Beasts Of No NationFilm Independent has announced nominations for the 2016 Spirit Awards today. Actors John Boyega and Elizabeth Olsen presented the 2016 nominees in a press conference that took place at 10 am PT at The W Hollywood, with Film Independent President Josh Welsh presiding.

This year marks the 31st edition of the awards show that celebrates the best of independent film. Spirit Awards are given out in the following categories: Best Feature, Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay, Best Director, Best Screenplay, John Cassavetes Award (given to the best feature made for a budget under $500,000), Best Male Lead, Best Female Lead, Best Supporting Male, Best Supporting Female, Best Cinematography, Best International Film, Best Documentary and Best Editing. 

The Filmmaker Awards include the Piaget Producers Award, the Truer Than Fiction Award and the Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award.

Of note, with respect to this blog’s interest are: "Beasts of No Nation" and "Tangerine" are Best Feature nominees (the directors of both films are also nominated in the Best Director category – Sean Baker and Cary Joji Fukunaga); "Manos Sucias" and "Mediterranea" are Best First Feature nominees (Joseph Carpignano is also nominated for Best First Screenplay for "Mediterranea"); Abraham Attah ("Beasts of No Nation") and Koudous Seihon ("Mediterranea") are both Best Male Lead nominees; Kitana Kiki Rodriquez ("Tangerine") is a Best Female Lead nominee; Idris Elba is a Best Supporting Male nominee for his performance in "Beasts of No Nation"; Mya Taylor is a Best Supporting Female nominee for "Tangerine"; for Best Documentary, "(T)error" gets a nod; "Girlhood" made the cut for Best International Film; "Beasts of No Nation" is a Best Cinematography as well; and "Out of My Hand" is a John Cassavetes Award nominee (Best Feature Under $500,000).

The 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards will be broadcast exclusively on IFC on February 27, 2016, LIVE at 2 pm PT / 5 pm ET. 

Jessica Chastain will serve as Honorary Chair.

Announced previously, Joel Gallen of Tenth Planet Productions returns for his second year as executive producer of the show held in its usual tent on the beach in Santa Monica, in a new location this year just north of the Santa Monica Pier. Producer Shawn Davis returns for his 14th show and Rick Austin returns for his second year as producer. 

The full list of the 2016 Spirit Award nominations follows below:

Best Feature


"Beasts of No Nation"




Best Director

Sean Baker, "Tangerine"

Cary Joji Fukunaga, "Beasts of No Nation"

Todd Haynes, "Carol"

Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson, "Anomalisa"

Tom McCarthy, "Spotlight"

David Robert Mitchell, "It Follows"

Best Screenplay

Charlie Kaufman, "Anomalisa"

Donald Margulies, "The End of the Tour"

Phyllis Nagy, "Carol"

Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer, "Spotlight"

S. Craig Zahler, "Bone Tomahawk"

Best First Feature

"The Diary of a Teenage Girl"

"James White"

"Manos Sucias"


"Songs My Brothers Taught Me"

Best First Screenplay

Jesse Andrews, "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl"

Joseph Carpignano, "Mediterranea"

Emma Donoghue, "Room"

Marielle Heller, "The Diary of a Teenage Girl"

John Magary, Russell Harbaugh, Myna Joseph, "The Mend"

Best Male Lead

Christopher Abbott, "James White"

Abraham Attah, "Beasts of No Nation"

Ben Mendelsohn, "Mississippi Grind"

Jason Segel, "The End of the Tour"

Koudous Seihon, "Mediterranea"

Best Female Lead

Cate Blanchett, "Carol"

Brie Larson, "Room"

Rooney Mara, "Carol"

Bel Powley, "The Diary of A Teenage Girl"

Kitana Kiki Rodriquez, "Tangerine"

Best Supporting Male

Kevin Corrigan, "Results"

Paul Dano, "Love & Mercy"

Idris Elba, "Beasts of No Nation"

Richard Jenkins, "Bone Tomahawk"

Michael Shannon, "99 Homes"

Best Supporting Female

Robin Bartlett, "H."

Marin Ireland, "Glass Chin"

Jennifer Jason Leigh, "Anomalisa"

Cynthia Nixon, "James White"

Mya Taylor, "Tangerine"

Best Documentary


"Best of Enemies"

"Heart of Dog"

"The Look of Silence"


"The Russian Woodpecker"

Best International Film

"Embrace the Serpent"



"Son of Saul"

Best Cinematography

"Beasts of No Nation"


"It Follows"


"Songs My Brothers Taught Me"

Best Editing

"Manos Sucias"

"Heaven Knows What"

"It Follows"



John Cassavetes Award (Best Feature Under $500,000)


"Christmas, Again"

"Heaven Knows What"


"Out of My Hand"

Robert Altman Award (Best Ensemble)


Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award

Chloe Zhoa

Felix Thompson

Robert Machoian & Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck