'Call Me By Your Name,' 'Lady Bird,' 'Get Out' Lead 2018 Independent Spirit Awards Nominations

The nominations for the 2018 Independent Spirit Awards were announced on Tuesday morning in Los Angeles. Tessa Thompson and Lily Collins revealed this years honorees, which were lead by “Call Me By Your Name,”  “Get Out,” “Good Time,” “The Rider” and “Lady Bird.”

A24 dominated the nominations with 17 followed by Sony Pictures Classics with 13 and upstart NEON earning 7.  ‘Call Me’ can claim the most honors with six followed by “Get Out” and “Good Time,” which both took five (the latter being something of a surprise).  “Lady Bird” and the unreleased “The Rider,” which qualified by screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, both earned four while “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” took three.  “The Florida Project” earned key Best Feature and Best Director nods, but was somehow overlooked in subsequent categories.

Overall, the nominations should solidify the Best Picture campaigns for “Call Me,” “Lady Bird,” “The Florida Project” and “Get Out.”  The fact Fox Searchlight’s “The Shape of Water” was snubbed completely may have more to do with the fact it looks more like a larger studio film than it’s qualifying budget.  The same could be said of Sofia Coppola‘s “The Beguiled” which also qualified with just a $10 million production budget, but came away empty handed.

The 33rd Film Independent Spirit Awards will be hosted for the second year in a row by Nick Kroll and John Mulaney and will take place on Saturday, March 3, 2018.

The complete list of nominees along with analysis for each major category is as follows:

Best Feature

“Call Me by Your Name”
Producers: Peter Spears, Luca Guadagnino, Emilie Georges, Rodrigo Teixeira, Marco Morabito, James Ivory, Howard Rosenman

“The Florida Project”
Producers: Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch, Kevin Chinoy, Andrew Duncan, Alex Saks, Francesca Silvestri, Shih-Ching Tsou

“Get Out”
Producers: Jason Blum, Edward H. Hamm Jr., Sean McKittrick, Jordan Peele

“Lady Bird”
Producers: Eli Bush, Evelyn O’Neill, Scott Rudin

“The Rider”
Producers: Mollye Asher, Bert Hamelinck, Sacha Ben Harroche, Chloé Zhao

Lowdown: Hard to argue with this group, but “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” or “The Shape of Water” not being part of this group is questionable. You could argue they “look” too studio, but “Get Out” has more of a commercial sheen than either of them. Should “The Rider” have been qualified for 2018?  Possibly, but Spirit Awards committees are gonna do what Spirit Award committees are gonna do.


Best First Feature

Director: Kogonada
Producers: Danielle Renfrew Behrens, Aaron Boyd, Giulia Caruso, Ki Jin Kim, Andrew Miano, Chris Weitz

“Ingrid Goes West”
Director: Matt Spicer
Producers: Jared Ian Goldman, Adam Mirels, Robert Mirels, Aubrey Plaza, Tim White, Trevor White

Director/Producer: Joshua Z. Weinstein
Producers: Yoni Brook, Traci Carlson, Daniel Finkelman, Alex Lipschultz

“Oh Lucy!”
Director/Producer: Atsuko Hirayanagi
Producers: Jessica Elbaum, Yukie Kito, Han West

“Patti Cake$”
Director: Geremy Jasper
Producers: Chris Columbus, Michael Gottwald, Dan Janvey, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Noah Stahl, Rodrigo Teixeira

Lowdown:  Thrilled “Ingrid Goes West,” one of the most underrated movies of the year, made the cut.  The critically acclaimed “Columbus” probably has the edge when it comes to Spirit voters, however.  Maybe.

Best Director

Sean Baker, “The Florida Project”

Jonas Carpignano, “A Ciambra”

Luca Guadagnino, “Call Me by Your Name”

Jordan Peele, “Get Out”

Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie, “Good Time”

Chloé Zhao, “The Rider”

Lowdown: Greta Gerwig, Martin McDonagh, Dee Rees and Guillermo del Toro were obviously snubbed here. Carpignano is an “indie cred” for the Spirits nomination.  Overall, though, this is an interesting race. I expect either Peele or Guadagnino to win, but because of “Get Out’s” popularity Peele has the edge (no. 1 rule of Spirit voting predictions is the biggest hit usually wins).


Best Screenplay

Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”

Azazel Jacobs, “The Lovers”

Martin McDonagh, “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Jordan Peele, “Get Out”

Mike White, “Beatriz at Dinner”

Lowdown: This is a fine group of nominees even without del Toro’s superb “Shape” screenplay in the mix. This may be the category where Gerwig and “Lady Bird” find the most love.


Best First Screenplay

Kris Avedisian, Story By: Kyle Espeleta, Jesse Wakeman, “Donald Cried”

Emily V. Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani, “The Big Sick”

Ingrid Jungermann, “Women Who Kill”

Kogonada, “Columbus:

David Branson Smith, Matt Spicer, “Ingrid Goes West”

Lowdown: You can pretty much book this to Gordon and Nanjiani for “The Big Sick.”


