The Complete List of Winners for the Film Independent Spirit Awards in 2021


Check out the winners of the 2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards, presented by Melissa Villaseor of Saturday Night Live.

On Thursday, April 22, Hollywood’s biggest and brightest stars gathered to honour the best and brightest in the entertainment industry at the 2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards.

Nomadland was the clear winner, taking home four awards including Best Feature and Best Director for Chloé Zhao. The drama is a probable front-runner in both categories heading into this weekend’s Oscars ceremony.

Riz Ahmed took home the award for Best Male Lead for Sound of Metal, and in his acceptance speech, he gave hope to everyone who has been affected by the current coronavirus pandemic.

“Sound of Metal is about how a health problem can throw your life off balance, and how there can be a lot of pain but also some clarification on the other side of that,” he said. “And for anyone who has been through some kind of upheaval this year, I wish you peace when you come out the other side.”

Carey Mulligan dedicated the Best Female Lead trophy for Promising Young Woman to actress Helen McCrory, who died on April 16 at the age of 52 after a battle with cancer.

“I also want to dedicate this award to Helen McCrory, a true independent spirit that I have looked up to and will continue to look up to for the rest of my career,” Carey said. “We owe her a debt of gratitude for what she has done for us.”

Even though the pandemic has temporarily put conventional award shows on hold, this year’s ceremony, with its immersive visual experience, provided a night to remember.

But it wasn’t the only thing that had changed this evening. The 2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards honoured performances in television and online for the first time, with I Could Destroy You, Little America, and Unorthodox among the nominees.

What about the film that has the most nominations in the film categories heading into this year’s awards show? Never Rarely Almost Often, by Eliza Hittman, won this award. The film was nominated for seven awards, including Best Director, Best Feature, and Best Screenplay, but it did not win any of them.

But that’s it for the lip-syncing! Are you about to find out who won? To see the full list of winners, scroll down.

Best Feature

First Cow

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom


Never Rarely Sometimes Always

WINNER: Nomadland

Best First Feature

I Carry You With Me

The Forty-Year-Old Version

Miss Juneteenth

Nine Days

WINNER: Sound Of Metal

Best Director

Lee Isaac Chung, Minari

Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman

Eliza Hittman, Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Kelly Reichardt, First Cow

WINNER: Chloé Zhao, Nomadland

Best Screenplay

Lee Isaac Chung, Minari

WINNER: Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman

Eliza Hittman, Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Mike Makowsky, Bad Education

Alice Wu, The Half of It

Best First Screenplay

Kitty Green, The Assistant

Noah Hutton, Lapsis

Channing Godfrey Peoples, Miss Juneteenth

WINNER: Andy Siara, Palm Springs

James Sweeney, Straight Up

John Cassavetes Award

The Killing Of Two Lovers

La Leyenda Negra

Lingua Franca

WINNER: Residue

Saint Frances

Best Male Lead

WINNER: Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal

Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Adarsh Gourav, The White Tiger

Rob Morgan, Bull

Steven Yeun, Minari

Best Female Lead

Nicole Beharie, Miss Juneteenth

Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Sidney Flanigan, Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Julia Garner, The Assistant

Frances McDormand, Nomadland

WINNER: Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

Best Supporting Male

Colman Domingo, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Orion Lee, First Cow

WINNER: Paul Raci, Sound of Metal

Glynn Turman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Benedict Wong, Nine Days

Best Supporting Female

Alexis Chikaeze, Miss Juneteenth

Yeri Han, Minari

Valerie Mahaffey, French Exit

Talia Ryder, Never Rarely Sometimes Always

WINNER: Yuh-jung Youn, Minari

Best Cinematography

Jay Keitel, She Dies Tomorrow

Shabier Kirchner, Bull

Michael Latham, The Assistant

Hélène Louvart, Never Rarely Sometimes Always

WINNER: Joshua James Richards, Nomadland

Best Editing

Andy Canny, The Invisible Man

Scott Cummings, Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Merawi Gerima, Residue

Enat Sidi, I Carry You With Me

WINNER: Chloé Zhao, Nomadland

Best International Film

Bacurau (Brazil)

The Disciple (India)

Night Of The Kings (Ivory Coast)

Preparations To Be Together For An Unknown Period Of Time (Hungary)

WINNER: Quo Vadis, Aida? (Bosnia And Herzegovina)

Best Documentary


WINNER: Crip Camp

Dick Johnson Is Dead

The Mole Agent


Robert Altman Award

One Night In Miami

Producers Award

Kara Durrett

Lucas Joaquin

WINNER: Gerry Kim

Someone To Watch Award

David Midell, The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain

WINNER: Ekwa Msangi, Farewell Amor

Annie Silverstein, Bull

Truer Than Fiction Award

Cecilia Aldarondo, Landfall

WINNER: Elegance Bratton, Pier Kids

Elizabeth Lo, Stray

Best New Non-Scripted Or Documentary Series

Atlanta’s Missing And Murdered: The Lost Children

City So Real

WINNER: Immigration Nation

Love Fraud

We’re Here

Best New Scripted Series

WINNER: I May Destroy You

Little America

Small Axe

A Teacher


Best Female Performance In A New Scripted Series

Elle Fanning, The Great

WINNER: Shira Haas, Unorthodox

Abby McEnany, Work in Progress

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Never Have I Ever

Jordan Kristine Seamón, We Are Who We Are

Best Male Performance In A New Scripted Series

Adam Ali, Little America

Nicco Annan, P-Valley

Conphidance, Little America

WINNER: Amit Rahav, Unorthodox

Harold Torres, ZeroZeroZero

Best Ensemble Cast In A New Scripted Series

I May Destroy You