Talk of the Oscars has been taking up much of our time lately, but let’s take a break to highlight this year’s top indies. On Tuesday morning the Independent Spirit Awards, considered the most important awards in the indie film world, published their nominees. Soon after they took down the link, but not before we got a look at them. It looks to be an exciting year for the Spirits, with some refreshing surprises and high competition.

Todd Haynes‘ Carol and Cary Fukunaga’s Beasts of No Nation lead with six nominations each. Both Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara are being recognized for leading roles for Carol, a well-deserved surprise for Mara who’s being campaigned for a supporting role for the Oscars. Sean Baker’s Tangerine followed with four nominations, including Lead and Supporting ones for stars Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor, respectively. Charlie Kaufman’s animated Anomalisa also earned four nominations, including one for Jennifer Jason Leigh’s voice work in the film. Spotlight, this year’s Oscar frontrunner, wound up with four nominations, including the Robert Altman award for Best Ensemble.

Some major snubs include Brooklyn and The Danish Girl, both eligible in the International Feature categories. The Spirits also opted for A24's It Follows instead of Ex Machina. Check out the full list of nominees below.

2016 Spirit Award Nominations:

Best Feature

Beasts of No Nation

Best Director

Sean Baker, Tangerine
Cary Joji Fukunaga, Beasts of No Nation
Todd Haynes, Carol
Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson, Anomalisa
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
David Robert Mitchell, It Follows

Best Screenplay

Charlie Kaufman, Anomalisa
Donald Margulies, The End of the Tour
Phyllis Nagy, Carol
Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer, Spotlight
S. Craig Zahler, Bone Tomahawk

Best First Feature

The Diary of a Teenage Girl
James White
Manos Sucias
Songs My Brothers Taught Me

Best First Screenplay

Jesse Andrews, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Joseph Carpignano, Mediterranea
Emma Donoghue, Room
Marielle Heller, The Diary of a Teenage Girl
John Magary, Russell Harbaugh, Myna Joseph, The Mend

Best Male Lead

Christopher Abbott, James White
Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation
Ben Mendelsohn, Mississippi Grind
Jason Segel, The End of the Tour
Koudous Seihon, Mediterranea

Best Female Lead

Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Bel Powley, The Diary of A Teenage Girl
Kitana Kiki Rodriquez, Tangerine

Best Supporting Male

Kevin Corrigan, Results
Paul Dano, Love & Mercy
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Richard Jenkins, Bone Tomahawk
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes

Best Supporting Female

Robin Bartlett, H.
Marin Ireland, Glass Chin
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Anomalisa
Cynthia Nixon, James White
Mya Taylor, Tangerine

Best Documentary

Best of Enemies
Heart of Dog
The Look of Silence
The Russian Woodpecker

Best International Film

Embrace the Serpent
Son of Saul

Best Cinematography

Beasts of No Nation
It Follows
Songs My Brothers Taught Me

Best Editing

Beasts of No Nation
Heaven Knows What
It Follows

John Cassavetes Award (Best Feature Under $500,000)

Christmas, Again
Heaven Knows What
Out of My Hand

Robert Altman Award (Best Ensemble)


Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award

Chloe Zhoa
Felix Thompson
Robert Machoian & Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck

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