Indiana Film Journalists Association

Promoting Film Criticism Across the Hoosier State

IFJA Announces 2021 Award Winners

The Indiana Film Journalists Association has named Mass, an intimate and harrowing drama about two sets of parents facing off over a shared tragedy, as Best Film of the Year. It won four awards total, including Best Original Screenplay for Fran Kranz, the first-time writer/director who also was named Breakout of the Year, and Best Ensemble Acting for the cast of Reed Birney, Ann Dowd, Jason Isaacs and Martha Plimpton.

Drive My Car, a Japanese drama about loss and connections, was runner-up for Best Film and also won Best Foreign Language Film and Best Adapted Screenplay for Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Takamasa Oe.

Eight other films were voted Finalists for Best Film, collectively with the winner and runner-up representing the IFJA’s Top 10 of the Year.

Kristen Stewart took Best Actress for Spencer and Gaby Hoffmann won Best Supporting Actress for C’mon C’mon. Oscar Isaac was named Best Actor for The Card Counter and Troy Kotsur of CODA won Best Supporting Actor.

Best Director went to Jane Campion for The Power of the Dog, her first feature film in 12 years, which also won Best Musical Score for composer Jonny Greenwood. Other winners include Flee as Best Animated Film and Olivia Colman for Best Vocal/Motion Capture Performance for The Mitchells vs. the Machines.

The IFJA’s Original Vision Award, recognizing a film with innovative and distinct storytelling, went to Annette for its expressive and daring approach to the musical genre. 

Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time, a documentary about the life and work of the Indiana author, was the winner of the Edward Johnson-Ott Hoosier Award, which recognizes a significant cinematic contribution by a person or persons with roots in Indiana or a film that depicts Hoosier State locales and stories. It was also named Best Documentary.

IFJA members issued this statement for the Edward Johnson-Ott Hoosier Award, which was renamed earlier this year upon the passing of our beloved founding member: 

“Robert B. Weide’s extraordinary undertaking to document the life and writings of Indianapolis’ iconic native son leaps beyond mere biography, also chronicling the friendship that grew between filmmaker and subject over the course of decades. The resulting film gives a far richer and more revealing portrait of Kurt Vonnegut and his creative life than seen in any medium.”

Below is a complete list of winners and runners-up in all IFJA categories:



Runner-Up: Drive My Car

Other Finalists (listed alphabetically):


The Card Counter

C’mon C’mon


The Green Knight

The Last Duel

Pig (2021)

The Power of the Dog



Winner: Flee

Runner-Up: Luca



Winner: Drive My Car

Runner-Up: Lamb



Winner: Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time

Runner-Up: Procession



Winner: Fran Kranz, Mass

Runner-Up: Mike Mills, C’mon C’mon



Winner: Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Takamasa Oe, Drive My Car

Runner-Up: Nicole Holofcener, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, The Last Duel



Winner: Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog

Runner-Up:  Fran Kranz, Mass



Winner: Kristen Stewart, Spencer

Runner-Up: Jodie Comer, The Last Duel



Winner: Gaby Hoffmann, C’mon C’mon

Runner-Up: Ariana DeBose, West Side Story (2021)



Winner: Oscar Isaac, The Card Counter

Runner-Up: Nicolas Cage, Pig (2021)



Winner: Troy Kotsur, CODA

Runner-Up: Jason Isaacs, Mass




Winner: Olivia Colman, The Mitchells vs. the Machines

Runner-Up: Tom Hardy, Venom: Let There Be Carnage



Winner: Mass

Runner-Up: The Humans



Winner: Jonny Greenwood, The Power of the Dog

Runner-Up: Hans Zimmer, Dune (2021)



Winner: Fran Kranz (writer-director), Mass

Runner-Up: Michael Sarnoski (director / co-writer), Pig (2021)



Winner: Annette

Runner-Up: Titane



Winner: Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time

(As a special award named after IFJA founding member Edward Johnson-Ott, no runner-up is declared in this category.)

Established in 2009 by a dedicated group of six Indiana journalists, the Indiana Film Journalists Association (IFJA) endeavors to promote quality film criticism in the Hoosier state and support Indiana’s growing film industry.

For more information, visit

What is the Indiana Film Journalists Association?

Established in 2009 by a dedicated group of six Indiana journalists, the Indiana Film Journalists Association (IFJA) is a growing organization of Indiana-based journalists and broadcasters who specialize in film criticism and commentary. All major dailies, weeklies and a variety of other print and electronic outlets are represented. IFJA was established to promote the art of film criticism in the Hoosier state, to support Indiana’s growing film industry and to promote quality film criticism in Indiana.

In addition to presenting our Annual Awards and Top Ten List, members of the Indiana Film Journalists Association stay active throughout the year serving on film festival juries, attending and sponsoring special screenings, appearing at film and genre-specific conferences, and speaking to civic groups, schools, media outlets and many other places.

