Chaz Ebert and Roger Ebert have established the Chaz & Roger Ebert Truer Than Fiction Award ahead of Friday’s 25th Film Independent Spirit Awards [March 5] in Downtown Los Angeles.

The 15th annual Truer Than Fiction Award is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award also includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant, funded by the Eberts to encourage the recipient to pursue a career in the film industry.

This 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 long-time attendees of the Spirit Awards and tireless supporters of independent film, we are especially honoured that these two beautiful people are providing an emerging film-maker with the means to continue making films,” Film Independent executive director Dawn Hudson said.

“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.