Leyenda Negra
Lingua Franca
Saint Frances

Best Cinematography
Joshua James Richards (Nomadland)
Jay Keitel (She Dies Tomorrow)
Shabier Kirchner (Bull)
Michael Latham (The Assistant)
Hélène Louvart (Never Rarely Sometimes Always)

Best International Film
 Quo Vadis, Aida?
Bacurau
The Disciple
Night of the Kings
Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time

Best Editing
 Nomadland
I Carry You With Me
The Invisible Man
Residue
Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Best Ensemble Cast in a New Scripted Series
 I May Destroy You

Best Male Performance in a New Scripted Series
Amit Rahav (Unorthodox)
Conphidance (Little America)
Adam Ali (Little America)
Nicco Annan (P-Valley)
Harold Torre (Zero, Zero, Zero)

Best Female Performance in a New Scripted Series
Shira Haas (Unorthodox)
Elle Fanning (The Great)
Abby McEnany (Work in Progress)
Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (Never Have I Ever)
Jordan Kristine Seamón (We Are Who We Are)

Best New Scripted Series
 I May Destroy You
Little America
Small Axe
A Teacher
Unorthodox

Robert Altman Award
 One Night in Miami

Best Screenplay
 Promising Young Woman
Bad Education
Minari
The Half of It
Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Best Documentary
 Crip Camp
Collective
Dick Johnson Is Dead
Time
The Mole Agent

Best Supporting Male
Paul Raci (Sound of Metal)
Colman Domingo (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom)
Orion Lee (First Cow)
Glynn Turman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom)
Benedict Wong (Nine Days)

Truer Than Fiction Award
Elegance Bratton (Pier Kids)
Cecilia Aldarondo (Landfall)

Best First Feature
 The Sound of Metal
I Carry You With Me
The 40-Year-Old Version
Miss Juneteenth
Nine Days

Best First Screenplay
Andy Siara (Palm Springs)
Kitty Green (The Assistant)
Noah Hutton (Lapsis)
Channing Godfrey Peoples (Miss Juneteenth)
James Sweeney (Straight Up)

Best Supporting Female
Yuh-jung Youn (Minari)
Alexis Chikaeze (Miss Juneteenth)
Yeri Han (Minari)
Valerie Mahaffey (French Exit)
Talia Ryder (Never Rarely Sometimes Always)

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