Indie Spirit Award nominations: Janicza Bravo’s “Zola” leads with seven nods

The nominations for the Film Independent Spirit Awards are ready, and “Zola” leads the pack with seven nods. Co-written and directed by Janicza Bravo, the comedy is inspired by a viral Twitter thread and tells the story of a Detroit waitress who is lured to Florida by a customer with promises of big money and parties. “Zola” has been named Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay and Best Female Lead (Taylour Paige), among others.

Three out of five films competing for best film are directed by women: “Zola”, Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Elena Ferrante adaptation “The Lost Daughter” and Lauren Hadaway’s ro-drama “The Novice”. Four out of five nominees in the competition for best director are women: with Bravo, Gyllenhaal and Hadaway, Ninja Thyberg is for “Pleasure,” a film about LA’s porn industry that follows a woman moving from a small town in Sweden to the United States in hopes about becoming a star.

In addition to Bravo and Gyllenhaal, the Best Screenplay category also includes Nikole Beckwith for “Together Together,” a comedy about the friendship between a surrogate and a single father, which Beckwith also directed.

With Paige in the category of best female lead is Isabelle Fuhrman (“The Novice”); Brittany S. Hall (“Test Pattern”); Patti Harrison (“Together Together”); and Kali Reis (“Catch the Fair One”).

Entertainment Weekly notes that “44 percent of the acclaimed writers and directors are women, while 38 percent identify themselves as BIPOC. Of the nominated actors, 60 percent identify themselves as BIPOC.”

Go over to EW to see the complete list of 2021 nominees. The award ceremony will take place on 6 March.

“Nomadland” was named best film at last year’s edition of the Indie Spirit Awards, and ChloĆ© Zhao won the award for best director in a category that had three other women (“Promising Young Woman’s” Emerald Fennell, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always'” Eliza Hittman, and “First Cow’s” Kelly Reichardt).

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