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image captionRiz Ahmed, Michaela Coel, and Carey Mulligan are all up for awards

British actors Riz Ahmed, Carey Mulligan and Michaela Coel were among the nominees for this year’s Independent Spirit Awards.

The awards honour the best in independent film; and often indicate who could win an Oscar.

Ahmed was nominated in the male lead category for his portrayal of a heavy metal drummer struggling with losing his hearing in Sound Of Metal.

Mulligan was recognised for her role as Cassie in Promising Young Woman.

The film – the directorial debut by star of The Crown and best director/best screenplay nominee Emerald Fennell – sees Mulligan’s character seeking to avenge her best friend’s rape.

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image captionCarey Mulligan and Emerald Fennell attend the 2020 Sundance Film Festival

Ahmed is nominated in the same category as the late Chadwick Boseman for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The drama, about a blues singer, is up against First Cow and Minari for the best feature gong, as well as Never Rarely Sometimes Always and Nomadland.

The nominees were announced in a video shared online on Tuesday evening; hosted by directors Olivia Wilde and Barry Jenkins, and actress Laverne Cox.

One of the awards that has already been decided on is best ensemble cast in a new scripted TV series, which went to Coel and her co-stars in I May Destroy You.

The drama series finds protagonist Arabella trying to piece her life back together after being sexually assaulted on a night out.

The show is also up for best new scripted series, in a field which includes Sir Steve McQueen’s Small Axe anthology series, chronicling the lives of West Indian immigrants in London from the 1960s to the 1980s.

Both Small Axe and I May Destroy You could go on to be recognised at the Golden Globe nominations next week, which cover both film and TV.

How do the Independent Spirits relate to the Oscars?

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image captionAhmed plays Ruben in Sound of Metal

The Independent Spirit Awards ceremony usually takes place on the beach in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, on the eve of the Academy Awards.

But this year, due to the disruption caused by Covid-19, they will take place on 22 April – the Thursday before the big Sunday night.

There is often some overlap between the winners at the Independent Spirit Awards and the winners at the Academy Awards.

For example, Renée Zellweger was named best actress at both ceremonies for her portrayal of Judy Garland last year.

In 2018, the two ceremonies agreed on three of the four acting category winners – Sam Rockwell, Allison Janney and Frances McDormand.

However, that is not always the case.

Because the Oscars consider all films, and not just those made independently, many movies which do well at the Independent Spirit Awards may not necessarily break through to the the more crowded Academy field.

Last year’s main Spirit winners The Farewell, Uncut Gems and Booksmart were all snubbed at the Oscars.

The Academy has said it is exploring how to hold an in-person ceremony, two months later than normal.

Director Steven Soderbergh has been asked to “re-envision” this year’s event in the wake of the pandemic.

Independent Spirit Awards 2021 – nominees in full

Best feature

  • First Cow
  • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  • Minari
  • Never Rarely Always Sometimes
  • Nomadland

Best first feature

  • I Carry You With Me
  • The Forty-Year Old Version
  • Miss Juneteenth
  • Nine Days
  • Sound of Metal

Best male lead

  • 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
  • Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman

Best supporting male

  • Colman Domingo – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  • Orion Lee – First Cow
  • 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
  • Yuh-jung Youn – Minari
image captionCoel stars in, wrote and co-directed I May Destroy You

Best Director

  • Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
  • Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
  • Eliza Hittman – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
  • Kelly Reichardt – First Cow
  • Chloé Zhao – Nomadland

Best screenplay

  • Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
  • 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
  • Andy Siara – Palm Springs
  • James Sweeney – Straight Up

John Cassavetes Award (best feature made for under $500,000/£364,000)

  • The Killing of Two Lovers
  • La Leyanda Negra
  • Lingua Franca
  • Residue
  • Saint Frances

Best cinematography

  • Jay Keitel – She Dies Tomorrow
  • Shabier Kirchner – Bull
  • Michael Latham – The Assistant
  • Hélène Louvart – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
  • 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
  • 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)
  • Quo Vadis, Aida? (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Best documentary

  • Collective
  • Crip Camp
  • Dick Johnson is Dead
  • The Mole Agent
  • Time

Robert Altman Award (given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast)

  • Winner: One Night in Miami

Producers Award

  • Lucas Joaquin
  • Gerry Kim
  • Kara Durrett

Someone to Watch Award

  • David Midell – director of The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain
  • Ekwa Msangi – director of Farewell Amor
  • Annie Silverstein – director of Bull

Truer Than Fiction Award (given to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition)

  • Cecilia Aldarondo – director of Landfall
  • Elegance Bratton – director of Pier Kids
  • Elizabeth Lo – director of Stray

Best new non-scripted or documentary series

  • Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children
  • City So Real
  • Immigration Nation
  • Love Fraud
  • We’re Here

Best new scripted series

  • I May Destroy You
  • Little America
  • Small Axe
  • A Teacher
  • Unorthodox

Best female performance in a scripted series

  • Elle Fanning – The Great
  • 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
  • Amit Rahav – Unorthodox
  • Harold Torres – ZeroZeroZero

Best ensemble cast in a new scripted series

  • Winner: I May Destroy You

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