36th Independent Spirit Awards

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36th Independent Spirit Awards
Awarded forBest in independent film and television
DateApril 22, 2021
SiteSanta Monica Pier
(Santa Monica, California)
Hosted byMelissa Villaseñor
Best FeatureNomadland
Most awardsNomadland (4)
Most nominationsNever Rarely Sometimes Always (7)
Television coverage

The 36th Film Independent Spirit Awards, honoring the best independent films of 2020, were presented by Film Independent on April 22, 2021.[1][2] Though it was initially intended for the ceremony to air on April 24, 2021, it was later changed to April 22, 2021.[3][4][5] The ceremony was televised in the United States by IFC and was hosted by Melissa Villaseñor.[6] The nominations were announced on January 26, 2021 by Laverne Cox, Barry Jenkins, and Olivia Wilde.[7][8][9]


The Film Independent expanded categories in order to honor television series for the first time, creating five new ones: Best New Scripted Series, Best New Non-Scripted or Documentary Series, Best Male Performance in a Scripted Series, Best Female Performance in a Scripted Series, and Best Ensemble Cast in a Scripted Series.[10][3]

Winners and nominees


Best Feature Best Director


Chloé ZhaoNomadland

Best Male Lead Best Female Lead

Riz AhmedSound of Metal as Ruben Stone

Carey MulliganPromising Young Woman as Cassandra "Cassie" Thomas

Best Supporting Male Best Supporting Female

Paul RaciSound of Metal as Joe

Youn Yuh-jungMinari as Soon-ja

Best Screenplay Best First Screenplay

Emerald FennellPromising Young Woman

Andy Siara – Palm Springs

Best First Feature Best Documentary Feature

Darius MarderSound of Metal

Crip Camp

Best Cinematography Best Editing

Joshua James Richards – Nomadland

Chloé ZhaoNomadland

Best International Film

Quo Vadis, Aida? ( Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Films with multiple nominations and awards

Films that won multiple awards
Wins Film
4 Nomadland
3 Sound of Metal
2 Promising Young Woman


Best New Scripted Series Best New Non-Scripted or Documentary Series

I May Destroy You

Immigration Nation

Best Male Performance in a Scripted Series Best Female Performance in a Scripted Series

Amit RahavUnorthodox as Yakov "Yanky" Shapiro

Shira HaasUnorthodox as Esther "Esty" Shapiro

Best Ensemble Cast in a Scripted Series

I May Destroy YouMichaela Coel, Paapa Essiedu, Weruche Opia, and Stephen Wight

Series with multiple nominations and awards

Series that received multiple nominations
Nominations Series
3 Little America
2 I May Destroy You
Series that won multiple awards
Wins Series
2 Unorthodox
I May Destroy You

Special awards

John Cassavetes Award


Robert Altman Award

(The award is given to its film director, casting director, and ensemble cast)

Producers Award

Honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality, independent films.

  • Kara Durrett
  • Lucas Joaquin
  • Gerry Kim

Someone to Watch Award

Truer than Fiction Award

Presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.


  1. ^ Sharf, Zach (April 23, 2021). "Spirit Awards 2021 Winners List: 'Nomadland,' 'I May Destroy You,' Riz Ahmed, Carey Mulligan Win Big". IndieWire. Retrieved April 24, 2021.
  2. ^ Ferme, Antonio (April 22, 2021). "Independent Spirit Awards 2021: Full Winners List". Variety. Retrieved April 24, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Bui, Hoai-Tran (September 30, 2020). "Independent Spirit Awards Adds TV Categories to 2021 Ceremony". /Film. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  4. ^ Welk, Brian (September 29, 2020). "Independent Spirit Awards Adds 5 New TV Categories for 2021 Ceremony". TheWrap. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  5. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (January 21, 2021). "Independent Spirit Awards Breaks Tradition During Pandemic, Will Take Place Thursday Before Oscars". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  6. ^ Verhoeven, Beatrice (February 8, 2021). "'SNL' Star Melissa Villasenor to Host 2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards". TheWrap. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  7. ^ Anderson, Erik (January 21, 2021). "Spirit Awards move date; Barry Jenkins, Laverne Cox, Olivia Wilde to announce nominations". AwardsWatch. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  8. ^ "SPIRIT AWARDS NOMINATIONS (2021) | Presenters Olivia Wilde, Barry Jenkins & Laverne Cox". YouTube. January 26, 2021. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  9. ^ Lewis, Hilary (January 26, 2021). "Film Independent Spirit Awards: 'Never Rarely Sometimes Always', 'Minari', 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom', 'Nomadland' Top Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  10. ^ Hill, Libby (September 29, 2020). "2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards Expand to Honor Television". IndieWire. Retrieved September 29, 2020.

External links