Spirit Awards Adds TV Categories to 2021 Ceremony

Film Independent has added five television categories to the Spirit Awards, to be held on April 24, 2021.

The 2021 television categories include best new scripted series, new non-scripted or documentary series, male performance, female performance and ensemble cast. The organization also announced on Tuesday that the 2021 show will be returning to longstanding broadcast partner IFC, and that submissions for the 2021 program are now officially open.

“The independent, diverse creators we’ve supported for decades now straddle the feature and episodic worlds,” board chair Mary Sweeney said. “Our mission supports and celebrates visual storytellers wherever they practice their craft. The addition of TV Spirit Awards recognizes this expansion by celebrating diverse independent, creative voices across platforms.”

IFC has broadcast the show since 1994. The Spirit Awards are traditionally held on the day before the Academy Awards in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica, Calif. Film Independent had already announced the April 24 date.

“2020 has been a year of endless change and chaos, so it’s wonderful to be back with our friends at IFC,” said Film Independent President Josh Welsh. “As tough as this year has been, there’s so much great filmmaking and yes, television, that has sustained us throughout the pandemic. We look forward to celebrating that work at the Spirit Awards in April.”

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced in June that the 93rd Academy Awards telecast had been postponed by two months, to April 25, 2021. Variety was the first to report that the Academy was considering delaying the big night in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Film Independent awards feature film prizes in 15 categories, including Best Feature, Best First Feature, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best First Screenplay, John Cassavettes Award, Best Male Lead, Best Female Lead, Best Supporting Male, Best Supporting Female, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Robert Altman Award, Best International Film and Best Documentary. Eligible films must have a production budget of $20 million or less.

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