2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards: ‘Uncut Gems,’ ‘The Lighthouse’ are the top nominees

November 21, 2019

by Carla Hay

With five nominations each, “Uncut Gems” (starring Adam Sandler) and “The Lighthouse” (starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe) are the top contenders for the 35th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards, which will take place in Santa Monica, California, on February 8, 2020. IFC will have a live telecast of the show at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT. The Spirit Awards honor independently financed films that were released in U.S. cinemas the previous year.

Other major contenders are “Honey Boy” and “Give Me Liberty,” which received four nominations each. “Hustlers” and “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” received three nominations each.

Even though writer/director Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” received nods for Best Feature and Best Screenplay, the movie was noticeably snubbed in the categories of Best Director, Best Male Lead (Adam Driver), Best Female Lead (Scarlett Johansson) and Best Supporting Female (Laura Dern). However, “Marriage Story” will get the Robert Altman Award (a non-competitive prize), which is given to the film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast.

The 2020 Film Independent Spirit Award nominees were announced on November 21, at The Line LA in Los Angeles, by Zazie Beetz and Natasha Lyonne.

Here is the complete list of nominees:


(Award given to the producer)

A Hidden Life
Producers: Elisabeth Bentley, Dario Bergesio, Grant Hill, Josh Jeter

Producers: Timur Bekbosunov, Julian Cautherley, Bronwyn Cornelius, Peter Wong

The Farewell
Producers: Anita Gou, Daniele Melia, Andrew Miano, Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub, Lulu Wang, Chris Weitz, Jane Zheng

Marriage Story
Producers: Noah Baumbach, David Heyman

Uncut Gems
Producers: Eli Bush, Sebastian Bear McClard, Scott Rudin


(Award given to the director and producer)

Director: Olivia Wilde
Producers: Chelsea Barnard, David Distenfeld, Jessica Elbaum, Megan Ellison, Katie Silberman

The Climb
Director: Michael Angelo Covino
Producers: Noah Lang, Kyle Marvin

Director: Kent Jones
Producers: Luca Borghese, Ben Howe, Caroline Kaplan, Oren Moverman

The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Director/Producer: Joe Talbot
Producers: Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Khaliah Neal, Christina Oh

The Mustang
Director: Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre
Producer: Ilan Goldman

See You Yesterday
Director: Stefon Bristol
Producer: Spike Lee

Robert Eggers, The Lighthouse
Alma Har’el, Honey Boy
Julius Onah, Luce
Benny Safdie, Uncut Gems
Josh Safdie, Uncut Gems
Lorene Scafaria, Hustlers

Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story
Jason Begue, Shawn Snyder, To Dust
Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie, Uncut Gems
Chinonye Chukwu, Clemency
Tarell Alvin McCraney, High Flying Bird

Fredrica Bailey, Stefon Bristol, See You Yesterday
Hannah Bos, Paul Thureen, Driveways
Bridget Savage Cole, Danielle Krudy, Blow the Man Down
Jocelyn Deboer, Dawn Luebbe, Greener Grass
James Montague, Craig W. Sanger, The Vast of Night


(Award given to the best feature made for under $500,000; award given to the writer, director and producer)

Burning Cane
Writer/Director/Producer: Phillip Youmans
Producers: Ojo Akinlana, Jakob Johnson, Karen Kaia Livers, Mose Mayer,
Wendell Pierce, Isaac Web, Cassandra Youmans

Writer/Director: Tom Quinn
Producers: Joshua Blum, Alexandra Byer, Craig Shilowich, Matthew Thurm

Give Me Liberty
Writer/Director/Producer: Kirill Mikhanovsky
Writer/Producer: Alice Austen
Producers: Val Abel, Wally Hall, Michael Manasseri, George Rush, Sergey

Writer/Director/Producer: Rashaad Ernesto Green
Writer: Zora Howard
Producers: Darren Dean, Joy Ganes

Wild Nights With Emily
Writer/Director/Producer: Madeleine Olnek
Producers: Anna Margarita Albelo, Casper Andreas, Max Rifkind-Barron

