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Helpful Tips for the Film Independent Spirit Awards

Published on February 15, 2024

The 39th Film Independent Spirit Awards are returning to Santa Monica — and they’ll take place right next door to the world-famous Santa Monica Pier on Sunday February 25.

The Independent Spirit Awards, which have been running since 1984, celebrate some of the year’s most acclaimed films and filmmakers. For the third consecutive year, the awards will also recognize outstanding achievement in television and streaming — including Best New Scripted Series, Best New Non-Scripted or Documentary Series, and Best Ensemble Cast. Additionally, all acting categories are now gender neutral.

So, who are the film frontrunners?  American Fiction, May December and Past Lives are leading the way with five nominations each including Best Feature. Lead actors from these same films are vying for Best Lead Performance: Jeffrey Wright (American Fiction), Natalie Portman (May December), and Greta Lee (Past Lives), as well as seven other talented hopefuls.

Hosting this year’s awards is Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Aidy Bryant, which is great news for comedy fans. Bryant is known for her long-running work on Saturday Night Live and her starring role in the sitcom Shrill.

Please note that parking and foot traffic may be affected during the Spirit Awards. From February 15 to March 5, the popular Lot 1 North Beach parking lot adjacent to the Pier will be transformed into a glamorous award show location, occupying many of the parking spaces. So, we’ve put together some helpful hints to make your visit to the Santa Monica Pier a breeze — even in the weeks surrounding the Film Independent Spirit Awards.


Where is the best place to park for the Santa Monica Pier during the Spirit Awards?

During the Spirit Awards, we encourage visitors of the Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park  to arrive via public transportation or to consider parking in other Santa Monica beach lots. If space is available, you can pay to park directly on the Pier. Short-term parking is available at 1640 Appian Way and is open from sunrise to sunset.

Some of the best places to park are the City-owned lots. In most of these parking structures, the first 90 minutes are free. The closest one to the Pier is located on the corner of 2nd and Colorado (just one block away from the Pier). For more parking tips and information, click here.

Where can I park to visit the beach during the Spirit Awards?

There are several lots located along the beach (throughout the North, Central, and South Beach zones) that offer parking from sunrise to sunset. Parking rates vary so please check the City of Santa Monica Parking website for updated information.

What are the Spirit Awards?

The Film Independent Spirit Awards is the premiere award show for the independent film community.  The ceremony is produced by Film Independent, a not-for-profit arts organization, and serves as Film Independent’s annual fundraising gala.  Film Independent members vote to determine the winners of the Spirit Awards

When are the Spirit Awards?

Sunday, February 25, 2024.

Where do the Spirit Awards take place?

Lot 1 North Beach parking lot, located immediately north of the Santa Monica Pier at 1550 Appian Way, Santa Monica, California.

Can I attend the awards ceremony?

Due to limited seating and tables, individual tickets to the Spirit Awards are exclusively offered to members of the Arts Circle — Film Independent’s annual giving group. Tables may be available to purchase. To learn more about the Arts Circle and how to become a member, click here.

Who has been nominated for the Spirit Awards?

For a list of the 2024 Film Independent Spirit Awards categories and nominees, click here. 

Can I watch the stars arrive on the carpet?

Yes! Ask any of the Film Independent staff located at the general entrances to direct you to the fan pit. Here, you’ll have a great view of the stars walking the carpet but be sure to arrive early and be prepared to wait in line. The fan pit operates on a “first come, first served” basis.

Where can I watch the Spirit Awards?

The show will livestream on both Film Independent’s and IMDb’s YouTube channels among other social media platforms on Sunday, February 25, 2:00 pm PT / 5:00 pm ET.