Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, announced the winners of its three Spirit Awards filmmaker grants today at its annual Spirit Awards Nominee Brunch held at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood. Actor Michael Peña and Emmy Rossum hosted the event and handed out the honors.
“At Film Independent our mission is to support independent filmmakers all year long, helping them to get their films made and to build the audience for their work,” said Film Independent President Josh Welsh. “One of the most direct ways to do that is through the cash grants. Since 1995, Film Independent has given away $1,250,000 in cash grants at the Spirit Awards. This year’s recipients are terrifically talented, and I look forward to seeing their work for years to come.”
Chris Ohlson received the Piaget Producers Award. The award 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 18th year, includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget for the 8th year. Finalists were Chad Burris and Elisabeth Holm.
Rania Attieh and Daniel Garcia, directors of H., received the Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award. The award recognizes talented filmmakers of singular vision who have not yet received appropriate recognition. The award is in its 21st year and includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Kiehl’s Since 1851. Finalists for the award were Ana Lily Amirpour for A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and Chris Eska for The Retrieval.
Dan Krauss, director of The Kill Team, received the LensCrafters Truer Than Fiction Award. The award is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not received significant recognition. The award is in its 20th year and includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by LensCrafters. Finalists for the award were Sara Dosa for The Last Season, Darius Clark Monroe forEvolution of a Criminal and Amanda Rose Wilder for Approaching the Elephant.
The Film Independent Spirit Awards are sponsored by Premier Sponsors Piaget, The Lincoln Motor Company, Bank of America, Heineken, American Airlines and IFC. T-Mobile is the Official Arrivals Show Sponsor, Sauza 901 Tequila is the Official Spirit and FIJI Water is the Official Water of the 2015 Spirit Awards. WireImage is the Official Photographer of Film Independent.
Winners for the remaining categories will be revealed at the 2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards in a tent at Santa Monica beach on Saturday, February 21. The awards ceremony will be broadcast live exclusively on IFC at 2:00 pm PT / 5:00 pm ET.