Adam Sandler, Robert Pattinson, Jennifer Lopez, more land acting nominations.

The 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards have lit a pre-Oscar fire for several major contenders in the awards race.

Leading the pack of independent-leaning nominees — as announced Thursday afternoon by Zazie Beetz and Natasha Lyonne — are Uncut Gems and The Lighthouse, which earned five nominations apiece, including the former’s nod for Adam Sandler’s lead performance.

Though Uncut Gems received a nomination in the Best Feature category, The Lighthouse did not, despite garnering across-the-board support for its cast (both Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe scored nominations), directing (Robert Eggers), cinematography, and editing.

On the acting side, Hustlers star Jennifer Lopez, Judy‘s Renée Zellweger, Clemency actress Alfre Woodard, Shia LaBeouf (Honey Boy), and The Farewell‘s Zhao Shuzhen also bolstered bids for Oscar attention with Indie Spirit nominations this year.

Traditionally held the day before the Oscars, the Indie Spirits honor achievements in movies made for around $20 million, though standards have fluctuated in recent years. The awards are voted for by members of Film Independent, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the profile of independent cinema and diversity in the industry.

Though not always a steadfast indicator of Academy tastes (Film Independent’s voting base is made up of anyone who wants to pay to join, regardless of standing in/proximity to Hollywood), the Indie Spirits typically forecast a general direction the awards race might be heading in. For example, 2017’s Moonlight, 2016’s Spotlight, 2015’s Birdman, and 2014’s 12 Years A Slave won top honors at the Spirit Awards before going on to score major Oscar nominations in addition to winning Best Picture. Last year, Indie Spirit contenders like Glenn Close (The Wife), Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk), and Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) went on to win or be nominated for acting Oscars as well.

This year, several high-profile contenders were ineligible for Indie Spirit nominations, however, including big-budgeted studio pictures like Todd Phillips’ Joker, Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Sam Mendes’ 1917, Jay Roach’s Bombshell, Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, Michael Engler’s Downton Abbey, and James Mangold’s Ford v Ferrari.

The 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards ceremony will air live Saturday, Feb. 8. on IFC. Read on for the full list of nominations.


BEST FEATURE (Award given to the producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.)

A Hidden Life

Producers: Elisabeth Bentley, Dario Bergesio, Grant Hill, Josh Jeter


Producers: Timur Bekbosunov, Julian Cautherley, Bronwyn Cornelius, Peter Wong

The Farewell

Producers: Anita Gou, Daniele Melia, Andrew Miano, Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub, Lulu

Wang, Chris Weitz, Jane Zheng

Marriage Story

Producers: Noah Baumbach, David Heyman

Uncut Gems

Producers: Eli Bush, Sebastian Bear-McClard, Scott Rudin

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


Director: Olivia Wilde

Producers: Chelsea Barnard, David Distenfeld, Jessica Elbaum, Megan Ellison,

Katie Silberman

The Climb

Director/Producer: Michael Angelo Covino

Producers: Noah Lang, Kyle Marvin


Director: Kent Jones

Producers: Luca Borghese, Ben Howe, Caroline Kaplan, Oren Moverman

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Director/Producer: Joe Talbot

Producers: Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Khaliah Neal, Christina Oh

