The 30th Annual Independent Spirit Nominations Are Here

Selma Independent Spirit Nominations


Oscar season has officially kicked in with the announcement of the 30th annual Independent Spirit nominations, honoring films made outside the studio system. Although several of this year’s major Oscar contenders are ineligible for the Independent Spirit Awards – films like Interstellar, for example – many of this year’s more acclaimed motion pictures have made the cut, with Birdman topping the list of with six Independent Spirit nominations, and SelmaBoyhood and Nightcrawler each trailing close behind with five nominations each. Whiplash and Love is Strange have each been nominated for four Independent Spirit Awards as well.

Two of this year’s more prominent independent films, Foxcatcher and Inherent Vice, have been given special awards despite being snubbed in every other category. Foxcatcher will be given a “Special Distinction Award” and Inherent Vice has been awarded the “Robert Altman Award,” to be bestowed upon the director, casting director and ensemble cast.


Related: Independent Spirit Award Nominee Dan Gilroy Guest Stars on CraveOnline’s B-Movies Podcast


For the most part, these nominations are to be expected. Ava DuVernay’s Selma has fast become the favorite to win Best Picture at the Oscars for its dramatic depiction of one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s greatest civil rights victories, and David Oyelowo seems likely to dominate the Best Actor race as well. Boyhood has remained a critical favorite since its premiere last summer, and the story of its production – filmed over 12 years so its stars could age on-camera – have made it one of the most talked about motion pictures of the year.

Meanwhile, Birdman has several factors going for it: a return to form for its star, Michael Keaton, an ambitious visual style that makes the whole film look like it was shot in a single continuous take, and a Hollywood insider subject matter that seems likely to resonate with voters. 


Related: Independent Spirit Award Nominee Tilda Swinton in a CraveOnline Exclusive Video Interview


Nightcrawler and Whiplash have been enormous critical successes, but the dark nature of their stories seems likely to make them outsiders amidst more hopeful competition. Still, the performances and screenplays are likely to earn many accolades for these films as the awards season continues.

The full list of Independent Spirit nominations can be found below, more information is available as the official website, and the awards will be given out on February 21, 2015 at 2pm PST. CraveOnline will be back with more awards season updates as the year’s nominations and prizes are announced.




(Award given to the Producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.)

             Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

            Producers: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, Arnon Milchan, James W.   Skotchdopole


            Producers: Richard Linklater, Jonathan Sehring, John Sloss, Cathleen Sutherland

            Love is Strange

            Producers: Lucas Joaquin, Lars Knudsen, Ira Sachs, Jayne Baron Sherman, Jay Van Hoy


            Producers: Christian Colson, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Oprah Winfrey


            Producers: Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, David Lancaster, Michael Litvak


            Damien Chazelle


            Ava DuVernay


           Alejandro G. Iñárritu

            Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

            Richard Linklater


            David Zellner

            Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter


            Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski

            Big Eyes

            J.C. Chandor

            A Most Violent Year

             Dan Gilroy


            Jim Jarmusch

            Only Lovers Left Alive

            Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias

            Love is Strange

BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer) 

            A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

            Director: Ana Lily Amirpour

            Producers: Justin Begnaud, Sina Sayyah

            Dear White People

            Director/Producer: Justin Simien

            Producers: Effie T. Brown, Ann Le, Julia Lebedev, Angel Lopez, Lena Waithe


            Director: Dan Gilroy

            Producers: Jennifer Fox, Tony Gilroy, Jake Gyllenhaal, David Lancaster,   Michel Litvak

            Obvious Child

            Director: Gillian Robespierre

            Producer: Elisabeth Holm

            She’s Lost Control

            Director/Producer: Anja Marquardt

            Producers: Mollye Asher, Kiara C. Jones


            Desiree Akhavan

            Appropriate Behavior

            Sara Colangelo

            Little Accidents 

            Justin Lader

            The One I Love

            Anja Marquardt

            She’s Lost Control

            Justin Simien         

            Dear White People

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD – Given to the best feature made for under $500,000.  Award given to the writer, director and producer.  Executive Producers are not awarded.

