Sat. Sep 24th, 2022

Independent Spirit Awards make acting awards gender neutral in 2023

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The Film Independent Spirit Awards will now feature gender-neutral film and television acting categories ahead of its 2023 show.

In addition to the new terms, and “in response to rising costs of production,” the nonprofit also raised its budget cap by nearly $8 million to $30 million, the organization said Tuesday.

“We’re thrilled to join the other festivals and award shows that are already moving to celebrate great acting without reference to gender,” Josh Welsh, Film Independent’s president, said in a release.

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The Film Independent Spirit Awards are moving to include gender-neutral categories.

The Film Independent Spirit Awards are moving to include gender-neutral categories.
(Jordan Strauss)

“We’re also happy to welcome non-binary performers into the Spirit Awards without forcing them to choose to identify as male or female.”

Welsh added: “Additionally, it has been a long time since we substantially increased the budget limit for eligibility. This new cap allows us to continue to celebrate the same breadth of work that we have in the past.”

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The Spirit Awards honors smaller budget, independent films and is known for its starry, freewheeling ceremony that’s part of the awards season leading to the Academy Awards.

It joins several prominent awards organizations that have made the switch to non-gendered awards, including the Grammys, the Gotham Awards and the MTV Movie & TV Awards.

Maggie Gyllenhaal attends the 2022 Film Independent Spirit Awards on March 6, 2022, in Santa Monica, California.

Maggie Gyllenhaal attends the 2022 Film Independent Spirit Awards on March 6, 2022, in Santa Monica, California.
(Robert Smith/Patrick McMullan)

The film categories will now include “Best Lead Performance,” “Best Supporting Performance” and “Best Breakthrough Performance.”

Television award categories include “Best Lead Performance in a New Scripted Series” and a new award for “Best Supporting Performance in a New Scripted Series.” Ten nominees are slated for each category.

Raising the eligibility from $22.5 million to $30 million for a film production is intended to acknowledge the rising costs of making films.

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The budget cap for the John Cassavetes Award, presented to a film’s writer, director and producer, also doubled with an increase from $500,000 to $1 million.

Film Independent also set the date for its next show on March 4, 2023, the weekend before the Oscars on March 12.

Film nominations for the 2023 Spirit Awards will be announced on Nov. 22 while television nominations will be released on Dec. 13.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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