Chris Galust, Give Me Liberty
Kelvin Harrison Jr., Luce
Robert Pattinson, The Lighthouse
Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems
Matthias Schoenaerts, The Mustang

Karen Allen, Colewell
Hong Chau, Driveways
Elisabeth Moss, Her Smell
Mary Kay Place, Diane
Renée Zellweger, Judy

Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse
Noah Jupe, Honey Boy
Shia LaBeouf, Honey Boy
Jonathan Majors, The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Wendell Pierce, Burning Cane

Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers
Taylor Russell, Waves
Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell
Lauren “Lolo” Spencer, Give Me Liberty
Octavia Spencer, Luce

Todd Banhazl, Hustlers
Jarin Blaschke, The Lighthouse
Natasha Braier, Honey Boy
Chananun Chotrungroj, The Third Wife
Pawel Pogorzelski, Midsommer

Julie Béziau, The Third Wife
Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie, Uncut Gems
Tyler L. Cook, Sword of Trust
Louise Ford, The Lighthouse
Kirill Mikhanovsky, Give Me Liberty


Invisible Life (Brazil)
Director: Karim Aïnouz

Les Misérables (France)
Director: Ladj Ly

Parasite (South Korea)
Director: Bong Joon Ho

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (France)
Director: Céline Sciamma

Retablo (Peru)
Director: Álvaro Delgado-Aparicio L.

The Souvenir (United Kingdom)
Director: Joanna Hogg


(Award given to the director and producer)

American Factory
Director/Producers: Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert
Producers: Julia Parker Benello, Jeff Reichert

Apollo 11
Director/Producer: Todd Douglas Miller
Producers: Evan Krauss, Thomas Baxley Peterson

For Sama
Director: Edward Watts
Director/Producer: Waad al-Kateab

Director: Tamara Kotevska
Director/Producer: Ljubo Stefanov
Producer: Atanas Georgiev

Island of the Hungry Ghosts
Director/Producer: Gabrielle Brady
Producers: Gizem Acarla, Samm Haillay, Alex Kelly, Alexander Wadouh

(Award given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast)

Marriage Story
Director: Noah Baumbach
Casting Directors: Douglas Aibel, Francine Maisler
Ensemble Cast: Alan Alda, Laura Dern, Adam Driver, Julie Hagerty, Scarlett Johansson, Ray Liotta, Azhy Robertson, Merritt Wever


(Bonnie Tiburzi Caputo joined American Airlines in 1973 at age 24, becoming the first female pilot to fly for a major U.S. airline. In her honor, the 3rd annual Bonnie Award will recognize a mid-career female director with a $50,000 unrestricted grant, sponsored by American Airlines.)

Marielle Heller
Kelly Reichardt
Lulu Wang


(The Producers Award, now in its 23rd year, 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.)

Mollye Asher
Krista Parris
Ryan Zacarias


(The Someone to Watch Award, now in its 26th year, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.)

Director: Rashaad Ernesto Green

The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Director: Joe Talbot

The Third Wife
Director: Ash Mayfair


(The Truer Than Fiction Award, now in its 25th year, 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.)

17 Blocks
Director: Davy Rothbart

Directors: Erick Stoll, Chase Whiteside

Black Mother
Director: Khalik Allah

Director: Nadia Shihab

2019 IFP Gotham Awards: ‘The Farewell,’ ‘The Last Black Man in San Francisco,’ ‘Marriage Story’ are top nominees

October 24, 2019

The following is a press release from Independent Filmmaker Project:

Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), the nation’s premier member organization of independent storytellers, announced today the nominees for the 29th Annual IFP Gotham Awards. Ten competitive awards will be presented to independent features and series. In addition to the competitive awards, Gotham Tributes will be given to actors Laura Dern and Sam Rockwell, director Ava DuVernay, and the Gotham Industry Tribute to Glen Basner.

