In the Spirit of Things

UCLA TFT alumni are among 30th Film Independent Spirit Awards nominees

Director Ana Lily Amirpour’s (M.F.A. ’10, Film and Television) A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, produced by Justin Begnaud (M.F.A. ’10, Film and Television) and Sina Sayyah, has been nominated for a Best First Feature Award by the 30th Film Independent Spirit Awards. A critical darling at January’s Sundance Film Festival, this is the latest in a series of awards nominations for the black-and-white Iranian vampire western and its filmmakers. On Monday, Dec. 1, Amirpour received the Gotham Independent Film Awards' Breakthrough Director Award. Other recognition includes a win at the Deauville Film Festival, two wins at the Sitges Catalonian International Film Festival and a nomination at the Hawaii International Film Festival. Another UCLA TFT alumnus, Nick Moceri (M.F.A. ’10, Film and Television), was an executive producer on the film.

Amirpour is also one of three nominees, along with Chris Eska (M.F.A. ’03, Film and Television), director of The Retrieval, for the 21st annual Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award, which is handed out during the Spirit Awards ceremony. The award acknowledges “a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition” and includes a $25,000 grant.

Another Best First Feature Spirit Awards nominee, Dear White People, has a UCLA TFT connection as well: Topher Osborn (M.F.A., ’08, Film and Television) was the cinematographer of the film, which was written, directed and produced by Justin Simien.

The 30th Film Independent Spirit Awards will take place on Saturday, Feb. 21 in Santa Monica. For the first time, the ceremony will also air live on IFC at 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET.

Posted: December 1, 2014