Nomadland wins big at the 2021 Independent Spirit Awards taking home four awards

With just days before Oscar Sunday, Nomadland is making an even bigger case as the Best Picture front runner by dominating at the Independent Spirit Awards.

The Fox Searchlight film from writer-director Chloe Zhao took home four awards, including Best Feature and Best Director for Zhao. 

The Sound of Metal also won three awards at the virtual ceremony, hosted by Saturday Night Live star Melissa Villasenor, with Promising Young Woman winning two awards. 

Nomadland wins: With just days before Oscar Sunday, Nomadland is making an even bigger case as the Best Picture front runner by dominating at the Independent Spirit Awards

Nomadland wins: With just days before Oscar Sunday, Nomadland is making an even bigger case as the Best Picture front runner by dominating at the Independent Spirit Awards

Nomadland wins: With just days before Oscar Sunday, Nomadland is making an even bigger case as the Best Picture front runner by dominating at the Independent Spirit Awards

Four awards: The Fox Searchlight film from writer-director Chloe Zhao took home four awards, including Best Feature and Best Director for Zhao

Four awards: The Fox Searchlight film from writer-director Chloe Zhao took home four awards, including Best Feature and Best Director for Zhao

Four awards: The Fox Searchlight film from writer-director Chloe Zhao took home four awards, including Best Feature and Best Director for Zhao

Producer Mollye Asher accepted the Best Feature award for Nomadland, tahnking the talented cast and crew for all their hard work.

‘Thank you, thank you so much to Film Independent, to Searchlight. Congratulations to our fellow nominees, you make extraordinary movies, you push the boundaries of culture and we are so honored to be nominated with you,’ she began.

‘In our film Bob Wells says to Fern you have come to the right place to connect with your tribe and with your community and you Film Independent, you are community and we are so honored to be recognized by our tribe,’ she added. 

Producer: Producer Mollye Asher accepted the Best Feature award for Nomadland, tahnking the talented cast and crew for all their hard work

Producer: Producer Mollye Asher accepted the Best Feature award for Nomadland, tahnking the talented cast and crew for all their hard work

Producer: Producer Mollye Asher accepted the Best Feature award for Nomadland, tahnking the talented cast and crew for all their hard work

Nomadland beat out First Cow, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Minari and Never Rarely Sometimes Always for Best Feature.

Nomadland director Chloe Zhao beat out Minari’s Lee Isaac Chung, Promising Young Woman’s Emerald Fennell, Eliza Hittman’s Never Rarely Sometimes Always and Kelly Reichart’s First Cow for Best Director honors.

She became just the third woman to win Best Director, following Martha Coolidge for Rambling Rose in 1991 and Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation in 2003.

Best director: Nomadland director Chloe Zhao beat out Minari's Lee Isaac Chung, Promising Young Woman's Emerald Fennell, Eliza Hittman's Never Rarely Sometimes Always and Kelly Reichart's First Cow for Best Director honors

Best director: Nomadland director Chloe Zhao beat out Minari's Lee Isaac Chung, Promising Young Woman's Emerald Fennell, Eliza Hittman's Never Rarely Sometimes Always and Kelly Reichart's First Cow for Best Director honors

Best director: Nomadland director Chloe Zhao beat out Minari’s Lee Isaac Chung, Promising Young Woman’s Emerald Fennell, Eliza Hittman’s Never Rarely Sometimes Always and Kelly Reichart’s First Cow for Best Director honors

Historic: She became just the third woman to win Best Director, following Martha Coolidge for Rambling Rose in 1991 and Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation in 2003

Historic: She became just the third woman to win Best Director, following Martha Coolidge for Rambling Rose in 1991 and Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation in 2003

Historic: She became just the third woman to win Best Director, following Martha Coolidge for Rambling Rose in 1991 and Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation in 2003

Zhao thanked the independent film community in her acceptance speech, stating, ‘We wouldn’t be here with you. We get to do what we love and feel like we’re apart of a big family.’

Zhao also won the Best Editing Award, with Joshua James Richards also winning for Best Cinematography for Nomadland.