The IFP Gotham Awards is one of the leading awards for independent film and signals the kick-off to the film awards season. As the first major awards ceremony of the season, the IFP Gotham Awards provide critical early recognition and media attention to worthy independent films. The awards are also unique for their ability to assist in catapulting award recipients prominently into national awards season attention.“We congratulate the 2019 IFP Gotham Award nominees and are excited to recognize these artists on December 2nd here in New York, a city known for its great tradition of independent storytelling. This year has been filled with brilliant performances and dynamic work across film and television and we look forward to celebrating these achievements together,” said Jeffrey Sharp, Executive Director of IFP and the Made in NY Media Center.

Thirty-three films and series received nominations this year. Nominees are selected by committees of film critics, journalists, festival programmers, and film curators. Separate juries of writers, directors, actors, producers, editors and others directly involved in making films will determine the final IFP Gotham Award recipients.

The Gotham Audience Award nominees are comprised of the 15 films nominated for Best Feature, Best Documentary, and the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award. The winners will be selected by online voting of IFP members. Voting for that award begins November 25th and the winner will be announced at the ceremony.

The IFP Gotham Awards ceremony will be held on Monday, December 2nd at Cipriani Wall Street.

The 2019 IFP Gotham Award nominations are:

Best Feature
The Farewell
Lulu Wang, director; Daniele Melia, Marc Turtletaub, Peter Saraf, Andrew Miano, Chris Weitz, Jane Zheng, Lulu Wang, Anita Gou, producers (A24)

Lorene Scafaria, director; Jessica Elbaum, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Jennifer Lopez, Benny Medina, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, producers (STXfilms)

Marriage Story
Noah Baumbach, director; Noah Baumbach, David Heyman, producers (Netflix)

Uncut Gems
Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie, directors; Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, Sebastian Bear McClard, producers (A24)

Trey Edward Shults, director; James Wilson, Kevin Turen, Trey Edward Shults, producers (A24)

Best Documentary
American Factory
Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert, directors; Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert, Jeff Reichert, Julie Parker Benello, producers (Netflix)

Apollo 11
Todd Douglas Miller, director; Todd Douglas Miller, Thomas Baxley Petersen, Evan Krauss, producers (NEON and CNN Films)

The Edge of Democracy
Petra Costa, director; Petra Costa, Tiago Pavan, Joanna Natasegara, Shane Boris, producers (Netflix)

Midnight Traveler
Hassan Fazili, director; Emelie Mahdavian, Su Kim, producers (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

One Child Nation
Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang, directors; Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang, Christoph Jörg, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn, producers (Amazon Studios)

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award
Laure De Clermont-Tonnerre for The Mustang (Focus Features)

Kent Jones for Diane (IFC Films)

Joe Talbot for The Last Black Man in San Francisco (A24)

Olivia Wilde for Booksmart (United Artists Releasing)

Phillip Youmans for Burning Cane (ARRAY Releasing)

Best Screenplay
The Farewell, Lulu Wang (A24)

High Flying Bird, Tarell Alvin McCraney (Netflix)

The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Jimmie Fails, Joe Talbot, Rob Richert (A24)

Marriage Story, Noah Baumbach (Netflix)

Midsommar, Ari Aster (A24)

Best Actor
Willem Dafoe in The Lighthouse (A24)

Adam Driver in Marriage Story (Netflix)

Aldis Hodge in Clemency (NEON)

André Holland in High Flying Bird (Netflix)

Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems (A24)

Best Actress
Awkwafina in The Farewell (A24)

Elisabeth Moss in Her Smell (Gunpowder & Sky)

Mary Kay Place in Diane (IFC Films)

Florence Pugh in Midsommar (A24)

Alfre Woodard in Clemency (NEON)

Breakthrough Actor
Julia Fox in Uncut Gems (A24)

Aisling Franciosi in The Nightingale (IFC Films)

Chris Galust in Give Me Liberty (Music Box Films)

Noah Jupe in Honey Boy (Amazon Studios)

Jonathan Majors in The Last Black Man in San Francisco (A24)

