Film Independent announced the winners of its four Spirit Awards filmmaker grants on Saturday at its annual Spirit Awards Nominee Brunch hosted by Mark Duplass and Sarah Paulson.
Mark Jackson, director of Without, received the Audi Someone to Watch Award, which recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award, which is in its eighteenth year, includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Audi of America. The finalists for the award included Simon Arthur for Silver Tongues and Nicholas Ozeki for Mamitas.
Heather Courtney, director of Where Soldiers Come From received the Nokia Truer Than Fiction Award, which is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not received significant recognition. The award is in its seventeenth year and includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Nokia. Danfung Dennis for Hell and Back Again and Alma Har’el for Bombay Beach were also finalists for the award.
Sophia Lin, producer of Take Shelter received the Piaget Producers Award, which honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources demonstrate the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality, independent films. The annual award, in its fifteenth year, includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget. Finalists were Chad Burris for Mosquita Y Mari and Josh Mond for Martha Marcy May Marlene.
Benjamin Murray and Alysa Nahmias for Unfinished Spaces received the second annual Jameson FIND Your Audience Award, which helps one low-budget independent film find a broader audience. The award included a $40,000 marketing and distribution grant, funded by Jameson® Irish Whiskey. The other finalists were Cara Marcous for On the Ice and Sheldon Larry for Leave It On The Floor. The nominating committee was composed of publicist and Film Independent Board Member Laura Kim, filmmaker Scott Macaulay and CrowdStarter’s Liz Ogilvie.