Every year in mid-December, the IFJA presents awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Animated Film, Best Documentary Feature and Best Foreign Language Film. In 2011, IFJA added a category for Best Original Score! Additionally, IFJA has two extra special awards presented each year, the “Edward Johnson Ott Hoosier Award” and the “Original Vision” Award.

IFJA’s “Hoosier Award” is meant to recognize a significant cinematic contribution by a person or persons with Indiana roots. As a special award, no runner-up is declared. In 2021, the "Hoosier Award" has been renamed to celebrate the legacy of charter IFJA member and longtime Indy film critic Edward Johnson Ott. The award is now called the "Edward Johnson Ott Hoosier Award." 

IFJA’s “Original Vision Award” recognizes a cinematic achievement that is extraordinarily innovative or represents outstanding achievement in experimental and/or original filmmaking.

IFJA Bylaws

Updated January 2022


Members are expected to abide by our bylaws. Violation of bylaws can result in probationary membership (with conditions to be determined) or expulsion upon a majority vote of the entire membership.


Private Screenings Discouraged: One of the primary reasons IFJA was formed was to use our collective influence to combat the dwindling number of screenings provided in the Indianapolis market. As such, we want to discourage studios from scheduling screenings for a single critic. Any IFJA member offered a restricted screening must request that it be opened to all members: "Invite one, invite all" is our motto. If the request is denied, the member is free to attend the screening, but only after a good-faith effort to include everyone.


Production: Prospective and existing members are expected to produce consistent, professional film reviews or commentary in any medium. This shall consist of no less than 24 substantial published pieces per year, which can include articles in print or online, speaking appearances at film-related events, broadcasts or podcasts. Mini reviews (e.g., printed/online reviews of 200 words or less) will be considered at a 25% equivalent to a full review/podcast/broadcast. That is to say four such mini-reviews would constitute one full entry toward the minimum production goal of 24. Broadcast/podcast cameos (e.g., appearances that take up insubstantial or negligible portions of a broadcast/podcast) will not count toward a production goal. Content that appears only in status updates on social media sites or Letterboxd also will not count toward a production goal.


Members are encouraged to produce work for more than a single outlet if possible so as to avoid a large concentration of voting membership from a small number of outlets. If requested, a member shall produce evidence of production (e.g., links/clips).


Junkets/Gifts: The IFJA has no specific policy prohibiting members from accepting junket trips from studios. However, our critics are expected at all times to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with professional journalistic standards: There will be no agreement, implied or otherwise, for a positive review/coverage in exchange for access or payment. There will be no acceptance of lavish gifts. There should be no boasting about screeners or promotional materials received — up to and including posting pictures of screeners or promotional materials on social media. You also must not agree to have prewritten quotes attributed to your name. Any additional behavior that could be considered inconsistent with professional journalistic standards will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 


Awards: The IFJA gives out annual awards to recognize the best and brightest of each movie year. Members must endeavor to watch as much of the field of potential nominees as possible. Participation is required in the balloting process in early- to mid-December. If a member is unable to attend the yearly meeting at least in part, they must submit an absentee ballot and be readily available on the day of our vote for tie-breaking votes.


Behavior: Members will engage with each other in a manner that is respectful and collegial, especially in forums where their interactions are public and in their published/recorded/broadcast reviews. They will also show appropriate behavior when attending any public events as part of or on behalf of the IFJA. Members must also display professionalism when attending public film-related events or functions they are not attending as part of or on behalf of the IFJA — as their comments and/or behavior could still be considered representative of the group.  


Exemptions, Hiatuses, Probationary or Emeritus status: The IFJA understands that life events can intrude on our ability to produce consistently, including such issues as health, employment and personal/family developments. Members may be granted an exemption to the production rule or request a hiatus from voting membership — contingent on sufficient, specific and timely communication of any such requests ahead of each year’s voting deadline. New or non-compliant members may also be assigned non-voting probationary status until such time as the issue is resolved. Veteran members (no less than five years served) who wish to step away from day-to-day duties for the long term may request emeritus status with awards voting privileges. All of these actions require a majority vote of the entire membership.


Dues: All IFJA members are required to support the organization with nominal contributions in support of the agency's annual expenses including website, domain, and the Edward Johnson Ott Hoosier Award. The current annual contribution amount is approximately $15 annually. This is subject to change according to variations in expenses and membership. IFJA members will be informed of this amount annually during the organization's annual membership and awards meeting.


For media or general IFJA inquiries, please contact Christopher Lloyd. 

For information on IFJA's annual awards, please contact Evan Dossey.

For information on membership, please contact Brent Leuthold.

For website inquiries, please contact Richard Propes