Taylor Russell in Waves (A24

Breakthrough Series – Long Format (over 40 minutes)
Chernobyl, Craig Mazin, creator; Craig Mazin, Carolyn Strauss, Jane Featherstone, executive producers (HBO)

David Makes Man, Tarell Alvin McCraney, creator; Mike Kelley, Melissa Loy, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Denitria Harris-Lawrence, Michael B. Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, executive producers (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)

My Brilliant Friend, Saverio Costanzo, creator; Domenico Procacci; Lorenzo Mieli, Mario Gianani, Guido De Laurentiis, Elena Recchia, Jennifer Schuur, Paolo Sorrentino, executive producers (HBO)

Unbelievable, Susannah Grant, Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly, Lisa Cholodenko, Ayelet Waldman & Michael Chabon, Katie Couric, Richard Tofel, Neil Barsky, Robyn Semien, Marie, executive producers (Netflix)

When They See Us, Ava DuVernay, creator; Jeff Skoll, Jonathan King, Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro, Berry Welsh, Oprah Winfrey, Ava DuVernay, executive producers (Netflix)

Breakthrough Series – Short Format (under 40 minutes)
PEN15, Maya Erskine, Anna Konkle, Sam Zvibleman, creators; Anna Konkle, Sam Zvibleman, Debbie Liebling, Gabe Liedman, Marc Provissiero, Brooke Pobjoy, Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, Akiva Schaffer, Becky Sloviter, Shelley Zimmerman, Brin Lukens, Jordan Levin, executive producers (Hulu)

Ramy, Ramy Youssef, Ari Katcher, Ryan Welch, creators; Ramy Youssef, Jerrod Carmichael, Ravi Nandan, Bridget Bedard, Ari Katcher, Ryan Welch, executive producers (Hulu)

Russian Doll, Natasha Lyonne, Leslye Headland, Amy Poehler, creators; Natasha Lyonne, Leslye Headland, Amy Poehler, Dave Becky, Tony Hernandez, Lilly Burns, Allison Silverman, executive producers (Netflix)

Tuca & Bertie, Lisa Hanawalt, creator; Lisa Hanawalt, Raphael Bob-Waksberg, Noel Bright, Steven A. Cohen, Tiffany Haddish, Ali Wong, executive producers (Netflix)

Undone, Kate Purdy, Raphael Bob-Waksberg, creators; Kate Purdy, Raphael Bob-Waksberg, Noel Bright, Steven A. Cohen, Tommy Pallotta, executive producers (Amazon Prime Video)

Twenty-six writers, critics and programmers participated in the nomination process. The

Nominating Committees for the 2019 IFP Gotham Awards were:

Nominating Committee for Best Feature, Best Screenplay, and Breakthrough Director:
Justin Chang, Film Critic, Los Angeles Times

Ann Hornaday, Chief Film Critic, The Washington Post

Eric Kohn, Executive Editor & Chief Critic, IndieWire

Joshua Rothkopf, Global Deputy Film Editor, Time Out Media

Alison Willmore, Film Critic, Vulture

Nominating Committee for Best Documentary:
Chris Boeckmann, Director of Programming, True/False Film Fest

Ben Fowlie, Executive Director, Points North Institute; Founder, Camden International Film Festival

Cynthia Fuchs, Contributing Editor, PopMatters; Director Film & Media Studies, George Mason University

Tom Hall, Executive Director, Montclair Film

Caroline Libresco, Curator, Producer, and Strategist

Nominating Committee for Best Actor and Best Actress:
David Ehrlich, Senior Film Critic, Indiewire

David Fear, Senior Editor/Critic, Rolling Stone

Tim Grierson, Senior U.S. Critic, Screen Daily; Chief Film Critic, Paste Magazine

Jessica Kiang, Film Critic, Variety, The Playlist, Sight & Sound

Alissa Wilkinson, Film Critic, Vox

Nominating Committee for Breakthrough Actor:
Kate Erbland, Deputy Editor, Film, IndieWire

