‘We the Animals’, ‘Eighth Grade’, and ‘You Were Never Really Here’ Lead Independent Spirit Awards

     November 16, 2018


The Independent Spirit Awards is one of my favorites because it helps bring attention to indie movies that could use a little more love. This year’s nominees have been announced, and there’s an impressive lineup that really spreads the love around. Leading the pack with five nominations is We the Animals and with four a piece are Eighth Grade and You Were Never Really Here. And if you’re wondering about why certain movies didn’t get nominated, Kris Tapley has the answer:

Rules are what they are, but there are still some great nominations in this bunch including the entire “Best First Feature” group, Ethan Hawke for First Reformed, and Josh Hamilton for Eighth Grade. The only real oversight is Kathryn Hahn not getting nominated for Private Life, although that movie did pick up nominations for Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actress.

Check out the full list of nominees below. Winners will be announced at the Spirit Awards on Saturday, February 23, 2019.


Image via A24


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

Eighth Grade

Producers: Eli Bush, Scott Rudin, Christopher Storer, Lila Yacoub

First Reformed         

Producers: Jack Binder, Greg Clark, Gary Hamilton, Victoria Hill, David Hinojosa, Frank Murray, Deepak Sikka, Christine Vachon

If Beale Street Could Talk   

Producers: Dede Gardner, Barry Jenkins, Jeremy Kleiner, Sara Murphy, Adele Romanski

Leave No Trace        

Producers: Anne Harrison, Linda Reisman, Anne Rosellini

You Were Never Really Here          

Producers: Rosa Attab, Pascal Caucheteux, Rebecca O’Brien, Lynne Ramsay, James Wilson


(Award given to the director and producer)


Director: Ari Aster

Producers: Kevin Frakes, Lars Knudsen, Buddy Patrick

Sorry to Bother You

Director: Boots Riley

Producers: Nina Yang Bongiovi, Jonathan Duffy, Charles D. King, George Rush, Forest Whitaker, Kelly Williams


Image via HBO

The Tale

Director/Producer: Jennifer Fox

Producers: Sol Bondy, Lawrence Inglee, Mynette Louie, Oren Moverman, Simone Pero, Reka Posta, Laura Rister, Regina K. Scully, Lynda Weinman

We the Animals

Director: Jeremiah Zagar

Producers: Andrew Goldman, Christina D. King, Paul Mezey, Jeremy Yaches


Director/Producer: Paul Dano

Producers: Andrew Duncan, Jake Gyllenhaal, Riva Marker, Oren Moverman, Ann Ruark, Alex Saks

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

A Bread Factory     

Writer/Director/Producer: Patrick Wang

Producers: Daryl Freimark, Matt Miller

En el Séptimo Día

Writer/Director/Producer: Jim McKay

Producers: Alex Bach, Lindsey Cordero, Caroline Kaplan, Michael Stipe

Never Goin’ Back

Writer/Director: Augustine Frizzell

Producers: Liz Cardenas, Toby Halbrooks, James M. Johnston


Writer/Director/Producer: Alex Moratto

Writer: Thayná Mantesso

Producers: Ramin Bahrani, Jefferson Paulino, Tammy Weiss

Thunder Road

Writer/Director: Jim Cummings

Producers: Natalie Metzger, Zack Parker, Benjamin Weissner


Debra Granik

Leave No Trace


Image via Annapurna Pictures

Barry Jenkins

If Beale Street Could Talk

Tamara Jenkins

Private Life

Lynne Ramsay

You Were Never Really Here

Paul Schrader

First Reformed

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