The SPIRIT AWARDS did it again! (Handed out awards.) And SAGindie was there! (From our homes.) Melissa Villaseñor hosted the virtual show – which aired live on IFC – where Film Independent honored the best films, series, filmmakers, and performances of the past year. This year’s awards shifted away from some previous traditions (a Thursday primetime slot instead of a Saturday daytime ceremony, virtual instead of in a tent on the beach, and the addition of TV categories), but the underlying mission of supporting indie voices remains.

Joining SAGindie at our virtual table were actors Sarah Baker (The Kominski Method), Olivia Cheng (Warrior), William Jackson Harper (The Good Place), Bianca Lawson (Queen Sugar), Rob Morgan (Bull), Kendrick Sampson (Miss Juneteenth), and Tracy Vilar (Maid); and filmmakers/Someone To Watch Award nominees David Midell (The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain), Ekwa Msangi (Farewell Amor), and Annie Silverstein (Bull); plus a few special guest drop-ins by Benedict Wong (Nine Days) and Heidi N Closet (RuPaul’s Drag Race)!

Even though we couldn’t carouse in person, we still want to thank our guests for joining us virtually and give a big congrats to all of this year’s nominees and winners! See the full list below.


2021 Spirit Awards Nominees & Winners


Feature Awards

Best Feature

Best First Feature

John Cassavetes Award (for best film made for under $500,000)

Best Director

Best Female Lead

Best Male Lead

Best Supporting Female

Best Supporting Male

Best Screenplay

Best First Screenplay

Best Cinematography

Best Editing

Best International Feature

Best Documentary

Robert Altman Award (for best ensemble casting)

Spirit Awards Grants

Someone to Watch Award

Producers Award

Truer Than Fiction Award

TV Awards

Best New Scripted Series

Best New Non-Scripted/Documentary Series

Best Female Performance in a Scripted Series

Best Male Performance in a Scripted Series

Best Ensemble in a Scripted Series



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