Chaz Ebert and film critic Roger Ebert have established the Chaz & Roger Ebert Truer Than Fiction Award and will announce the winner at the Spirit Awards on Friday.
Film Independent made the announcement Monday, noting that the Eberts had established the award with a gift through their family foundation.
“Documentaries are at the cutting edge of independent film right now, and new technologies are making them more immediate and observant than ever,” Roger Ebert said.
Film Independent has given the Truer Than Fiction Award for the past 14 years, tapping an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant, funded by Chaz and Roger Ebert, encouraging the recipient to pursue a career in the film industry.
The year’s nominees are Natalia Almada for “El General”; Jessica Oreck for “Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo”; and Bill Ross and Turner Ross for “45365.”
“Because Chaz and Roger Ebert are longtime attendees of the Spirit Awards and tireless supporters of independent film, we are especially honored that these two beautiful people are providing an emerging filmmaker with the means to continue making films,” said Film Independent exec director Dawn Hudson.