Tuesday, February 21, 2023


Hasan Minhaj, Eric Hobbs photo credit

March 4 Awards Show to Follow the Return of the In-Person
Directors Close-Up Series from February 26th – March 1st

Film Independent, the nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering independence and inclusivity in visual storytelling, announced this morning the presenters at the 2023 Film Independent Spirit Awards. 

Joining host Hasan Minhaj, these presenters will reveal the award recipients at the Santa Monica beach on Saturday, March 4 at 2pm PST, streamed live on IMDb’s YouTube channel, as well as Film Independent’s YouTube and Twitter accounts. 

The Spirit Awards are Film Independent’s largest annual celebration,  making year-round programming for filmmakers and film-loving audiences possible while amplifying the voices of independent storytellers and celebrating their diversity, originality, and uniqueness of vision.

The lineup of presenters will be headlined by Austin Butler, Beatrice Grannò, Sharon Horgan, Michaela Jae Rodriguez, Troy Kotsur, Haley Lu Richardson, Melanie Lynskey, Taylour Paige, and Jenny Slate, among others to be announced before the show. They will be joining the previously-announced Honorary Co-Chairs, Academy Award-winners, and Film Independent Fellows Chloé Zhao and Siân Heder.

The Spirit Awards will follow the return of Film Independent’s Directors Close-Up (DCU) series, which began on February 1 and wraps up with three in-person events from February 26 to March 1. The signature program, now in its 22nd year, is devoted to exploring the art and craft of directing, celebrating the directors, writers, and creators nominated at this year’s Spirit Awards. As an official part of the month-long ramp-up to the awards ceremony, the online and in-person panels feature in-depth discussions with the most celebrated filmmakers of the past year. 

This year’s DCU boasts yet another mammoth line-up of critically acclaimed visual storytellers from around the globe. In a continuation of last year’s format, the schedule features ten sessions, each devoted to a different Spirit Awards nominee category, plus additional special guests from the blockbuster and international film and tv worlds. The series offers creators and enthusiasts of film and TV a unique opportunity to hear acclaimed artists discussing specific aspects of their craft in-depth. The first virtual sessions of the program are currently available online and will conclude with in-person live events at the program’s new home, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, on February 26, February 28, and March 1.
“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with The Wallis, bringing to their stage our signature programs Film Independent Presents and Directors Close-Up on the eve of the Film Independent Spirit Awards,” said Josh Welsh, President of Film Independent. “Like the Spirit Awards themselves, this year’s line-up is a true confluence of bold, original filmmakers who are creating the most provocative and imaginative work  today.” 

The Wallis sessions will take place in partnership with Film Independent’s year-round screening and special events program, Film Independent Presents.

February 26: 5:00 pm PST – Directing Frame by Frame: Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson. This special evening will explore the fascinating world of stop-motion animation, with key members of Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio. Learn how each frame was handcrafted from the ground up by the talented artists who created the puppets and brought them to life, featuring: Guillermo del Toro (Writer/Director/Producer), Mark Gustafson (Director), Brian Leif Hansen (Animation Supervisor) and Georgina Hayns (Director of Character Fabrication). 
February 28: 7:30 pm PST – Casting and Directing Actors: Shrinking with Creator Jason Segel and TeamShrinking creator, the multi-talented actor, writer, and producer Jason Segel, is joined by his collaborators for a deep dive into the process of bringing to the screen believable characters and memorable performances, featuring: Jason Segel (Creator/Actor), James Ponsoldt (Director), Jessica Williams (Actor) and casting directors Brett Benner CSA and Debby Romano CSA. From every different point of view, we will hear about what’s behind a great performance, as the team discusses the ways in which they collaborate.
March 1: 7:30 pm PST - The Spirit of Independence - 2023 Film Independent  Spirit Awards Best Director and Best Feature nominees Todd Field (Tár), Film Independent Fellow Ellie Foumbi (Our Father, the Devil), Daniel Kwan (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Sarah Polley (Women Talking), Halina Reijn (Bodies Bodies Bodies) and Daniel Scheinert (Everything Everywhere All at Once) will discuss their films, their careers, and how they stay true to their personal, artistic visions in the commercial marketplace. Moderated by Josh Welsh, President of Film Independent.

Attendees are invited to join a celebratory reception immediately after each event on-site at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Beverages are provided by Bulleit Frontier Whiskey, FIJI Water, Peroni, and Jamshid Wine. 
View the entire schedule, as well as how to attend here.

The sessions will be available on demand, exclusively to pass holders, after the series concludes on March 1.  

Past DCU panelists have included Ben Affleck, Sean Baker, Radha Blank, Alfonso Cuarón, Lee Isaac Chung, Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris, Lena Dunham, Ava DuVernay, Emerald Fennell, David Fincher, Greta Gerwig, Emily V. Gordon, Eliza Hittman, Nicole Holofcener, Barry Jenkins, Richard Linklater, Steve McQueen, Kumail Nanjiani, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Issa Rae, Kelly Reichardt, Josh & Benny Safdie, Justin Simien, Joey Soloway, Denis Villeneuve, Chloé Zhao, Benh Zeitlin and many more.  

The 2023 Directors Close-Up is supported by Director’s Guild of America, SAGindie, IMDb, and Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. The Film Independent Spirit Awards are supported by Principal Partner IMDb and Official Partners Bulleit Frontier Whiskey, FIJI Water and GreenSlate. The Official Hotel is Hotel Casa del Mar. Getty Images is the Official Photographer.

Closed captioning will be available for the Film Independent Spirit Awards stream and Directors Close-Up series. Film Independent is committed to hosting events that are accessible.

For inquiries regarding accessibility, or to request accommodation, please contact us at or 323-556-9305. 

Individual tickets for the in-person events are $35 per program and are on sale now. The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills.

To purchase tickets and for more information, please call 310-746-4000 or visit

To learn more about supporting Film Independent’s mission and programs or attending the Spirit Awards, contact Kate Walker D’Angelo at  

The full list of this year’s nominees can be found here. The winners of the Film Independent Spirit Awards are voted on by Film Independent Members. Membership is open to the public.
Film Independent’s mission is to champion creative independence in visual storytelling in all its forms and to foster a culture of inclusion, supporting a global community of artists and audiences who embody diversity, innovation, curiosity, and uniqueness of vision.
In addition to producing the Film Independent Spirit Awards, the organization supports visual storytellers with Artist Development programs – Labs, grants, and fiscal sponsorship – now in their 30th year. Signature mentorship program Project Involve fosters the careers of talented filmmakers from underrepresented communities. Global Media Makers, a cultural exchange program produced in partnership with the U.S. Department of State, provides career-building opportunities for international film professionals. Education programs equip filmmakers of all ages and experience levels with tools and resources. The year-round screening program Film Independent Presents delivers a robust slate of unique cinematic experiences to Members in Los Angeles and beyond.
For more information or to become a Member, visit

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