The Mustang

Director: Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre

Producer: Ilan Goldman

See You Yesterday

Director: Stefon Bristol

Producer: Spike Lee

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

Burning Cane

Writer/Director/Producer: Phillip Youmans

Producers: Ojo Akinlana, Jakob Johnson, Karen Kaia Livers, Mose Mayer,

Wendell Pierce, Isaac Webb, Cassandra Youmans


Writer/Director: Tom Quinn

Producers: Joshua Blum, Alexandra Byer, Craig Shilowich, Matthew Thurm

Give Me Liberty

Writer/Director/Producer: Kirill Mikhanovsky

Writer/Producer: Alice Austen

Producers: Val Abel, Wally Hall, Michael Manasseri, George Rush, Sergey Shtern


Writer/Director/Producer: Rashaad Ernesto Green

Writer: Zora Howard

Producer: Darren Dean, Joy Ganes

Wild Nights With Emily

Writer/Director/Producer: Madeleine Olnek

Producers: Anna Margarita Albelo, Casper Andreas, Max Rifkind-Barron


Alma Har’el

Honey Boy

Lorene Scafaria


Julius Onah


Robert Eggers

The Lighthouse

Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie

Uncut Gems


Noah Baumbach

Marriage Story

Jason Begue, Shawn Snyder

To Dust

Ronald Bronstein & Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie

Uncut Gems

Chinonye Chukwu


Tarell Alvin McCraney

High Flying Bird


Fredrica Bailey & Stefon Bristol

See You Yesterday

Hannah Bos & Paul Thureen


Bridget Savage Cole & Danielle Krudy

Blow the Man Down

Jocelyn DeBoer & Dawn Luebbe

Greener Grass

James Montague & Craig W. Sanger

The Vast of Night


Todd Banhazl


Jarin Blaschke

The Lighthouse

Natasha Braier

Honey Boy

Chananun Chotrungroj

The Third Wife

Pawel Pogorzelski



Julie Béziau

The Third Wife

Ronald Bronstein & Benny Safdie

Uncut Gems

Tyler L. Cook

Sword of Trust

Louise Ford

The Lighthouse

Kirill Mikhanovsky

Give Me Liberty


Karen Allen


Hong Chau


Elisabeth Moss

Her Smell

Mary Kay Place


Alfre Woodard


Renée Zellweger



Chris Galust

Give Me Liberty

Kelvin Harrison Jr.


Robert Pattinson

The Lighthouse

Matthias Schoenaerts

The Mustang

Adam Sandler

Uncut Gems


Jennifer Lopez


Taylor Russell


Lauren “LoLo” Spencer

Give Me Liberty

Octavia Spencer


Zhao Shuzhen

The Farewell


Willem Dafoe

The Lighthouse

Noah Jupe

Honey Boy

Shia LaBeouf

Honey Boy

Jonathan Majors

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Wendell Pierce

Burning Cane

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

Marriage Story

Director: Noah Baumbach

Casting Directors: Douglas Aibel, Francine Maisler

Ensemble Cast: Alan Alda, Laura Dern, Adam Driver, Julie Hagerty, Scarlett Johansson,

Ray Liotta, Azhy Robertson, Merritt Wever

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director and producer)

American Factory

Director/Producer: Steven Bognar & Julia Reichert

Producers: Julie Parker Benello, Jeff Reichert

Apollo 11

Director/Producer: Todd Douglas Miller

Producers: Evan Krauss, Thomas Baxley Petersen

For Sama

Director: Edward Watts

Director/Producer: Waad al-Kateab


Director: Tamara Kotevska

Director/Producer: Ljubo Stefanov

Producer: Atanas Georgiev

Island of the Hungry Ghosts

Director/Producer: Gabrielle Brady

Producers: Gizem Acarla, Samm Haillay, Alex Kelly, Alexander Wadouh

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (Award given to the director)

Invisible Life


Director: Karim Aïnouz

Les Misérables


Director: Ladj Ly


South Korea

Director: Bong Joon-Ho

Portrait of a Lady on Fire


Director: Céline Sciamma



Director: Álvaro Delgado-Aparicio L.

The Souvenir

United Kingdom

Director: Joanna Hogg

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 third Bonnie Award will recognize a mid-career female director with a $50,000 unrestricted grant, sponsored by American Airlines.

Marielle Heller

Kelly Reichardt

Lulu Wang

PRODUCERS AWARD – The 23rd 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.

Mollye Asher

Krista Parris

Ryan Zacarias

SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The 26th 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.

Rashaad Ernesto Green

Director of Premature

Ash Mayfair

Director of The Third Wife

Joe Talbot

Director of The Last Black Man in San Francisco

TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The 25th 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.

Khalik Allah

Director of Black Mother

Davy Rothbart

Director of 17 Blocks

Nadia Shihab

Director of Jaddoland

Erick Stoll & Chase Whiteside

Director of América

Related content:

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019 Movie)
Tom Hanks brings Mr. Rogers to perfectly imperfect life in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
  • Movie