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Spirit Awards Go Gender Neutral And Increase Budget Cap For 2023

Jan 4, 2023

In a surprise move, Film Independent shook up their annual Independent Spirit Awards this morning. The hipper sibling of the Oscars became yet another awards show to make the change to gender-neutral for its awards categories. What was a more eyebrow-raising surprise, however, is that the Spirit Awards have increased their budget qualification for each film to no more than $30 million.
READ MORE: Seven takeaways from the 2022 Independent Spirit Awards
As noted by the organization in a press release, the cap to qualify for the Spirits was $20 million in 2006 and then jumped to $22.5 million in 2019. With many streamers now giving filmmakers higher budgets over the past five years the later figure was disqualifying a number of expected nominees. Whether this is too big a jump will be determined by the slate of jury-selected nominees next year. A good chunk of the last decade included nominees that were criticized as too similar to the Oscars and less about that “independent spirit” (although you could easily argue The Academy became more indie). Whether those concerns pop up again is a storyline to watch. That being said, the new acting categories are the biggest change for the general public.
The Spirit Awards will now have a Lead Performance and Supporting Performance award of 10 nominees each for both Film and Television. There will also be a new Breakthrough Performance award of five nominees for Film performances only.
SPIRIT AWARDS PERFORMANCE CATEGORIES – FILM
Best Lead Performance (10 nominees)Best Supporting Performance (10 nominees)Best Breakthrough Performance (5 nominees) *new awardSPIRIT AWARDS PERFORMANCE CATEGORIES – TELEVISION
Best Lead Performance in a New Scripted Series (10 nominees)Best Supporting Performance in a New Scripted Series (10 nominees) *new awardIn a statement, longtime Film Independent President Josh Welsh noted, “We’re thrilled to join the other festivals and award shows that are already moving to celebrate great acting without reference to gender. We’re also happy to welcome non-binary performers into the Spirit Awards without forcing them to choose to identify as male or female. 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.”
Other award shows to go the gender-neutral route include The Grammys, The Gotham Awards, The British Independent Film Awards, and the MTV Movie & TV Awards.
In other notes, the Spirit Awards are waiving the theatrical run typically required for eligibility for the third year in a row. This will allow films such as “Good Luck Leo Grande” and “Fire Island” to qualify.
Additionally, Film Independent revealed that the 2023 ceremony will take place on Saturday, March 4, 2023. That will place it the weekend before the Academy Awards which are currently scheduled for Sunday, March 12, 2023. This will be the second year in a row the Spirits have carved out their own weekend.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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