Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award

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The Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award is presented to the creative team of a film budgeted at less than $500,000 by Film Independent, a non-profit organization dedicated to independent film and independent filmmakers. It is named after actor/screenwriter/director John Cassavetes, a pioneer of American independent film.

During the first year, the award was given to a feature film that featured a first-time director with the film being budgeted under $500,000. Films budgeted higher were eligible for the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature. In 2001, the award was given to any feature film budgeted under $500,000 regardless of how many films the director has made.





  • 2014: TBA
    • Blue Ruin – Writer/Director: Jeremy Saulnier, Producers: Richard Peete, Vincent Savino and Anish Savjani
    • It Felt Like Love – Writer/Director/Producer: Eliza Hittman, Producers: Shrihari Sathe and Laura Wagner
    • Land Ho! – Writers/Directors: Aaron Katz and Martha Stephens, Producers: Christina Jennings, Mynette Louie and Sara Murphy
    • Man from Reno – Writer/Director: Dave Boyle, Writers: Joel Clark and Michael Lerman, Producer: Ko Mori
    • Test – Writer/Director: Chris Mason Johnson, Producer: Chris Martin

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