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‘Krisha’ Sweeps the Inaugural American Independent Film Awards

Written by on February 19, 2017 

Krisha

As the definition of an independent film has shifted with the ever-expanding budget divide in American filmmaking — particularly Hollywood cutting back on its mid-range projects — when it comes time for awards season, it’s often only the highest profile of “indie films” that get recognized. While we do our best to recognize the films that often get unfortunately, a new awards has launched that honors the best of truly independent American cinema, featuring films all under a $1 million budget.

Aptly titled the American Independent Film Awards (aka AIFAs), they were voted on by international film festival programmers, U.S. based film festival programmers, and North American film critics (including yours truly.) “First and foremost, we would like to thank all film producers and distribution companies who helped us identify qualifying films and outline the categories. We’d also like to thank the international and American based film festival programmers, and North American film critics for their general enthusiasm and support we received for this new initiative,” says executive director Eric Lavallée, who launched the AIFAs alongside Mike S. Ryan, Michael Tully, Sabrina Coulston, Dan Schoenbrun, and Taylor Hess.

They’ve now unveiled the winners, led by Trey Edward ShultsKrisha (now streaming on Amazon Prime), which won Best Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Lead Performance, and Best Score. Also among the award recipients was The Fits for Best Cinematography and Kate Plays Christine, which picked up Best Editing and Best Improvisational Screenplay. We also have to commend any awards body for giving two prizes to The Greasy Strangler.

Check out the winners below, highlighted in red and bolded.

BEST FILM (10 Noms)
Always Shine – Director: Sophia Takal
Producers: Lawrence Michael Levine, Sophia Takal, Pierce Varous

Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party – Director: Stephen Cone
Producers: Stephen Cone, Laura Klein, Shane Simmons

Kate Plays Christine – Director: Robert Greene
Producers: Susan Bedusa, Douglas Tirola

Krisha – Director: Trey Edward Shults
Producers: Justin R. Chan, Chase Joliet, Trey Edward Shults, Wilson Smith

Little Sister – Director: Zach Clark
Producers: Zach Clark, Daryl Pittman, Melodie Sisk

The Eyes of My Mother – Director: Nicolas Pesce
Producers: Max Born, Jacob Wasserman, Schuyler Weiss

The Fits – Director: Anna Rose Holmer
Producers: Anna Rose Holmer, Lisa Kjerulff

The Invitation – Director: Karyn Kusama
Producers: Martha Griffin, Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi, Nick Spicer

The Other Side – Director: Roberto Minervini
Producers: Paolo Benzi, Muriel Meynard, Dario Zonta

White Girl – Director: Elizabeth Wood
Producers: Gabriel Nussbaum

BEST DIRECTOR (5 Noms)
Robert Greene, Kate Plays Christine
Trey Edward Shults, Krisha
Zach Clark, Little Sister
Anna Rose Holmer, The Fits
Karyn Kusama, The Invitation

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY (5 Noms) *
Stephen Cone, Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party
Trey Edward Shults, Krisha
Zach Clark, Little Sister
Saela Davis, Anna Rose Holmer, Lisa Kjerulff, The Fits
Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi, The Invitation
Elizabeth Wood, White Girl

BEST IMPROVISATIONAL SCREENPLAY (3 Noms)
Blue Jay
collective: unconscious
Kate Plays Christine

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE (7 Noms)
Mackenzie Davis, Always Shine
Kate Lyn Sheil, Kate Plays Christine
Krisha Fairchild, Krisha
Addison Timlin, Little Sister
Jesse Plemons, Other People
Royalty Hightower, The Fits
Morgan Saylor, White Girl

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE (7 Noms)
Caitlin FitzGerald, Always Shine
Edwina Findley, Free in Deed
Keith Poulson, Little Sister
Ally Sheedy, Little Sister
Molly Shannon, Other People
Tammy Blanchard, The Invitation
John Carroll Lynch, The Invitation

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHER (3 Noms)
Drew Daniels, Krisha
Zach Kuperstein, The Eyes of My Mother
Paul Yee, The Fits

BEST EDITOR (3 Noms)
Robert Greene, Kate Plays Christine
Trey Edward Shults, Krisha
Saela Davis, The Fits

BEST COSTUME DESIGN (3 Noms)
Hannah Kittell, Kate Plays Christine
Elizabeth Crum, Men Go To Battle
Christina Blackaller, The Greasy Strangler

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN (3 Noms) **
Soojin Chang, Charlotte Royer, Paul Tate dePoo III, Mar Urrestarazu, Timothy Whidbee, collective: unconscious
John Fergason, Creative Control
Chelsea Oliver Embers
Sam Hensen, The Eyes of My Mother
Charlotte Royer, The Fits
Jason Kisvarday, The Greasy Strangler

BEST HAIR & MAKE-UP (3 Noms)
Janine Maloney/Cat Martin, The Eyes of My Mother
Danielle Mueller, The Fits
Michelle Sfarzo, The Greasy Strangler

BEST SCORE (3 Noms)
Daniel Garcia, Jesse Gelaznik, Kazu Makino, Alex Weston, H.
Brian McOmber, Krisha
Saunder Jurriaans and Danny Bensi, The Fits

THE MICHAEL CIMINO BEST FILM AWARD (Films with a budget between 1M to 3M)
Certain Women – Producers: Neil Kopp, Vincent Savino, Anish Savjani / Director: Kelly Reichardt
The Love Witch – Producer/Director: Anna Biller

THE NOBUDGE FILM AWARD
Claire Carré’s Embers
Bingham Bryant and Kyle Molzan’s For the Plasma
Benjamin Crotty’s Fort Buchanan
Stephen Cone’s Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party
Robert G. Putka’s Mad

* Best Original Screenplay: Tie means six nominations.

** Best Production Design: Tie means six nominations

See more at americanindependentfilmawards.com.


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