The Film Independent Spirit Awards are planning to move their 2022 ceremony to earlier in March and away from its traditional date on the Saturday immediately before the Oscars.
The 2022 Spirit Awards, entering its 37th year, will now take place March 6 as a means of branching out to a wider audience and separating from the Oscars, which are set for three weeks later on March 27. It’s also an opportunity for the Spirits to stake out a larger place in the awards calendar given the absence of the Golden Globes in 2022.
The move also puts it ahead of the Oscar nominees luncheon and when final balloting for Oscar voting begins, suggesting that the winners at the ceremony could have a better chance of influencing Academy Awards voters.
2021’s Indie Spirits also shifted from tradition, going virtual for its ceremony and taking place in a primetime slot on the Thursday ahead of the Oscars. The show also recently added TV awards for the first time this past year, and while the nominees and winners generally overlap with the Oscars, it has at times produced a more eclectic and diverse group of honorees. Last year, “Nomadland” won four awards including Best Picture (which also won the Oscar), but the 2021 crop of nominees was led by indie darling “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” with seven nominations.
The Spirit Awards are the primary fundraiser for the non-profit Film Independent’s year-round programs.
“The Spirit Awards have always championed diverse, unique, independent storytelling; shifting earlier in the awards season will allow us to shine an even brighter light on the films and shows we are excited to celebrate,” Josh Welsh, president of Film Independent, said in a statement.
The 36th Film Independent Spirit Awards was hosted by “SNL” star Melissa Villaseñor. And the 2020 ceremony won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Writing Team for a Daytime Non-Fiction Special.
Deadline first reported the news.