Another Oscar Best Picture nominee, The Sound of Metal took home three awards, Best First Feature, Best Male Lead (Riz Ahmed) and Best Supporting Male (Paul Raci).

Community: Zhao thanked the independent film community in her acceptance speech, stating, 'We wouldn't be here with you. We get to do what we love and feel like we're apart of a big family'

Community: Zhao thanked the independent film community in her acceptance speech, stating, 'We wouldn't be here with you. We get to do what we love and feel like we're apart of a big family'

Community: Zhao thanked the independent film community in her acceptance speech, stating, ‘We wouldn’t be here with you. We get to do what we love and feel like we’re apart of a big family’

Riz wins: Another Oscar Best Picture nominee, The Sound of Metal took home three awards, Best First Feature, Best Male Lead (Riz Ahmed) and Best Supporting Male (Paul Raci)

Riz wins: Another Oscar Best Picture nominee, The Sound of Metal took home three awards, Best First Feature, Best Male Lead (Riz Ahmed) and Best Supporting Male (Paul Raci)

Riz wins: Another Oscar Best Picture nominee, The Sound of Metal took home three awards, Best First Feature, Best Male Lead (Riz Ahmed) and Best Supporting Male (Paul Raci)

The film beat out The Forty-Year-Old Version, I Carry You With Me, Miss Juneteenth and Nine Days for the Best First Feature award.

Ahmed bested the late Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Adarsh Gourav (The White Tiger) Rob Morgan (Bull) and Steven Yeun (Minari).

The actor thanked Film Independent for the award, along with his ‘daring’ and ‘genius’ writer-director Darius Marder.

Thanks: The actor thanked Film Independent for the award, along with his 'daring' and 'genius' writer-director Darius Marder

Thanks: The actor thanked Film Independent for the award, along with his 'daring' and 'genius' writer-director Darius Marder

Thanks: The actor thanked Film Independent for the award, along with his ‘daring’ and ‘genius’ writer-director Darius Marder

‘Sound of Metal is about how a health crisis can throw your life off track,’ Ahmed said before wishing peace to those who suffered in this past pandemic year.

Paul Raci beat out Colman Domingo (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) Orion Lee (First Cow)Glynn Turman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) and Benedict Wong (Nine Days) for Best Supporting Male.

Raci provided one of the most unique speeches, using sign language throughout his speech while offering some advice to other actors as well.

Paul wins: Paul Raci beat out Colman Domingo (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom) Orion Lee (First Cow) , Glynn Turman (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom) and Benedict Wong (Nine Days) for Best Supporting Male

Paul wins: Paul Raci beat out Colman Domingo (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom) Orion Lee (First Cow) , Glynn Turman (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom) and Benedict Wong (Nine Days) for Best Supporting Male

Paul wins: Paul Raci beat out Colman Domingo (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) Orion Lee (First Cow) , Glynn Turman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) and Benedict Wong (Nine Days) for Best Supporting Male

Sign language: Raci provided one of the most unique speeches, using sign language throughout his speech while offering some advice to other actors as well

Sign language: Raci provided one of the most unique speeches, using sign language throughout his speech while offering some advice to other actors as well

Sign language: Raci provided one of the most unique speeches, using sign language throughout his speech while offering some advice to other actors as well

‘Don’t quit your day job, I never did. I still have it too,’ Raci said with a smile.

The next most decorated film at the Indie Spirit Awards was Promising Young Woman, which won Best Female Lead for Carey Mulligan and Best Screenplay for writer-director Emerald Fennell.

Mulligan beat out Nicole Beharie (Miss Juneteenth), Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Sidney Flanigan (Never Rarely Sometimes Always), Julia Garner (The Assistant) and Oscar favorite Frances McDormand (Nomadland).

