‘Moonlight,’ ‘Manchester’ Lead 2016 Film Independent Spirit Award Nods

Photo Source: David Bornfriend / Courtesy of A24

The 2016 awards season race just got a bit clearer with today’s announcement of the 32nd annual Film Independent Spirit Award nominees. Presented by actors Édgar Ramírez and Jenny Slate, this year’s nominees represent the best indie film artists of the year, as well as those who are now confirmed as major contenders in the upcoming SAG, Golden Globe, and Academy Awards. (For the last three years, the Best Feature winner at the Independent Spirit Awards—“12 Years a Slave,” “Birdman,” and “Spotlight”—went on to win big at the Oscars.)

With six and five nods respectively, A24’s “Moonlight” and Roadside Attractions and Amazon Studios’ “Manchester by the Sea” have once again emerged as the leading indie films in the race. But in a surprise swell of support, another A24 film, “American Honey,” matched “Moonlight” ’s six nominations. Overall, the distributor left with 19 nods.

The cast of “Moonlight,” Barry Jenkins’ coming-of-age story of a gay black boy in Miami, will take home the previously announced Robert Altman Award, recognizing the year’s best ensemble; Mahershala Ali, Alex Hibbert, André Holland, Jharrel Jerome, Janelle Monáe, Jaden Piner, Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders, and Naomie Harris—giving the buzziest performances of their careers—will all share the honor. Jenkins was recognized in the directing and screenplay categories.

READ: “ ‘Moonlight’ Star Naomie Harris Has the Answers Actors Need”

Kenneth Lonergan’s “Manchester by the Sea” earned recognition in the best picture category, as well as for stars Casey Affleck and Lucas Hedges. Lonergan received nods for screenplay and editing. “Jackie” from Fox Searchlight Pictures also garnered nominations for Chilean director Pablo Larraín and star Natalie Portman.

READ: “Kenneth Lonergan Goes Outside in for ‘Manchester by the Sea’ ”

The Indie Spirit Awards will air live on IFC with awards given out on Santa Monica Beach, California, Feb. 25, the night before the Academy Awards. Which of this year’s acclaimed indie films have you seen? Check out the full list of nominees below.

Best Feature
“American Honey” (A24)
“Chronic” (Wild Bunch)
“Jackie” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
“Manchester by the Sea” (Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions)
“Moonlight” (A24)

Best Female Lead
Annette Bening, “20th Century Women”
Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”
Sasha Lane, “American Honey”
Ruth Negga, “Loving”
Natalie Portman, “Jackie”

Best Male Lead
Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”
David Harewood, “Free in Deed”
Viggo Mortensen, “Captain Fantastic”
Jesse Plemons, “Other People”
Tim Roth, “Chronic”

Best Supporting Female
Molly Shannon, “Other People”
Edwina Findley, “Free in Deed”
Paulina Garcia, “Little Men”
Lily Gladstone, “Certain Women”
Riley Keough, “American Honey”

Best Supporting Male
Ralph Fiennes, “A Bigger Splash”
Ben Foster, “Hell or High Water”
Lucas Hedges, “Manchester by the Sea”
Shia LaBeouf, “American Honey”
Craig Robinson, “Morris From America”

Best Director
Andrea Arnold, “American Honey”
Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight”
Pablo Larraín, “Jackie”
Jeff Nichols, “Loving”
Kelly Reichardt, “Certain Women”

Best First Feature
“The Childhood of a Leader” (IFC Films)
“The Fits” (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
“Other People” (Vertical Entertainment)
“Swiss Army Man” (A24)
“The Witch” (A24)

Best Screenplay
Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight”
Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester by the Sea”
Mike Mills, “20th Century Women”
Ira Sachs, “Little Men”
Taylor Sheridan, “Hell or High Water”

Best First Screenplay
“The Witch”
“Other People”
“Barry” (Black Bear Pictures)
“Jean of the Joneses” (Circle Blue Films)
“Christine” (The Orchard)

Robert Altman Award (Best Ensemble)

Best Cinematography
“Free in Deed”
“The Childhood of a Leader”
“The Eyes of My Mother” (Magnet Releasing)
“American Honey”

Best Editing
“Swiss Army Man”
“Manchester by the Sea”
“Hell or High Water”

Best International Film
“Aquarius” (Brazil)
“Chevalier” (Greece)
“My Golden Days” (France)
“Toni Erdmann” (Germany and Romania)
“Under the Shadow” (Iran and the U.K.)

John Cassavetes Award (Best Feature Under $500,000)
“Free in Deed”
“Hunter Gatherer”
“Spa Night”

20th Piaget Producers Award
Lisa Kjerulff
Jordana Mollick
Melody C. Roscher & Craig Shilowich

23rd Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award
Andrew Ahn, director, “Spa Night”
Claire Carré, director, “Embers”
Anna Rose Holmer, director, “The Fits”
Ingrid Jungermann, director, “Women Who Kill”

22nd Truer Than Fiction Award
Kristi Jacobson, director, “Solitary”
Nanfu Wang, director, “Hooligan Sparrow”

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