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Awards Season

33rd Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominate ‘Call Me By Your Name,’ ‘Get Out’

33rd Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominate ‘Call Me By Your Name,’ ‘Get Out’
Photo Source: “Call Me By Your Name”: Sayombhu Mukdeeprom/Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Lily Collins and Tessa Thompson unveiled the nominations for the 33rd Film Independent Spirit Awards at a press conference Nov. 21. “Call Me by Your Name,” “Get Out,” “Good Time,” and “Lady Bird” had the strongest showings during the nominations ceremony—and consequently are films to watch over the next few months. Director Ava DuVernay will be the 2018 ceremony’s Honorary Chair.

Film Independent’s celebrated awards show (the nonprofit is also behind the LA Film Festival) is known for honoring artistry, celebrating independent filmmakers, and indicating to Oscar hopefuls how they may fare during awards season. This year’s Best Picture nominees are “Call Me by Your Name” (Sony Pictures Classics), “The Florida Project” (A24), “Get Out” (Universal Pictures), “Lady Bird” (A24), and “The Rider” (Sony Pictures Classics).

A24 led the pack of distributors with 17 total nominations, closely followed by Sony Pictures Classics with 12. Markedly absent in the Best Picture category was “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” which was earmarked as an Oscar contender when it won the highly coveted Toronto Film Festival People’s Choice Award back in September; that award is similarly regarded as a harbinger for the Best Picture Oscar and other major prizes.

For the past four years running the Spirit Awards have shared their Best Picture winner with the Academy Awards: “12 Years a Slave,” “Birdman,” “Spotlight,” and last year’s “Moonlight.” It’s important to note, however, two major differences in the awards shows’ best picture eligibility: to qualify for the Spirit Awards a film must have a budget of under 20 million dollars, and unlike the Academy Awards, here films without a theatrical release which have screened at a handful of the most prestigious festivals are eligible.

Winning the Robert Altman Award, a prize specifically honoring ensemble casts, was Dee Rees’ “Mudbound.” Netflix acquired the film at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and recently launched its limited theatrical release, in the hopes of the streaming service’s first major Oscar breakthrough. Another competitive streaming service, Amazon Studios, garnered three nominations, two for the critically lauded “The Big Sick” and one for “Crown Heights.”

Of the range of films honored this year with nominations, Film Independent president Josh Welsh said, “This year’s nominations reflect the range and vitality of artist-driven, independent film. Diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision are the hallmarks of the Film Independent Spirit Awards, and the films this year powerfully embody all those qualities.”

Along with their reputation as a herald for the Academy’s indie picks, the Independent Spirit Awards are also known for being a great party: the awards ceremony takes place on the Santa Monica beach every year the day before the Oscars ceremony. This year, “Oh, Hello” and “Big Mouth” stars Nick Kroll and John Mulaney return to co-host the festivities, which air live on IFC Saturday, March 3 at 2:00 pm PT / 5:00 pm ET.

For the full list of nominees, visit Film Independent’s official website. And don’t forget to check in with Backstage for more film awards season coverage.

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