Carey wins: Mulligan beat out Nicole Beharie (Miss Juneteenth), Viola Davis (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom), Sidney Flanigan (Never Rarely Sometimes Always), Julia Garner (The Assistant) and Oscar favorite Frances McDormand (Nomadland)

Carey wins: Mulligan beat out Nicole Beharie (Miss Juneteenth), Viola Davis (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom), Sidney Flanigan (Never Rarely Sometimes Always), Julia Garner (The Assistant) and Oscar favorite Frances McDormand (Nomadland)

Carey wins: Mulligan beat out Nicole Beharie (Miss Juneteenth), Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Sidney Flanigan (Never Rarely Sometimes Always), Julia Garner (The Assistant) and Oscar favorite Frances McDormand (Nomadland)

The actress thanked her fellow nominees, stating she is, ‘floored by each and every one of their performances so thank you for being in their company to be recognized amongst them.

‘I need to just thank first and foremost Emerald Fennell for her complete genius in writing and directing and producing this work our extraordinary crew, I always think independent film is so much fun because you get to do it in 20 a days or 29 days and it’s so much fun to be on summer camp with people,’ she added.

The actress went on to thank producer Margot Robbie before closing her speech by thanking, ‘an actress that I have looked up to and will continue to look up to, for the rest of my career, Helen Mccrory,’ who just passed away last week.

Floored: The actress thanked her fellow nominees, stating she is, ' floored by each and every one of their performances so thank you for being in their company to be recognized amongst them

Floored: The actress thanked her fellow nominees, stating she is, ' floored by each and every one of their performances so thank you for being in their company to be recognized amongst them

Floored: The actress thanked her fellow nominees, stating she is, ‘ floored by each and every one of their performances so thank you for being in their company to be recognized amongst them

Fennell thanked the Independent Spirit Awards for, ‘this unbelievable honor,’ adding she wished they, ‘could all be there in person to meet and celebrate.’

She thanked her star, Carey Mulligan, ‘for making me look good and by making the script 1000 times better by virtue of her genius.’

‘I just feel so immensely lucky to have worked with so many unbelievably talented and kind and patient people,’ she added.

Emerald thanks: Fennell thanked the Independent Spirit Awards for, 'this unbelievable honor,' adding she wished they, 'could all be there in person to meet and celebrate'

Emerald thanks: Fennell thanked the Independent Spirit Awards for, 'this unbelievable honor,' adding she wished they, 'could all be there in person to meet and celebrate'

Emerald thanks: Fennell thanked the Independent Spirit Awards for, ‘this unbelievable honor,’ adding she wished they, ‘could all be there in person to meet and celebrate’

‘This is just more than I ever expected, but I am very, very, very grateful so thank you, thank you very much,’ Fennell concluded.

Other winners included Residue taking home the John Cassavettes Award, Andy Siara winning Best First Screenplay for Palm Springs and Crip Camp for Best Documentary.

Yuh-jung Youn won Best Supporting Female for Minari, Quo Vadis, Aida? (Bosnia and Herzegovina) winning Best International Feature, Gerry Kim winning the Producers Award, Ekwa Msangi winning the Someone to Watch Award, Elegance Bratton winning the Truer Than Fiction Award and One Night in Miami winning the Robert Altman Award. 

On the TV side, I May Destroy You won Best New Scripted Series and Best Ensemble Cast in a New Scripted Series.

Immigration Nation won Best New Non-Scripted Series, while Amit Rahav from Unorthodox won Best Male Performance In A Scripted Series and Shira Haas from Unorthodox won Best Female Performance In a Scripted Series.

Best Supporting Female: Yuh-jung Youn won Best Supporting Female for Minari

Best Supporting Female: Yuh-jung Youn won Best Supporting Female for Minari

Best Supporting Female: Yuh-jung Youn won Best Supporting Female for Minari

Shira wins: Shira Haas from Unorthodox won Best Female Performance In a Scripted Series

Shira wins: Shira Haas from Unorthodox won Best Female Performance In a Scripted Series

Shira wins: Shira Haas from Unorthodox won Best Female Performance In a Scripted Series

TV winner: On the TV side, I May Destroy You won Best New Scripted Series and Best Ensemble Cast in a New Scripted Series

TV winner: On the TV side, I May Destroy You won Best New Scripted Series and Best Ensemble Cast in a New Scripted Series

TV winner: On the TV side, I May Destroy You won Best New Scripted Series and Best Ensemble Cast in a New Scripted Series