Jon Frosch, Reviews Editor, The Hollywood Reporter

Odie Henderson, Reviewer, RogerEbert.com

Tomris Laffly, Film Critic, Time Out New York, RogerEbert.com, Variety

David Sims, Staff Writer, Culture, The Atlantic

Nominating Committee for Breakthrough Series
Judy Berman, TV Critic, TIME

Jen Chaney, TV Critic, Vulture

Daniel Fienberg, Chief Television Critic, The Hollywood Reporter

Caroline Framke, TV Critic, Variety

Alan Sepinwall, Chief TV Critic, Rolling Stone

Brian Tallerico, Editor, RogerEbert.com

Gotham Audience Award
IFP members will determine the Gotham Audience Award with nominees comprised of the 15 nominated films in the Best Feature, Best Documentary, and Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award categories. All IFP current, active members will be eligible to vote. Voting will take place online from November 25th at 12:01 AM EST and conclude on November 30th at 5:00 PM EST. In addition, IFP will be scheduling screenings of the nominated films for IFP members in the theater at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP in Brooklyn. These screenings will take place from November 6-25.

The Premier Sponsor of the 2019 IFP Gotham Awards is The New York Times, and the Philanthropic Supporter is The Rockefeller Foundation. The Official Water Partner is FIJI Water, the Official Airline Partner is JetBlue and the Official Wine Partner is Robert Hall Winery. Additionally, the awards will be promoted nationally in an eight-page special advertising section in The New York Times in November 2019.

2019 IFP Gotham Awards – Alphabetical List of Nominated Films & Series
American Factory
Best Documentary

Apollo 11
Best Documentary

Breakthrough Director

Burning Cane
Breakthrough Director

Breakthrough Series – Long Format (over 40 minutes)

Best Actor
Best Actress

David Makes Man
Breakthrough Series – Long Format (over 40 minutes)

Breakthrough Director
Best Actress

The Edge of Democracy
Best Documentary

The Farewell
Best Feature
Best Screenplay
Best Actress

Give Me Liberty
Breakthrough Actor

Her Smell
Best Actress

High Flying Bird
Best Screenplay
Best Actor

Honey Boy
Breakthrough Actor

Best Feature

The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Breakthrough Director
Best Screenplay
Breakthrough Actor

The Lighthouse
Best Actor

Marriage Story
Best Feature
Best Screenplay
Best Actor

Midnight Traveler
Best Documentary

Best Screenplay
Best Actress

The Mustang
Breakthrough Director

My Brilliant Friend
Breakthrough Series – Long Format (over 40 minutes)

The Nightingale
Breakthrough Actor

One Child Nation
Best Documentary

Breakthrough Series – Short Format (under 40 minutes)

Breakthrough Series – Short Format (under 40 minutes)

Russian Doll
Breakthrough Series – Short Format (under 40 minutes)

Tuca & Bertie
Breakthrough Series – Short Format (under 40 minutes)

Breakthrough Series – Long Format (over 40 minutes)

Uncut Gems
Best Feature
Best Actor
Breakthrough Actor

Breakthrough Series – Short Format (under 40 minutes)

Best Feature
Breakthrough Actor

When They See Us
Breakthrough Series – Long Format (over 40 minutes)

About IFP
The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) champions the future of storytelling by connecting artists with essential resources at all stages of development and distribution. The organization fosters a vibrant and sustainable independent storytelling community through its year-round programs, which include IFP Week, IFP Labs (Film, Series & Audio Storytelling), Filmmaker Magazine, IFP Gotham Awards and the Made in NY Media Center by IFP, a tech and media incubator space developed with the New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.

About the IFP Gotham Awards
The IFP Gotham Awards, selected by distinguished juries and presented in New York City, the home of independent film, are the first honors of the film awards season. This public showcase honors the filmmaking community, expands the audience for independent films, and supports the work that IFP does behind the scenes throughout the year to bring such films to fruition.

For information on attending, visit the Gothams website.

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