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 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 for Evolution 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.

The Spirit Awards is the primary fundraiser for Film Independent’s year-round programs. To inquire about attendance opportunities, please contact Jennifer Murby at 310.432.1253.

For more information on submission guidelines, voting, media and publicist credentials, and the history of the Spirit Awards, please visit SpiritAwards.com.

About THE FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS
Now in its 30th year, the Film Independent Spirit Awards is an annual celebration that honors artist-driven films made with an economy of means by filmmakers whose films embody independence and originality. The Spirit Awards recognizes the achievements of American and international independent filmmakers and promotes the finest independent films of the year to a wider audience. The winners of the Spirit Awards are voted upon by Film Independent and IFP Members. Awards are given in the following categories: Best Feature, Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay, Best Director, Best Screenplay, John Cassavetes Award (given to the best feature made for a budget under $500,000), Best Male Lead, Best Female Lead, Best Supporting Male, Best Supporting Female, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, the Robert Altman Award, Best International Film and Best Documentary. The Filmmaker Grants include the Piaget Producers Award, the Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award and the LensCrafters Truer Than Fiction Award. 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.