2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards

Updated March 3rd, 2021

Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)

1. Nomadland

A woman in her sixties after losing everything in the Great Recession embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad.

2. Minari

It’s the 1980s, and David, a seven-year-old Korean American boy, is faced with new surroundings and a different way of life when his father, Jacob, moves their family from the West Coast to rural Arkansas. His mother, Monica, is aghast that they live in a mobile home in the middle of nowhere, and naughty little David and his sister are bored and aimless. When his equally mischievous grandmother arrives from Korea to live with them, her unfamiliar ways arouse David’s curiosity. Meanwhile, Jacob, hell-bent on creating a farm on untapped soil, throws their finances, his marriage, and the stability of the family into jeopardy.

3. Never Rarely Sometimes Always

A pair of teenage girls in rural Pennsylvania travel to New York City to seek out medical help after an unintended pregnancy.

4. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Tensions and temperatures rise over the course of an afternoon recording session in 1920s Chicago as a band of musicians await trailblazing performer, the legendary “Mother of the Blues,” Ma Rainey. Late to the session, the fearless, fiery Ma engages in a battle of wills with her white manager and producer over control of her music. As the band waits in the studio’s claustrophobic rehearsal room, ambitious trumpeter Levee – who has an eye for Ma’s girlfriend and is determined to stake his own claim on the music industry – spurs his fellow musicians into an eruption of stories revealing truths that will forever change the course of their lives.

5. First Cow

A skilled cook has traveled west and joined a group of fur trappers in Oregon, though he only finds true connection with a Chinese immigrant also seeking his fortune. Soon the two collaborate on a successful business.