The Independent Spirit Awards used to go to indie films, actors, and directors. But in recent years, the awards– given by Film Independent out in Los Angeles– have turned into an Oscars Jr. Most of the nominations and awards go to the same people who receive nominations and awards for the Oscars.
So why have them at all? Good question. Last year, only 95,000 people bothered to watch the live ceremny on TV the afternoon before the Academy Awards.
There is so much overlap between the Spirit Award winners and the Oscar winners, it’s become a little ridiculous. At least his past year, “Get Out” won the Spirit Award was only an Oscar nominee. But in the years preceding, “Moonlight,” “Spotlight,” and “Birdman” all won both awards. Immediately before that, almost all the Spirit Award Best Features were the same as the Oscar equivalent, as well as the acting awards.
On top of that, Film Independent– the organization that gives out these awards– just announced they’re shutting down their other biggest enterprise, the LA Film Festival. It makes you wonder, what’s going on when they can’t even sustain that project.
So here we go again: down to Santa Monica to the freezing tent, the photo ops and weird private tents underwritten by sponsors who are getting what exactly out of it? No one who’s ever made an indie film can afford a Piaget watch. But they sponsor some of the Spirit Awards.
Nominees as follows: