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‘First Reformed,’ ‘Eighth Grade,’ ‘We the Animals’ earn Film Independent Spirit Awards noms

Jeremiah Zagar’s ‘We the Animals’ surprises with five mentions including the Someone to Watch award

Everything was gucci for A24 this morning with the announcement of the 34th Film Independent Spirit Awards as two of their films, First Reformed and Eighth Grade, made off with four nominations apiece including Best Feature for both and a Best Female Lead for Eighth Grade’s Elsie Fisher and a Best Male Lead nom for Ethan Hawke in First Reformed. Another A24 film, Hereditary, earned nominations for Female Lead (Toni Collette) and First Feature (Ari Aster).

The Best Director lineup made Spirit Awards history as three women were nominated in the same year for the first time in Film Independent’s 34-year history. Debra Granik (Leave No Trace), Tamara Jenkins (Private Life) and Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here) were all nominated with Granik and Ramsay’s films also in Best Feature.

Some surprises came in the form of a screenplay nomination for Colette, Christian Malheiros in Sócrates for Male Lead and Tyne Daly in A Bread Factory for Supporting Female. Daveed Diggs in Blindspotting, John David Washington and Raúl Castillo in Supporting Male for Monsters and Men and We the Animals, respectively earned applause from the crowd watching the nomination announcement. We the Animals made a strong showing elsewhere too, popping up in Editing, Cinematography and First Feature and actually earned the most nominations with five and managed without a director or screenplay mention.

Snubs, some of them major, came with BlacKkKlansman earning just single nomination – Supporting Male for Adam Driver; Melissa McCarthy not making it in 6-nominee field for Female Lead while her Can You Ever Forgive Me? supporting male co-star Richard E. Grant did. 

Two big Oscar contenders, ROMA and The Favourite, were only eligible for Best International Film and both showed up there. Poland’s Cold War and Lebanon’s Capernaum were surprising misses there. 

Nominations will be announced by Film Independent President Josh Welsh, actress Gemma Chan and actress and Spirit Award winner Molly Shannon beginning at 10m PT from The W Hotel Hollywood.

The 34th Spirit Awards ceremony will be held Saturday, February 23, 2019 at the Beach in Santa Monica and be broadcast live exclusively on IFC at 2pm PT / 5pm ET.

Here is the full list of nominees:

Best Feature

EIGHTH GRADE
FIRST REFORMED
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
LEAVE NO TRACE
YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE

Best Director

Debra Granik, LEAVE NO TRACE
Barry Jenkins, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
Tamara Jenkins, PRIVATE LIFE
Lynne Ramsay, YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE
Paul Schrader, FIRST REFORMED

Best First Feature

HEREDITARY
SORRY TO BOTHER YOU
THE TALE
WE THE ANIMALS
WILDLIFE

Best Female Lead

Glenn Close, THE WIFE
Toni Collette, HEREDITARY
Elsie Fisher, EIGHTH GRADE
Regina Hall, SUPPORT THE GIRLS
Helena Howard, MADELINE’S MADELINE
Carey Mulligan, WILDLIFE

Best Male Lead

John Cho, SEARCHING
Daveed Diggs, BLINDSPOTTING
Ethan Hawke, FIRST REFORMED
Christian Malheiros, SÓCRATES
Joaquin Phoenix, YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE

Best Supporting Female

Kayli Carter, PRIVATE LIFE
Tyne Daly, A BREAD FACTORY
Regina King, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, LEAVE NO TRACE
J. Smith-Cameron, NANCY

Best Supporting Male

Raúl Castillo, WE THE ANIMALS
Adam Driver, BLACKKKLANSMAN
Richard E. Grant, CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
Josh Hamilton, EIGHTH GRADE
John David Washington, MONSTERS AND MEN

Best Screenplay

Richard Glatzer (Writer/Story By), Rebecca Lenkiewicz & Wash Westmoreland, COLETTE
Nicole Holofcener & Jeff Whitty, CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
Tamara Jenkins, PRIVATE LIFE
Boots Riley, SORRY TO BOTHER YOU
Paul Schrader FIRST REFORMED

Best First Screenplay

Bo Burnham, EIGHTH GRADE
Christina Choe, NANCY
Cory Finley, THOROUGHBREDS
Jennifer Fox, THE TALE
Quinn Shephard (Writer/Story By) and Laurie Shephard (Story By), BLAME

Best Cinematography

Ashley Connor, MADELINE’S MADELINE
Diego Garcia, WILDLIFE
Benjamin Loeb, MANDY
Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, SUSPIRIA
Zak Mulligan, WE THE ANIMALS

Best Editing

Joe Bini, YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE
Keiko Deguchi, Brian A. Kates & Jeremiah Zagar, WE THE ANIMALS
Luke Dunkley, Nick Fenton, Chris Gill & Julian Hart, AMERICAN ANIMALS
Anne Fabini, Alex Hall and Gary Levy, THE TALE
Nick Houy, MID90S

John Cassavetes Award (given to the best feature made for a budget under $500,00)

A BREAD FACTORY
EN EL SÉPTIMO DÍA
NEVER GOIN’ BACK
SÓCRATES
THUNDER ROAD

Robert Altman Award

SUSPIRIA

Best Documentary

HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING
MINDING THE GAP
OF FATHERS AND SONS
ON HER SHOULDERS
SHIRKERS

WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?

Best International Film

BURNING (South Korea)
THE FAVOURITE (United Kingdom)
HAPPY AS LAZZARO (Italy)
ROMA (Mexico)
SHOPLIFTERS (Japan)

Piaget Producers Award

Jonathan Duffy and Kelly Williams
Gabrielle Nadig
Shrihari Sathe

Someone to Watch Award

Alex Moratto, SÓCRATES
Ioana Uricaru, LEMONADE
Jeremiah Zagar, WE THE ANIMALS

Truer Than Fiction Award

Alexandria Bombach, ON HER SHOULDERS
Bing Liu, MINDING THE GAP
RaMell Ross, HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING

Annual Bonnie Award

Debra Granik
Tamara Jenkins
Karyn Kusama

About Erik Anderson

Erik thanks his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched the Academy Awards together since he was in the single digits; making lists, rankings and predictions throughout the show. This led him down the path to obsessing about awards. Much later, he found himself at GoldDerby, led by Tom O’Neill and then migrated over to Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), headed up by Sasha Stone before breaking off to create AwardsWatch. He is a member of the International Cinephile Society, GALECA (The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics), the International Press Academy and is the founder/owner of AwardsWatch.

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