2016 Spirit Award Nominations

Today, the Spirit Award nominations were announced and the big winners have to be Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea, Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight, and Pablo Larraín’s Jackie. All three received Best Picture acting nominations. I feel that is great news for all three of these pictures getting Best Picture nominations at the Oscars, but you never know what will happen there. Andrea Arnold’s American Honey did very well receiving Best Feature, Best Director, Best Cinematography and acting nominations for Sasha Lane and Shia LaBeouf.

The few surprises were that Kenneth Lonergan was not nominated for Best Director, which I hope is not what happens with the DGA and Oscars and no Mahershala Ali for Best Supporting Male. Those two were the big surprises and it was also surprising that Jim Jarmusch’s well received Paterson did not receive any nominations.

Full list of nominations below. Enjoy!

(Award given to the producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.)

  • American Honey – Producers: Thomas Benski, Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, Lucas Ochoa, Pouya Shahbazian, Alice Weinberg
  • Chronic – Producers: Michel Franco, Gina Kwon, Gabriel Ripstein, Moisés Zonana
  • Jackie – Producers: Darren Aronofsky, Scott Franklin, Ari Handel, Juan de Dios Larraín, Mickey Liddell
  • Manchester by the Sea – Producers: Lauren Beck, Matt Damon, Chris Moore, Kimberly Steward, Kevin J. Walsh
  • Moonlight – Producers: Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Adele Romanski

BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer)

  • The Childhood of a Leader – Director: Brady Corbet, Producers: Antoine de Clermont-Tonnerre, Chris Coen, Ron Curtis, Helena Danielsson, Mona Fastvold, István Major
  • The Fits – Director/Producer: Anna Rose Holmer, Producer: Lisa Kjerulff
  • Other People – Director: Chris Kelly, Producers: Sam Bisbee, Adam Scott, Naomi Scott
  • Swiss Army Man – Directors: Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert, Producers: Miranda Bailey, Lawrence Inglee, Lauren Mann, Amanda Marshall, Eyal Rimmon, Jonathan Wang
  • The Witch – Director: Robert Eggers, Producers: Daniel Bekerman, Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, Jodi Redmond, Rodrigo Teixeira

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD – Given to the best feature made for under $500,000. Award given to the writer, director and producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.

  • Free In Deed – Writer/Director: Jake Mahaffy, Producers: Mike Bowes, Mike S. Ryan, Brent Stiefel
  • Hunter Gatherer – Writer/Director: Josh Locy, Producers: Michael Covino, April Lamb, Sara Murphy, Isaiah Smallman
  • Lovesong – Writer/Director: So Yong Kim, Writer/Producer: Bradley Rust Gray, Producers: David Hansen, Alex Lipschultz, Johnny Mac
  • Nakom – Writer/Director/Producer: TW Pittman, Director/Producer: Kelly Daniela Norris, Writer/Producer: Isaac Adakudugu, Producer: Giovanni Ximénez
  • Spa Night – Writer/Director: Andrew Ahn, Producers: David Ariniello, Giulia Caruso, Ki Jin Kim, Kelly Thomas


  • Andrea Arnold, American Honey
  • Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
  • Pablo Larraín, Jackie
  • Jeff Nichols, Loving
  • Kelly Reichardt, Certain Women


  • Annette Bening, 20th Century Women
  • Isabelle Huppert, Elle
  • Sasha Lane, American Honey
  • Ruth Negga, Loving
  • Natalie Portman, Jackie


  • Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
  • David Harewood, Free In Deed
  • Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
  • Jesse Plemons, Other People
  • Tim Roth, Chronic


  • Edwina Findley, Free In Deed
  • Paulina Garcia, Little Men
  • Lily Gladstone, Certain Women
  • Riley Keough, American Honey
  • Molly Shannon, Other People


  • Ralph Fiennes, A Bigger Splash
  • Ben Foster, Hell or High Water
  • Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
  • Shia LaBeouf, American Honey
  • Craig Robinson, Morris from America


  • Barry Jenkins, Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney, Moonlight
  • Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
  • Mike Mills, 20th Century Women
  • Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias, Little Men
  • Taylor Sheridan, Hell or High Water


  • Robert Eggers, The Witch
  • Chris Kelly, Other People
  • Adam Mansbach, Barry
  • Stella Meghie, Jean of the Joneses
  • Craig Shilowich, Christine


  • Ava Berkofsky, Free In Deed
  • Lol Crawley, The Childhood of a Leader
  • Zach Kuperstein, The Eyes of My Mother
  • James Laxton, Moonlight
  • Robbie Ryan, American Honey


  • Matthew Hannam, Swiss Army Man
  • Jennifer Lame, Manchester by the Sea
  • Joi McMillon, Nat Sanders, Moonlight
  • Jake Roberts, Hell or High Water
  • Sebastián Sepúlveda, Jackie

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD – (Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast)

Director: Barry Jenkins
Casting Director: Yesi Ramirez
Ensemble Cast: Mahershala Ali, Patrick Decile, Naomie Harris, Alex Hibbert, André Holland, Jharrel Jerome, Janelle Monáe, Jaden Piner, Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director and producer)

  • 13th, Director/Producer: Ava DuVernay, Producers: Spencer Averick, Howard Barish
  • Cameraperson, Director/Producer: Kirsten Johnson, Producer: Marilyn Ness
  • I Am Not Your Negro, Director/Producer: Raoul Peck, Producers: Rémi Grellety, Hérbert Peck
  • O.J.: Made in America, Director/Producer: Ezra Edelman, Producers: Nina Krstic, Tamara Rosenberg, Caroline Waterlow
  • Sonita, Director: Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami, Producer: Gerd Haag
  • Under the Sun, Director: Vitaly Mansky, Producer: Natalya Manskaya

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (Award given to the director)

  • Aquarius (Brazil) Director: Kleber Mendonça Filho
  • Chevalier (Greece) Director: Athina Tsangari
  • My Golden Days (France) Director: Arnaud Desplechin
  • Toni Erdmann (Germany and Romania) Director: Maren Ade
  • Under the Shadow (Iran and U.K.) Director: Babak Anvari

20th ANNUAL PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD – The 20th annual Producers Award, sponsored by Piaget, honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality, independent films. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.

  • Lisa Kjerulff
  • Jordana Mollick
  • Melody C. Roscher & Craig Shilowich

23rd ANNUAL KIEHL’S SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The 23rd annual Someone to Watch Award, sponsored by Kiehl’s Since 1851, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Kiehl’s Since 1851.

  • Andrew Ahn, Director of Spa Night
  • Claire Carré, Director of Embers
  • Anna Rose Holmer, Director of The Fits
  • Ingrid Jungermann, Director of Women Who Kill

22nd TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The 22nd annual Truer Than Fiction Award is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.

  • Kristi Jacobson, Director of Solitary
  • Sara Jordenö, Director of Kiki
  • Nanfu Wang, Director of Hooligan Sparrow

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