2021 Independent Spirit Awards: Winners list in all film and TV categories

The last major awards show before the Oscars has finally arrived, the 36th Independent Spirit Awards. The virtual ceremony aired Thursday, April 22 on IFC at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET and was hosted by “Saturday Night Live” star Melissa Villaseñor. The Spirit Awards celebrated the best in indie filmmaking for the 2020 calendar year, and this year they invited TV shows to the party, too. Don’t forget, only American-made fare with budgets under $20 million were eligible for consideration. Winners were chosen by all of Film Independent’s eligible members, including industry insiders and any movie fans who signed up for membership.

Heading into the ceremony, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” was the nominations leader with seven overall bids. “Minari” came in right behind it with six noms, followed by “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “Nomadland” (the Oscar front-runner) with five bids each. On the TV side, both “Little America” and “Unorthodox” led with three notices apiece.

This year’s Robert Altman Award (honoring the director, casting director and ensemble cast) went to “One Night in Miami” for Regina King, Kimberly Hardin, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge and Leslie Odom Jr. The corresponding TV ensemble honor was awarded to “I May Destroy You” for Michaela Coel, Paapa Essiedu, Weruche Opia and Stephen Wight.

Read on for the 2021 Independent Spirit Awards winners list (plus the nominees) in the film and TV categories. Winners are denoted in gold.

FILM

BEST PICTURE
“First Cow”
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
“Minari”
“Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
X — “Nomadland”

BEST DIRECTOR
Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”)
Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”)
Eliza Hittman (“Never Rarely Sometimes Always”)
Kelly Reichardt (“First Cow”)
X — Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”)

BEST ACTOR
X — Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”)
Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)
Adarsh Gourav (“The White Tiger”)
Rob Morgan (“Bull”)
Steven Yeun (“Minari”)

BEST ACTRESS
Nicole Beharie (“Miss Juneteenth”)
Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)
Sidney Flanigan (“Never Rarely Sometimes Always”)
Julia Garner (“The Assistant”)
Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”)
X — Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Colman Domingo (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)
Orion Lee (“First Cow”)
X — Paul Raci (“Sound of Metal”)
Glynn Turman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)
Benedict Wong (“Nine Days”)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Alexis Chikaeze (“Miss Juneteenth”)
Valerie Mahaffey (“French Exit”)
Talia Ryder (“Never Rarely Sometimes Always”)
Ye-Ri Han (“Minari”)
X — Yuh-Jung Youn (“Minari”)

BEST SCREENPLAY
Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”)
X — Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”)
Eliza Hittman (“Never Rarely Sometimes Always”)
Mike Makowsky (“Bad Education”)
Alice Wu (“The Half of It”)

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Kitty Green (“The Assistant”)
Noah Hutton (“Lapsis”)
Channing Godfrey Peoples (“Miss Juneteenth”)
X — Andy Siara (“Palm Springs”)
James Sweeney (“Straight Up”)

BEST FIRST FEATURE
Radha Blank (“The 40-Year-Old Version”)
Heidi Ewing (“I Carry You with Me”)
X — Darius Marder (“Sound of Metal”)
Edson Oda (“Nine Days”)
Channing Godfrey Peoples (“Miss Juneteenth”)

BEST DOCUMENTARY
“Collective”
X — “Crip Camp”
“Dick Johnson Is Dead”
“The Mole Agent”
“Time”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Jay Keitel (“She Dies Tomorrow”)
Shabier Kirchner (“Bull”)
Michael Latham (“The Assistant”)
Hélène Louvart (“Never Rarely Sometimes Always”)
X — Joshua James Richards (“Nomadland”)

BEST FILM EDITING
Andy Canny (“The Invisible Man”)
Scott Cummings (“Never Rarely Sometimes Always”)
Merawi Gerima (“Residue”)
Enat Sidi (“I Carry You with Me”)
X — Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”)

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM
“Bacurau” (Brazil)
“The Disciple” (India)
“Night of the Kings” (Ivory Coast)
“Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time” (Hungary)
X — “Quo Vadis, Aida?” (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD
“The Killing of Two Lovers”
“La Leyenda Negra”
“Lingua Franca”
X — “Residue”
“Saint Frances”

PRODUCERS AWARD
Kara Durrett
Lucas Joaquin
X — Gerry Kim

SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD
David Midell
X — Ekwa Msangi
Annie Silverstein

TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD
Cecilia Aldarondo
X — Elegance Bratton
Elizabeth Lo

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD
X – “One Night in Miami”

TELEVISION

BEST NEW SCRIPTED TV SERIES
X — “I May Destroy You”
“Little America”
“Small Axe”
“A Teacher”
“Unorthodox”

BEST NEW NON-SCRIPTED TV SERIES
“Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children”
“City So Real”
X — “Immigration Nation”
“Love Fraud”
“We’re Here”

BEST TV ACTOR
Adam Ali (“Little America”)
Nicco Annan (“P-Valley”)
Conphidance (“Little America”)
X — Amit Rahav (“Unorthodox”)
Harold Torres (“ZeroZeroZero”)

BEST TV ACTRESS
Elle Fanning (“The Great”)
X — Shira Haas (“Unorthodox”)
Abby McEnany (“Work in Progress”)
Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (“Never Have I Ever”)
Jordan Kristine Seamón (“We Are Who We Are”)

BEST TV ENSEMBLE CAST
X — “I May Destroy You”

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