‘Selma,’ ‘Obvious Child,’ ‘A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night’ Receive Multiple Spirit Awards Nominations

nullFive women-directed films — Ava DuVernay’s Selma, Gillian Robespierre’s Obvious Child, Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Eliza Hittman’s It Felt Like Love, and Anja Marquadt’s She’s Lost Control — received multiple nominations for the 2015 Independent Spirit Awards. 

Selma was recognized in five categories: Best Feature, Best Director, Best Male Lead, Best Supporting Female, and Best Cinematography. It was the only female-helmed nominee for Best Feature and Best Director. 

Women comprised the majority of nominees in three categories: Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay, and Best Documentary. Best First Feature nods went to Obvious ChildA Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, and She’s Lost Control(Four of the five Best First Feature nominees boasted female protagonists, the fourth being Dear White People.) She’s Lost Control was also a Best First Screenplay nominee, as were Desiree Akhavan’s Appropriate Behavior and Sara Colangelo’s Little Accidents.

Competing for the Best Documentary prize will be Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard’s 20,000 Days on Earth, Laura Poitras’ Citizenfour, and Debra Granik’s Stray Dog

Still, the picture wasn’t all rosy for female filmmakers or storytelling. None of the Best Feature nominees featured a female protagonist, and no women were recognized in the categories of Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, or Best International Film. 

The Spirit Awards winners will be announced on February 21, 2015. Here are the women nominees: 

BEST FEATURE (Award given to the Producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.) [Note from Women and Hollywood: Only the women-directed films are listed in this category.]

            Selma – Producers: Christian Colson, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Oprah Winfrey


            Ava DuVernay – Selma

BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer) [Note from Women and Hollywood: Only the women-directed films are listed in this category.]

            A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night – Director: Ana Lily Amirpour; Producers: Justin Begnaud, Sina Sayyah

            Obvious Child – Director: Gillian Robespierre; Producer: Elisabeth Holm

            She’s Lost Control – Director/Producer: Anja Marquardt; Producers: Mollye Asher, Kiara C. Jones


            Desiree Akhavan – Appropriate Behavior

            Sara Colangelo – Little Accidents

            Anja Marquardt – She’s Lost Control

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.

            It Felt Like Love – Writer/Director/Producer: Eliza Hittman; Producers: Shrihari Sathe, Laura Wagner

            Land Ho! – Writers/Directors: Aaron Katz & Martha Stephens; Producers: Christina Jennings, Mynette Louie, Sara Murphy


            Marion Cotillard – The Immigrant 

            Rinko Kikuchi – Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

            Julianne Moore – Still Alice

            Jenny Slate – Obvious Child

            Tilda Swinton – Only Lovers Left Alive                     


            Patricia Arquette – Boyhood 

            Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year 

            Carmen Ejogo – Selma 

            Andrea Suarez Paz – Stand Clear of the Closing Doors

            Emma Stone – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

BEST EDITING                 

            Sandra Adair – Boyhood

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director and producer) [Note from Women and Hollywood: Only the women-directed films are listed in this category.]

            20,000 Days on Earth – Directors: Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard; Producers: Dan Bowen, James Wilson     
            CITIZENFOUR – Director/Producer: Laura Poitras; Producers: Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky        

            Stray Dog – Director: Debra Granik; Producer: Anne Rosellini      

18th ANNUAL PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD – The 18th 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.

             Elisabeth Holm

21st ANNUAL KIEHL’S SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The 21st 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.

            A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

            Director: Ana Lily Amirpour 


            Directors: Rania Attieh & Daniel Garcia        

20th ANNUAL LENSCRAFTERS TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The 20th annual Truer Than Fiction Award, sponsored by LensCrafters 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 funded by LensCrafters.

             Approaching the Elephant

            Director: Amanda Rose Wilder      

            The Last Season

            Director: Sara Dosa