SANTA MONICA—This is perhaps my favorite time of year. No, it is not the start of the holidays, it is the start of Awards Season. I must admit with the Writer’s Strike unfolding in May 2023, soon followed by the Actor’s Strike in July 2023, I didn’t think we would even have an awards season considering so many movies were placed on the backburner, received little to no press or spoiler alert, weren’t even released in theaters as a result.

The nominees for the 2024 Film Independent Spirit Awards were released on Tuesday, December 5 and leading the pack were three films: “May December,” “Past Lives” and “American Fiction” which each picked up five nominations apiece including Best Feature. Other indie flicks earning multiple nominations include “Passages” and “The Holdovers” which walked away with four nominations apiece.

Unlike other awards ceremonies, the Film Independent Spirit Awards have gone gender neutral when it comes to performances, which I think is quite interesting. You’re looking at the best of the best, not whether it was a male, a female or non-gender specific individual in a performance. As a result, some of the categories have been withered down, but it has also made things a bit more competitive as well.

Be aware that the Spirit Awards highlights indie flicks, not the major blockbusters released by some of the studios so the names you see here might not align with what unfolds when the Golden Globe nominees are unveiled on Monday, December 11. A list of this year’s nominees can be viewed below:

Best Feature

-“All of Us Strangers”
-“American Fiction”
-“May December”
-“Past Lives”
-“We Grown Now”

Best Director

-Andrew Haigh “All of Us Strangers”
-Todd Haynes “May December”
-William Oldroyd “Eileen”
-Ira Sachs “Passages”
-Celine Song “Past Lives”

Best First Feature

-“All Dirt Roads Taste Of Salt”
-“Chronicles of a Wandering Saint”
-“Earth Mama”
-“A Thousand One”
-“Upon Entry”

Best Lead Performance

-Jessica Chastain “Memory”
-Greta Lee “Past Lives”
-Trace Lysette “Monica”
-Natalie Portman “May December”
-Judy Reyes “Birth/Rebirth”
-Franz Rogowski “Passages”
-Andrew Scott “All of Us Strangers”
-Teyana Taylor “A Thousand and One”
-Jeffrey Wright “American Fiction”
-Teo Yoo “Past Lives”

Best Supporting Performance

-Erika Alexander “American Fiction”
-Sterling K. Brown “American Fiction”
-Noah Galvin “Theater Camp”
-Anne Hathaway “Eileen”
-Glenn Howerton “BlackBerry”
-Marin Ireland “Eileen”
-Charles Melton “May December”
-Da’Vine Joy Randolph “The Holdovers”
-Catalina Saavedra “Rotting in the Sun”
-Ben Whishaw “Passages”

Best Screenplay

-David Hemingson “The Holdovers”
-Cord Jefferson “American Fiction”
-Laura Moss, Brendan J. O’Brien “Birth/Rebirth”
-Emma Seligman, Rachel Sennott “Bottoms”
-Celine Song “Past Lives”

Best First Screenplay

-“May December”
-“Theater Camp”
-“Chronicles of a Wandering Saint”
-“The Starling Girl”
-“Upon Entry”

Best Breakthrough Performance

-Marshawn Lynch “Bottoms”
-Atibon Nazaire “Mountains”
-Tia Nomore “Earth Mama”
-Dominic Sessa “The Holdovers”
-Anaita Wali Zada “Fremont”

Best Editing

-Santiago Cendejas, Gabriel Diaz and Sofia Subercaseaux “Rotting in the Sun”
-Stephanie Filo “We Grown Now”
-Daniel Garber “How to Blow Up a Pipeline”
-Jon Philpot “Theater Camp”
-Emanuele Tiziani “Upon Entry”

Best Cinematography

-Katelin Arizmendi “Monica”
-Eigil Bryld “The Holdovers”
-Jomo Fray “All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt”
-Pablo Lozano “Chronicles of a Wandering Saint”
-Pat Scola “We Grown Now”

Best Documentary

-“Bye Bye Tiberias”
-“Four Daughters”
-“Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project”
-“Kokomo City”
-“The Mother of All Lies”

Best International Film

-“Anatomy of a Fall”
-“Mami Wata”
-“The Zone of Interest”

The 39th annual Spirit Awards will be handed out on Sunday, February 25 live and will be hosted by “Saturday Night Live” alum Aidy Bryant. The ceremony which had been previously televised on IFC is going to stream on IMDb and the Film Independent’s YouTube channels starting at 5 p.m. EST. Yeah, I find that crazy as well, I’m not trying to watch an awards ceremony on social media people, I just am not.