After joining several critics’ organizations in an effort to be more inclusive in recognizing performance excellence, the Film Independent Spirit Awards have created an all-new category to add to their roster: Best Breakthrough Performance in a New Scripted Series.
The 2024 ceremony, to be held on Sunday, Feb. 25th, will be the first to contain this new category, intended for performances in scripted series. Like the pre-existing film and television awards, it will be non-gendered, rather than split into separate gender-based categories. The inaugural bracket will cap at five nominees, versus the 10 for the other performance categories.
Additionally, the Toronto-based Hot Docs Film Festival has officially been added as an acceptable qualifier for films seeking qualification for the current season.
“We could not be more excited to welcome Hot Docs as a qualifying festival for the Spirit Awards and to expand our recognition of actors with the category of Best Breakthrough Performance in a New Scripted Series,” said Josh Welsh, President of Film Independent. “We’re thrilled to open submissions for the 2024 Film Independent Spirit Awards and to celebrate the very best film and television that came out in this most turbulent year.”
Last year, the Independent Spirits adopted gender neutrality in their performance categories for both film and television (as does the MTV Movie Awards, L.A. Film Critics’ Association and Gotham Awards, for instance), with one winner chosen out of 10 per roster. The 2023 winners for lead and supporting acting in a film were Oscar-winners Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan for “Everything Everywhere All at Once“, and the TV side honored Quinta Brunson in “Abbott Elementary” and Ayo Edibiri for “The Bear”, both Emmy nominees this year as well. (Edibiri also memorably played Brunson’s younger sister in “Abbott” this past season as well.)
The 2024 Film Independent Spirit Awards will be held on Sunday, Feb. 25, currently two weeks ahead of the 2024 Oscars on March 10. The ceremony is historically broadcast on the IFC channel, however, official information on a televised airing is expected to be announced soon.
For more information on the Spirit Awards and eligibility, visit spiritawards.com for additional details.