Winner: Elegance Bratton seen winning the Truer Than Fiction Award

Winner: Elegance Bratton seen winning the Truer Than Fiction Award

Winner: Elegance Bratton seen winning the Truer Than Fiction Award

2021 Independent Spirit Award Nominations

Best Feature 

First Cow

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Minari

Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Nomadland – WINNER

 

Best First Feature

The Forty-Year-Old Version

I Carry You With Me

Miss Juneteenth

Nine Days

The Sound Of Metal – WINNER

 

John Cassavetes Award

The Killing Of Two Lovers

La Leyenda Negra  

Lingua Franca

Residue – WINNER

Saint Frances 

 

Best Director

Lee Isaac Chung, Minari

Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman 

Eliza Hittman, Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Kelly Reichardt, First Cow

Chloe Zhao, Nomadland  – WINNER

 

Best Screenplay  

Eliza Hittman, Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman  – WINNER

Lee Isaac Chung, Minari 

Mike Makowsky, Bad Education

Alice Wu, The Half of It   

 

Best First Screenplay

Kitty Green, The Assistant

Noah Hutton, Lapsis

Channing Godfrey Peoples, Miss Juneteenth

Andy Siara, Palm Springs  – WINNER

James Sweeney, Straight Up

 

Best Female Lead 

Nicole Beharie, Miss Juneteenth

Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Sidney Flanigan, Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Julia Garner, The Assistant

Frances McDormand, Nomadland

Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman – WINNER

 

Best Male Lead

Riz Ahmed, The Sound of Metal – WINNER

Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Adarsh Gourav, The White Tiger

Rob Morgan, Bull

Steven Yeun, Minari 

 

Best Documentary

Collective

Crip Camp – WINNER

Dick Johnson Is Dead

The Mole Agent

Time 

   

Best Supporting Female 

Alexis Chikaeze, Miss Juneteenth

Yeri Han, Minari

Valerie Mahaffey, French Exit

Talia Ryder, Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Yuh-jung Youn, Minari – WINNER

 

Best Supporting Male  

Colman Domingo, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Orion Lee, First Cow

Paul Raci, Sound of Metal – WINNER

Glynn Turman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Benedict Wong, Nine Days 

 

Best International Film

Bacurau (Brazil)

The Disciple (India)

Night Of The Kings (Ivory Coast)

Preparations To Be Together For An Unknown Period Of Time (Hungary)

Quo Vadis, Aida? (Bosnia and Herzegovina)  – WINNER

 

Best Editing

Andy Canny, The Invisible Man

Scott Cummings, Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Merawai Gerima, Residue

Enat Sidi, I Carry You With Me

Chloe Zhao, Nomadland  – WINNER 

 

Best Cinematography

Jay Keitel, She Dies Tomorrow

Shabier Kirchner, Bull

Michael Latham, The Assistant

Hélène Louvart, Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Joshua James Richards, Nomadland  – WINNER

 

Robert Altman Award

One Night In Miami… – WINNER 

 

Best New Scripted Series

I May Destroy You – WINNER

Little America

Small Axe

A Teacher

Unorthodox 

 

Best New Non-Scripted Series

Atlanta’s Missing And Murdered: The Lost Children

City So Real

Immigration Nation – WINNER

Love Fraud

We’re Here 

 

Best Female Performance In A Scripted Series

Elle Fanning, The Great

Shira Haas, Unorthodox – WINNER

Abby McEnany, Work In Progress

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Never Have I Ever

Jordan Kristine Seamón, We Are Who We Are 

 

Best Male Performance In A Scripted Series

Adam Ali, Little America

Nicco Annan, P-Valley

Conphidance, Little America

Amit Rahav, Unorthodox – WINNER

Harold Torres, ZeroZeroZero 

  

Best Ensemble Cast In A New Scripted Series 

I May Destroy You – WINNER

  

Producers Award 

Kara Durrett

Lucas Joaquin

Gerry Kim  – WINNER 

 

Someone To Watch Award

David Midell

Ekwa Msangi – WINNER

Annie Silverstein   

 

Truer Than Fiction Award

Cecilia Aldarondo

Elegance Bratton – WINNER

Elizabeth Lo 

 

 

 

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