Thursday, January 18, 2018
  • Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016
David Oyelowo named Spirit Awards Honorary Chair
David Oyelowo (photo by Eric Williams)
  • LOS ANGELES
  • --

Film Independent President Josh Welsh announced that David Oyelowo (Queen of Katwe, A United Kingdom) will be the 2017 Spirit Awards Honorary Chair. Oyelowo was nominated for Best Male Lead for his work in Selma (2015) and Best Supporting Male for Middle of Nowhere (2013). Past Honorary Chairs include Jessica Chastain, Kerry Washington, Benicio Del Toro, Angela Bassett, Salma Hayek, Jodie Foster, Danny Glover, Ang Lee and Martin Scorsese.
 
“From Middle of Nowhere to Nightingale, and from Selma to Queen of Katwe, David Oyelowo has consistently shown himself to be a fearless actor of remarkable range,” said Welsh. “As a two-time Spirit Award nominee, he is a fantastic choice to be our Spirit Awards Honorary Chair.”
 
Additionally, Emmy Award winning Sterling K. Brown (This is Us, The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) and writer, producer, actress Issa Rae (Insecure, Awkward Black Girl) will co-host the Film Independent Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grant & Nominee Brunch on Saturday, January 7 at BOA restaurant in West Hollywood where they will announce the Spirit Awards Grant Winners for 2017.
 
Previously announced, the Nominees for the Spirit Awards Grants are:
 
20th ANNUAL PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD – The 20th annual Producers Award, sponsored by Piaget, honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality, independent films. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.
 

  • Lisa Kjerulff
  • Jordana Mollick
  • Melody C. Roscher & Craig Shilowich

 
23rd ANNUAL KIEHL’S SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The 23rd annual Someone to Watch Award, sponsored by Kiehl’s Since 1851, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Kiehl’s Since 1851.
 

  • Andrew Ahn, Director of Spa Night
  • ​Claire Carré, Director of Embers    
  • Anna Rose Holmer, Director of The Fits
  • ​Ingrid Jungermann, Director of Women Who Kill

 
22nd ANNUAL TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The 22nd annual Truer Than Fiction Award is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.
 

  • Kristi Jacobson, Director of Solitary     
  • Sara Jordenö, Director of Kiki
  • Nanfu Wang, Director of Hooligan Sparrow

 
 
The 32nd annual Spirit Awards ceremony will take place on the beach in Santa Monica on Saturday, February 25 with the premiere broadcast airing live exclusively on IFC at 2:00 pm PT / 5:00 pm ET. The Awards are the primary fundraiser for Film Independent’s year-round programs, which cultivate the careers of emerging filmmakers and promote diversity in the industry.