Carol film
Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara have both been nominated for best female lead at the Spirit Awards for their performances in Carol StudioCanal

On 24 November, the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards made a somewhat damp announcement of its nominations list which managed to get leaked a couple of hours in advance due to a technical glitch at Film Independent.

According to the list, Carol, a lesbian romance starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, is in the lead with six nominations. African civil war film Beasts of No Nation follows with five nominations and Spotlight, Tangerine and Anomalisa with four each.

Spirit Film Awards Nominations
Film Independent President Josh Welsh, left, with hosts Elizabeth Olsen and John Boyega at the Spirit Awards nominations press conference in Hollywood Alberto E Rodriguez/Getty Images

At the nominee announcement event, Film Independent President Josh Welsh pointed out the growing number of female filmmakers being recognised. ""One of the things that excites me about this year is that there are 44 films that received nominations and across those 44 films, 32% of them are directed by women and 34% are directed by people of colour," he said. "I think they should be higher, but to me, it's a promising sign."

Award winners will be announced on 27 February, the day before the Oscars, in a ceremony on California's Santa Monica Beach.

Here is the complete list of nominees:

Best Feature
Beasts of No Nation

Best Director
Sean Baker, Tangerine
Cary Joji Fukunaga, Beasts of No Nation
Todd Haynes, Carol
Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson, Anomalisa
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
David Robert Mitchell, It Follows

Best Screenplay
Charlie Kaufman, Anomalisa
Donald Margulies, The End of the Tour
Phyllis Nagy, Carol
Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer, Spotlight
S Craig Zahler, Bone Tomahawk

Best First Feature
The Diary of a Teenage Girl
James White
Manos Sucias
Songs My Brothers Taught Me

Best First Screenplay
Jesse Andrews, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Joseph Carpignano, Mediterranea
Emma Donoghue, Room
Marielle Heller, The Diary of a Teenage Girl
John Magary, Russell Harbaugh, Myna Joseph, The Mend

Best Male Lead
Christopher Abbott, James White
Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation
Ben Mendelsohn, Mississippi Grind
Jason Segel, The End of the Tour
Koudous Seihon, Mediterranea

Best Female Lead
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Bel Powley, The Diary of A Teenage Girl
Kitana Kiki Rodriquez, Tangerine

Best Supporting Male
Kevin Corrigan, Results
Paul Dano, Love & Mercy
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Richard Jenkins, Bone Tomahawk
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes

Best Supporting Female
Robin Bartlett, H.
Marin Ireland, Glass Chin
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Anomalisa
Cynthia Nixon, James White
Mya Taylor, Tangerine

Best Documentary
Best of Enemies
Heart of Dog
The Look of Silence
The Russian Woodpecker

Best International Film
Embrace the Serpent (Colombia); Director: Ciro Guerra
Girlhood (France); Director: Céline Sciamma
Mustang (France, Turkey); Director: Deniz Gamze Ergüven
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (Sweden); Director: Roy Andersson
Son of Saul (Hungary); Director: László Nemes

Best Cinematography
Beasts of No Nation, Cary Joji Fukunaga
Carol, Ed Lachman
It Follows, Michael Gioulakis
Meadlowland, Reed Morano
Songs My Brothers Taught Me, Joshua James Richards

Best Editing
Manos Sucias, Kristan Sprague
Heaven Knows What, Ronald Bronstein and Benny Safdie
It Follows, Julio C. Perez IV
Room, Nathan Nugent
Spotlight, Tom McArdle

John Cassavetes Award (Best Feature Under $500,000/ £330,808)
Given to the best feature made for under $500,000 ((£330,808). Award given to the writer, director and producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.

Writer/Director/Producer: Jennifer Phang
Writer/Producer: Jacqueline Kim
Producers: Robert Chang, Ken Jeong, Moon Molson, Theresa Navarro

Christmas, Again
Writer/Director/Producer: Charles Poekel

Heaven Knows What
Directors: Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie
Writers: Ronald Bronstein, Josh Safdie
Producers: Oscar Boyson, Sebastian Bear McClard

Writer/Director/Producer: Trey Edward Shults
Producers: Justin R. Chan, Chase Joliet, Wilson Smith

Out of My Hand
Writer/Director: Takeshi Fukunaga
Writer/Producer: Donari Braxton
Producer: Mike Fox

Robert Altman Award (Best Ensemble)
Given to one film's director, casting director and ensemble cast

Director: Tom McCarthy
Casting Directors: Kerry Barden and Paul Schnee
Ensemble Cast: Billy Crudup, Paul Guilfoyle, Neal Huff, Brian d'Arcy James, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, Jamey Sheridan, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci

Someone to Watch Award
The 22nd annual Someone to Watch Award recognises a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 (£16,540) unrestricted grant.

God Bless the Child
Directors: Robert Machoian & Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck

King Jack
Director: Felix Thompson

Songs My Brothers Taught Me
Director: Chloé Zhao

Producers Award
The 19th annual Producers Award honours emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality, independent films. The award includes a $25,000 (£16,540) unrestricted grant.

Darren Dean
Mel Eslyn
Rebecca Green and Laura D Smith

21st Truer Than Fiction Award
The 21st annual Truer Than Fiction Award is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award includes a $25,000 (£16,540) unrestricted grant.

Among the Believers
Directors: Mohammed Ali Naqvi and Hemal Trivedi

Director: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

A Woman Like Me
Directors: Elizabeth Giamatti and Alex Sichel