Beth's Take: Spirit Awards Noms 2021

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SIFF Artistic Director Beth Barrett's take on this year's awards season. First up, the Film Independent Spirit Awards nominations, announced January 26, 2021. The winners will be announced on April 22, 2021.

The nominations for the 36th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards were announced today, including some of my favorite films of the year--Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari; Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland; Chadwick Boseman’s final film, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; and Kirsten Johnson’s Dick Johnson Is Dead. Though many of these films demand a big screen when we can get back into the cinemas (Nomadland, Minari), many others capitalized on their built-in intimacy and were strikingly effective on the small screen (like Miss Juneteenth, The Forty-Year-Old Version, I Carry You with Me).

The striking factor that ties the nominations for Best Feature and Best Director together is that
the nominees are all BIPOC and/or women directed, and the stories really center on the
experiences of women, immigration, the “American Dream,” and the need to be taken seriously in this world. Though spanning the last century in timeframe, these films are incredibly timely to the present day. With the Spirit Awards as an important precursor to the Oscars, I hope this means a greater diversity of representation is coming!

--Beth Barrett, SIFF Artistic Director
January 26, 2021

See the full list of nominees here.