Nikyatu Jusu is running an Indie Spirit Awards for spelling his name

The Sundance Award-winning director also noted the “lonely path” of being a filmmaker, especially as a woman of color.

Nikyatu Jusu won the 2022 Sundance Grand Jury Prize for his first feature, “Nanny,” which was distributed by Amazon Studios last fall, but his presence was otherwise largely absent from the 2022-2023 awards circuit, despite the film’s acclaimed and high. -profile edition. At Saturday afternoon’s Film Independent Spirit Awards, Jusu picked up the Someone to Watch award – but his name was actually misspelled on the trophy. Jusu cried out during the ceremony, then again backstage.

“I’m so excited! Even if you spelled my name wrong,” Jusu said as she accepted the award at the Santa Monica Tent. But behind the scenes at the press tent, Jusu also called attention to the general shortcomings of women and people of color, which she feels are it’s awards season, and he also pointed out that he feels the awards cycle is largely irrelevant as an artist.

“The Oscar is not my focus, but because of my career, it’s forced upon us as a barometer of excellence,” Jusu told reporters backstage, after also admitting his name was misspelled at the Someone to Watch award he received. .

“It’s very lonely, especially when you’re a token,” he said of the awards show’s campaign trail. Overall, he described filmmaking as a “lonely path” behind the scenes at the Independent Spirit Awards.

“A lot of us are drawn to the Oscars,” he said, but of his fellow nominees, he added: “It’s really inspiring to see these amazing, brilliant innovators. It reminds me that I am not alone.”

“’Nanny’ was a project I had been working on for eight or nine years, and it was (my producing partner) Nikkia (Moulterie)’s favorite of my ideas,” Jusu told IndieWire last year. “He always held my feet to the fire to revisit. In the last couple of years, we started getting into all the labs at once, and that’s when it gained all the traction. This hurry up and wait aspect is a testament to this industry. You’re constantly sprinting these deadlines, but the industry is on its own time.”

Here are all the 2023 Film Independent Spirit Award winners.

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