Never Rarely Sometimes Always Leads 2021 Film Independent Spirit Award Nominations

On Tuesday, Jan. 26, the 2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards nominees were announced, with writer-director Eliza Hittman’s (Film/Video MFA 10) Never Rarely Sometimes Always leading the pack with seven nominations.

Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Hittman’s third feature, follows Autumn (Sidney Flanigan) and her cousin Skylar (Talia Ryder), two Pennsylvanian teenage girls who embark on a fraught journey to New York City in the face of an unintended pregnancy. Hittman worked on the American British drama alongside editor and fellow CalArtian Scott Cummings (Film/Video MFA 07). The film’s nominations are as follows:

Best Feature
Best Director (Eliza Hittman)
Best Screenplay (Eliza Hittman)
Best Female Lead (Sidney Flanigan)
Best Supporting Female (Talia Ryder)
Best Cinematography (Hélène Louvart)
Best Editing (Scott Cummings)

Never Rarely Sometimes Always previously won the US Dramatic Special Jury Award in Neo-Realism at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and the Best Screenplay from the New York Film Critics Circle.

Read more about the film in an exclusive interview with Hittman in Issue 7 of The Pool.

Also among the nominees was Jay Keitel (Film/Video BFA 05) for Best Cinematography for She Dies Tomorrow, a horror-fantasy from writer-director Amy Seimetz.

In an interview last year with Variety about the film, Keitel credits his time at CalArts studying experimental filmmaking and animation in influencing his choices for the film:

Such background pushes him to go beyond traditional narrative form. In Amy Seimetz’s sophomore feature “She Dies Tomorrow,” (bowing across virtual cinemas this weekend) about a woman (Kate Lyn Sheil) certain she is living her final hours, he got to dive into abstract visuals and unorthodox lighting choices for powerful sensorial stimulation.

The 36th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards ceremony is set to air Thursday, April 22 at 7 pm PST on IFC and AMC+.

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