            Blue Ruin

            Writer/Director: Jeremy Saulnier

            Producers:  Richard Peete, Vincent Savino, Anish Savjani

            It Felt Like Love

            Writer/Director/Producer: Eliza Hittman

            Producers: Shrihari Sathe, Laura Wagner

             Land Ho!

            Writers/Directors: Aaron Katz & Martha Stephens

            Producers: Christina Jennings, Mynette Louie, Sara Murphy

            Man From Reno

            Writer/Director: Dave Boyle

            Writers: Joel Clark, Michael Lerman

            Producer: Ko Mori


            Writer/Director/Producer: Chris Mason Johnson

            Producer: Chris Martin


            Marion Cotillard

            The Immigrant

             Rinko Kikuchi

            Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

            Julianne Moore

            Still Alice

            Jenny Slate

            Obvious Child 

            Tilda Swinton

            Only Lovers Left Alive


            André Benjamin

            Jimi: All Is By My Side

            Jake Gyllenhaal


            Michael Keaton

            Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

             John Lithgow 

            Love is Strange

             David Oyelowo



             Patricia Arquette


             Jessica Chastain

            A Most Violent Year

            Carmen Ejogo


            Andrea Suarez Paz

           Stand Clear of the Closing Doors

            Emma Stone

            Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)


             Riz Ahmed


            Ethan Hawke


            Alfred Molina

            Love is Strange

            Edward Norton

            Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

            J.K. Simmons



             Darius Khondji

            The Immigrant

            Emmanuel Lubezki           

            Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

            Sean Porter

            It Felt Like Love

            Lyle Vincent

            A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

            Bradford Young


BEST EDITING                  

             Sandra Adair          


            Tom Cross  


            John Gilroy 


             Ron Patane 

            A Most Violent Year

            Adam Wingard       

            The Guest 

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director and producer)

             20,000 Days on Earth

            Directors: Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard

            Producers: Dan Bowen, James Wilson  


            Director/Producer: Laura Poitras  

            Producers: Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky   

            Stray Dog

            Director: Debra Granik       

            Producer: Anne Rosellini  

            The Salt of the Earth

            Directors: Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and Wim Wenders           

            Producer: David Rosier


            Director/Producer: Orlando von Einsiedel

            Producer: Joanna Natasegara

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (Award given to the director)

            Force Majeure


            Director: Ruben Östlund    



            Director: Pawel Pawlikowski         



            Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev



            Director: Xavier Dolan        

            Norte, the End of History


            Director: Lav Diaz   

            Under the Skin

            (United Kingdom)

            Director: Jonathan Glazer 

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD – (Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast)

Inherent Vice

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

Casting Director: Cassandra Kulukundis

Ensemble Cast: Josh Brolin, Martin Donovan, Jena Malone, Joanna Newsom, Joaquin Phoenix, Eric Roberts, Maya Rudolph, Martin Short Serena Scott Thomas, Benicio Del Toro, Katherine Waterston, Michael Kenneth Williams, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon



            Director/Producer: Bennett Miller 

            Producers: Anthony Bregman, Megan Ellison, Jon Kilik        

            Writers: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman

            Actors: Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum  

18th ANNUAL PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD – The 18th annual Producers Award, sponsored by Piaget, honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resourcesThe 30th Annual Independent Spirit Nominations Are Here, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality, independent films.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.

            Chad Burris

            Elisabeth Holm

            Chris Ohlson

21st ANNUAL KIEHL’S SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The 21st annual Someone to Watch Award, sponsored by Kiehl’s Since 1851, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Kiehl’s Since 1851.

            A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

            Director: Ana Lily Amirpour


            Directors: Rania Attieh & Daniel Garcia 

            The Retrieval

            Director: Chris Eska            

20th ANNUAL LENSCRAFTERS TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The 20th annual Truer Than Fiction Award, sponsored by LensCrafters is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by LensCrafters.

            Approaching the Elephant

            Director: Amanda Rose Wilder     

            Evolution of a Criminal

            Director: Darius Clark Monroe      

             The Kill Team

            Director: Dan Krauss          

            The Last Season

            Director: Sara Dosa