Film Independent has named the winners of three unrestricted $25,000 Spirit Awards cash grants for emerging filmmakers: Alex Camilleri, Lizzie Shapiro and Jessica Beshir. The announcements were made by Ekwa Msangi (“Farewell Amor”), Gerry Kim (“I’m No Longer Here”) and Elegance Bratton (“Pier Kids”), who received the grants last year.
Camilleri, director of “Luzzu,” received the Someone to Watch Award. The award is in its 28th year and recognizes talented filmmakers of singular vision who have not yet received appropriate recognition. Finalists for the award were Michael Sarnoski, director of “Pig” and Gillian Wallace Horvat, director of “I Blame Society.”
Shapiro, producer of “Shiva Baby,” received the Producers Award. The award honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality, independent films. The award is in its 25th year. Finalists included Brad Becker-Parton, who produced “Italian Studies” and Pin-Chun Liu, who produced “Test Pattern.”
Beshir, director of “Faya Dayi,” received the Truer Than Fiction Award. The award, in its 27th year, is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. Finalists for the award were Angelo Madsen Minax, director of “North By Current,” and Debbie Lum, director of “Try Harder!”
“We are truly thrilled to announce our 2022 Emerging Filmmaker Grant recipients,” said Film Independent president Josh Welsh. “With the announcement of these three new grant recipients, we celebrate some of the most talented emerging writers, producers and directors working today in fiction and non-fiction. We can’t wait to see what they do next!”