Oscar front-runner “Nomadland” was a four-time winner at Thursday evening’s virtual presentation of the Film Independent Spirit Awards, including best feature and best director for Chloé Zhao.
The seemingly bleak yet uplifting tale of human spirit seen through the eyes of van-living desert dwellers also won for Zhao’s editing and Joshua James Richards’ cinematography. Richards is Zhao’s romantic partner.
Riz Ahmed won for best male lead for his portrayal of a metal drummer who loses his hearing in “Sound of Metal.”
The other nominees were the late Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”); Adarsh Gourav (“The White Tiger”); Rob Morgan (“Bull”); and Steven Yeun (“Minari.”)
Carey Mulligan won for best female lead for her portrayal of a woman who seeks to avenge her best friend, who was a victim of rape, in the black comedy thriller “Promising Young Woman.”
The other nominees were Nicole Beharie (“Miss Juneteenth”); Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”); Sidney Flanigan (“Never Rarely Sometimes Always”); Julia Garner (“The Assistant”); and Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”).
The other multiple film winners were “Sound of Metal,” which also won for best supporting male (Paul Raci) and best first feature for director Darius Marder and his production team and “Promising Young Woman,” which also won for Emerald Fennell’s screenplay.
The teen abortion drama “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” led the field with seven nominations, including best feature, but did not win an award.
Regina King’s “One Night in Miami” received the Robert Altman Award, which recognizes a film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast.
The awards, which honor the best in independent cinema — and this year television — are normally presented during a luncheon the day before the Oscars in a tent near the Santa Monica Pier.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the awards were announced in a prime time broadcast on IFC. “Saturday Night Live” cast member Melissa Villasenor hosted.
Here is the complete list of winners:
BEST FEATURE (Award given to the producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.)
“Nomadland,” Producers: Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey, Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Chloé Zhao
BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to director and producer)
“Sound of Metal,” Director: Darius Marder Producers: Bill Benz, Kathy Benz, Bert Hamelinck, Sacha Ben Harroche
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.)
“Residue,” Writer/Director: Merawi Gerima
Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”
Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Andy Siara, “Palm Springs”
Joshua James Richards, “Nomadland”
Chloe Zhao, “Nomadland”
BEST FEMALE LEAD
Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”
BEST MALE LEAD
Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Yuh-jung Youn, “Minari”
BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”
ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD – Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast
“One Night in Miami,” Director: Regina King Casting Director: Kimberly R. Hardin Ensemble Cast: Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, Leslie Odom Jr.
BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director and producer)
“Crip Camp,” Directors/Producers: Jim LeBrecht, Nicole Newnham Producer: Sara Bolder
BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (Award given to the director)
“Quo Vadis, Aida?” Bosnia and Herzegovina, Director: Jasmila Zbanic
PRODUCERS AWARD – The Producers Award, now in its 24th year, honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality independent films.
SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The Someone to Watch Award, now in its 27th year, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition.
Ekwa Msangi Director of “Farewell Amor”
TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The Truer Than Fiction Award, now in its 26th year, is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition.
Elegance Bratton, Director of “Pier Kids”
BEST NEW NON-SCRIPTED OR DOCUMENTARY SERIES (Award given to the Creator, Executive Producer, Co-Executive Producer)
“Immigration Nation,” Executive Producers: Christina Clusiau, Shaul Schwarz, Dan Cogan, Jenny Raskin, Brandon Hill, Christian Thompson Co-Executive Producers: Andrey Alistratov, Jay Arthur Sterrenberg, Lauren Haber
BEST NEW SCRIPTED SERIES (Award given to the Creator, Executive Producer, Co-Executive Producer)
“I May Destroy You,” Creator/Executive Producer: Michaela Coel Executive Producers: Phil Clarke, Roberto Troni
BEST FEMALE PERFORMANCE IN A NEW SCRIPTED SERIES
Shira Haas, “Unorthodox”
BEST MALE PERFORMANCE IN A NEW SCRIPTED SERIES
Amit Rahav, “Unorthodox”
BEST ENSEMBLE CAST IN A NEW SCRIPTED SERIES
“I May Destroy You,” Ensemble Cast: Michaela Coel, Paapa Essiedu, Weruche Opia, Stephen Wight