The Spirit Awards gave a lot of love to LGBT films.
Moonlight — a poetic ode to black gay love directed by Barry Jenkins — received six nominations from the independent film festival, tying American Honey for the most nods. It is in the running for Best Feature, Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Editing. It will also receive the Robert Altman Award for its outstanding ensemble cast.
Other People received four nominations — Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay (Chris Kelly), Best Male Lead (Jesse Plemons), and Best Supporting Female (Molly Shannon). Created by Saturday Night Live‘s first out head writer, Chris Kelly, the film follows a mother dying of cancer and the struggle of her gay son (Plemons) to come to terms with it.
Certain Women was nominated for Best Director (Kelly Reichardt) and Best Supporting Female (Lily Gladstone). Gladstone portrays a part-Cheyenne ranch hand who falls in love with a character played by Kristen Stewart.
Other represented LGBT productions include I Am Not Your Negro (Best Documentary), a documentary on James Baldwin’s unfinished novel. Andrew Ahn, the out director of Spa Night — a coming-of-age story of a young gay man in Los Angeles’s Koreatown — is also up for the John Cassavettes Award and Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award. Ingrid Jungermann, the director of the lesbian crime drama Women Who Kill, was also nominated for the Kiehl’s Award.
Kiki, a documentary about modern-day ball culture in New York, was also represented. Its director, Sara Jordenö, is a candidate for the Truer Than Fiction Award.
In the entertainment industry, the Spirit Awards, organized by Film Independent, shine a spotlight on independent films (a film’s budget must not exceed $20 million), and the ceremony is traditionally held the day before the Academy Awards. Many of the nominees have gone on to win Oscars.
As the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences still grapples with this year’s #OscarsSoWhite controversy, in which all the acting nominees were white and straight, it would do well to look to the Spirit Awards for a selection of diverse, stellar films and actors.
See a full list of nominees on Deadline.
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