It’s that time of year again when we venture to sunny Los Angeles to cover the 2019 film award season which includes, again this year, the 34th Independent Spirit Awards (Indie Spirit Awards).

One of the very best events in the award season for a myriad of reasons, the Indie Spirit Awards is known for its groovy, laid-back attitude which is a big statement because “everyone who’s anyone in the film game turns up to enjoy the festivities,” earning its nickname as “the Oscars on the beach” for a reason.

Over the past several years, the Indie Spirit Awards has become a passionate champion of underdog indies as well as a key indicator of which films and performances could end up with an Oscar win. Alfonso Cuarón’s widely-lauded “Roma” qualified for Best International Film while favorites like “Eighth Grade” and “First Reformed” dominated the big categories, with each film earning four nominations, including Best Feature for both; Best Actress for “Eighth Grade” lead Elsie Fisher; and Best Actor for “First Reformed” star Ethan Hawke. “We the Animals” led the entire field with five total nominations. A number of other films also pulled out multiple nods, including “Leave No Trace,” “You Were Never Really Here,” “The Tale,” “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Private Life.”

The 2019 Spirit Awards will return to their usual home inside the big white tent just north of the Santa Monica Pier Saturday, Feb. 23.

The full nominations list is below.

Best Feature

“Eighth Grade”

“First Reformed”

“If Beale Street Could Talk”

“Leave No Trace”

“You Were Never Really Here”

Best Director

Debra Granik, “Leave No Trace”

Barry Jenkins, “If Beale Street Could Talk”

Tamara Jenkins, “Private Life”

Lynne Ramsay, “You Were Never Really Here”

Paul Schrader, “First Reformed”

Best First Feature


“Sorry To Bother You”

“The Tale”

“We the Animals”


Best Female Lead

Glenn Close, “The Wife”

Toni Collette, “Hereditary”

Elsie Fisher, “Eighth Grade”

Regina Hall, “Support The Girls”

Helena Howard, “Madeline’s Madeline”

Carey Mulligan, “Wildlife”

Best Male Lead

John Cho, “Searching”

Daveed Diggs, “Blindspotting”

Ethan Hawke, “First Reformed

Christian Malheiros, “Sócrates”

Joaquin Phoenix, “You Were Never Really Here”

Best Supporting Female

Kayli Carter, “Private Life”

Tyne Daly, “A Bread Factory”

Regina King, “If Beale Street, Could Talk”

Thomasin Harcourt Mckenzie, “Leave No Trace”

J. Smith-Cameron, “Nancy”

Best Supporting Male

Raúl Castillo, “We the Animals”

Adam Driver, “BlacKkKlansman”

Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever

Forgive Me? ”

Josh Hamilton, “Eighth Grade”

Best Screenplay

Richard Glatzer (Writer/Story By), Rebecca Lenkiewicz & Wash Westmoreland, “Colette”

Nicole Holofcener & Jeff Whitty, “Can You Ever Forgive Me? ”

Tamara Jenkins, “Private Life”

Boots Riley, “Sorry To Bother You”

Paul Schrader, “First Reformed”

Best First Screenplay

Bo Burnham, “Eighth Grade”

Christina Choe, “Nancy”

Cory Finley, “Thoroughbreds”

Jennifer Fox, “The Tale”

Quinn Shephard (Writer/Story By) and Laurie Shephard (Story By), “BLAME”

Best Cinematography

Ashley Connor, “Madeline’s Madeline”

Diego Garcia, “Wildlife”

Benjamin Loeb, “Mandy”

Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, “Suspiria”

Zak Mulligan, “We the Animals”

Best Editing

Joe Bini, “You Were Never Really Here”

Keiko Deguchi, Brian A. Kates & Jeremiah Zagar, “We the Animals”

Luke Dunkley, Nick Fenton, Chris Gill & Julian Hart, “American Animals”

Anne Fabini, Alex Hall And Gary Levy, “The Tale”

Nick Houy, “MID90S”

John Cassavetes Award

“A Bread Factory”

“En el Séptimo Día”

“Never Goin’ Back”


“Thunder Road”

“Robert Altman Award”


Best Documentary

“Hale County This Morning, This Evening”

“Minding The Gap”

“Of Fathers And Sons”

“On Her Shoulders”


“Won’t You Be My Neighbor? ”

Best International Film

“Burning (South Korea)”