Best Cinematography

Thimios Bakatakis, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”

Elisha Christian, “Columbus”

Hélène Louvart, “Beach Rats”

Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, “Call Me by Your Name”

Joshua James Richards, “The Rider”

Lowdown: Happy to debate anyone who thinks Louvart’s work in “Rats” is superior to Alexis Zabe’s in “The Florida Project.” Mukdeeprom will likely win this for “Call Me.”


Best Editing

Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie, “Good Time”

Walter Fasano, “Call Me by Your Name”

Alex O’Flinn, “The Rider”

Gregory Plotkin, “Get Out”

Tatiana S. Riegel, “I, Tonya”

Lowdown: Interesting field spreading the love with  “Three Billboards,” “Florida Project” and “Lady Bird” not making the cut. Plotkin likely takes it unless “I, Tonya” becomes a big hit before the voting deadline.


Best Female Lead

Salma Hayek, “Beatriz at Dinner”

Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”

Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”

Shinobu Terajima, “Oh Lucy!”

Regina Williams, “Life and nothing more”

Lowdown: I simply cannot fathom why Sally Hawkins did not make the cut here although thrilled for Hayek‘s recognition.  It’s between McDormand and Ronan for the win.


Best Male Lead

Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”

Harris Dickinson, “Beach Rats”

James Franco, “The Disaster Artist”

Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”

Robert Pattinson, “Good Time”

Lowdown: This is a very wide open field with every nominee outside of Dickinson having a shot to take the honor.


Best Supporting Female

Holly Hunter, “The Big Sick”

Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”

Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”

Lois Smith, “Marjorie Prime”

Taliah Lennice Webster, “Good Time”

Lowdown: Should “The Florida Project’s” Brooklynn Prince be here? Should she have been in Female Lead?  Should Kirsten Dunst have received a nod for her wonderfully subtle work in “The Beguiled”? Should Nicole Kidman earned a nominations for “Killing of a Sacreed Deer”?  Should Melissa Leo be here for “Novitiate“? Ponder.


Best Supporting Male

Nnamdi Asomugha, “Crown Heights”

Armie Hammer, “Call Me by Your Name”

Barry Keoghan, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”

Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Benny Safdie, “Good Time”

Lowdown: A huge, head scratching snub for “Florida Project‘s” Willem Dafoe here although it’s great to see ‘Killing‘s” Keoghan getting some well deserved recognition.  If Rockwell wins the SAG Awards, this is likely his. If not, Hammer could surprise.


Robert Altman Award – Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast

Director: Dee Rees
Casting Directors: Billy Hopkins, Ashley Ingram
Ensemble Cast: Jonathan Banks, Mary J. Blige, Jason Clarke, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Mitchell, Rob Morgan, Carey Mulligan

Lowdown: This is a nice honor for the critically acclaimed Netflix acquisition (“Moonlight” won it last year), but individual nominations for Blige and Mitchell would have helped more in the long run.


Best Documentary (Award given to the director and producer)

“The Departure,” Director/Producer: Lana Wilson

“Faces Places,” Directors: Agnés Varda, JR, Producer: Rosalie Varda

“Last Men in Aleppo,” Director: Feras Fayyad, Producers: Kareem Abeed, Søeren Steen Jespersen, Stefan Kloos

“Motherland,” Director/Producer: Ramona S. Diaz, Producer: Rey Cuerdo

“Quest,” Director: Jonathan Olshefski, Producer: Sabrina Schmidt Gordon

Lowdown: Many people in Los Angeles are going to be excited by the prospect of Varda returning to Hollywood after her triumphant honorary Oscar run earlier this month. “Last Men in Aleppo” will probably get the win, however.


Best International Film (Award given to the director)

“BPM (Beats Per Minute)” (France), Director: Robin Campillo

“A Fantastic Woman,” (Chile), Director: Sebastián Lelio

“I Am Not a Witch,” (Zambia), Director: Rungano Nyoni

“Lady Macbeth,” (U.K.), Director: William Oldroyd

“Loveless,” (Russia), Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev

Lowdown:The Square” snub is interesting, but “A Fantastic Woman” was and still is the frontrunner here.  “BPM” gets some much needed love after a disastrous release campaign last month.


Bonnie Award – Bonnie Tiburzi Caputo joined American Airlines in 1973 at age 24, becoming the first female pilot to fly for a major U.S. airline. In her honor, the inaugural Bonnie Award will recognize a mid-career female director with a $50,000 unrestricted grant.

So Yong Kim
Lynn Shelton
Chloé Zhao


Truer Than Fiction – The 23rd annual Truer Than Fiction Award 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.

Shevaun Mizrahi, Director of “Distant Constellation”

Jonathan Olshefski, Director of “Quest”

Jeff Unay, Director of “The Cage Fighter”


Someone to Watch – The 24th annual Someone to Watch Award recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.

Amman Abbasi, Director of “Dayveon”

Justin Chon, Director of “Gook”

Kevin Phillips, Director of “Super Dark Times”


Producers Award – The 21st annual Producers Award honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality, independent films. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.

Giulia Caruso & Ki Jin Kim
Ben LeClair
Summer Shelton