Could these Brits shake up awards season?

Could these Brits shake up awards season?

British actors Riz Ahmed, Carey Mulligan and Michaela Coel were among the nominees for this year’s Independent Spirit Awards.

The awards honour the best in independent film; and often indicate who could win an Oscar.

Ahmed was nominated in the male lead category for his portrayal of a heavy metal drummer struggling with losing his hearing in Sound Of Metal.

Mulligan was recognised for her role as Cassie in Promising Young Woman.

The film – the directorial debut by star of The Crown and best director/best screenplay nominee Emerald Fennell – sees Mulligan’s character seeking to avenge her best friend’s rape.

Ahmed is nominated in the same category as the late Chadwick Boseman for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The drama, about a blues singer, is up against First Cow and Minari for the best feature gong, as well as Never Rarely Sometimes Always and Nomadland.

The nominees were announced in a video shared online on Tuesday evening; hosted by directors Olivia Wilde and Barry Jenkins, and actress Laverne Cox.

One of the awards that has already been decided on is best ensemble cast in a new scripted TV series, which went to Coel and her co-stars in I May Destroy You.

The drama series finds protagonist Arabella trying to piece her life back together after being sexually assaulted on a night out.

The show is also up for best new scripted series, in a field which includes Sir Steve McQueen’s Small Axe anthology series, chronicling the lives of West Indian immigrants in London from the 1960s to the 1980s.

Both Small Axe and I May Destroy You could go on to be recognised at the Golden Globe nominations next week, which cover both film and TV.

The Independent Spirit Awards ceremony usually takes place on the beach in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, on the eve of the Academy Awards.

But this year, due to the disruption caused by Covid-19, they will take place on 22 April – the Thursday before the big Sunday night.

There is often some overlap between the winners at the Independent Spirit Awards and the winners at the Academy Awards.

For example, Renée Zellweger was named best actress at both ceremonies for her portrayal of Judy Garland last year.

In 2018, the two ceremonies agreed on three of the four acting category winners – Sam Rockwell, Allison Janney and Frances McDormand.

However, that is not always the case.

Because the Oscars consider all films, and not just those made independently, many movies which do well at the Independent Spirit Awards may not necessarily break through to the the more crowded Academy field.

Last year’s main Spirit winners The Farewell, Uncut Gems and Booksmart were all snubbed at the Oscars.

The Academy has said it is exploring how to hold an in-person ceremony, two months later than normal.

Director Steven Soderbergh has been asked to “re-envision” this year’s event in the wake of the pandemic.

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