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  • Carrie Specht

2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards Winners Announced


Today, Film Independent handed out honors at the 34th Spirit Awards ceremony. Recipients include If Beale Street Could Talk, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Suspiria, Eighth Grade, First Reformed, Sorry To Bother You, The Wife, You Were Never Really Here, En El Séptimo Día, Won’t You Be My Neighbor and Roma. The ceremony was held this afternoon on the beach in Santa Monica. The Spirit Awards were developed primarily as a fundraiser for Film Independent’s year-round programs. The annual awards honors artist-driven films made with an economy of means by filmmakers whose films embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision. The ceremony aired live on IFC and Facebook Watch. Clips from the ceremony will be available on Film Independent’s YouTube channel after the show.

One of this year’s major winners was If Beale Street Could Talk, which won Best Feature, Best Director and Best Supporting Female. Another big winner was Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which won Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Male. Suspiria won two awards for the Robert Altman Award and Best Cinematography. En El Séptimo Día won the John Cassavettes Award, while Eighth Grade won Best First Screenplay. And filling out the major awards wasn First Reformed won Best Male Lead, Sorry to Bother You won Best First Feature, The Wife won Best Female Lead, You Were Never Really Here won Best Editing, Won’t You Be My Neighbor won Best Documentary; and Roma won Best International Film.

A rather unique award is the 12th annual Robert Altman Award, which is given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast. This honor was bestowed upon Suspiria's director Luca Guadagnino, along with casting directors Avy Kaufman and Stella Savino, and cast members Malgosia Bela, Ingrid Caven, Lutz Ebersdorf, Elena Fouina, Mia Goth, Jessica Harper, Dakota Johnson, Gala Moody, Chloë Grace Moretz, Fabrizia Sacchi, Renée Soutendijk, Tilda Swinton, Sylvie Testud, and Angela Winkler.

The 2019 Roger and Chaz Ebert Foundation Fellowship annually selects an outstanding filmmaker and participant in Project Involve. Now in its 26th year, Project Involve has proudly fostered the careers of artists from underrepresented backgrounds, empowering them to create stories for film and television that are reflective of our community. The Fellowship includes an unrestricted cash grant of $10,000. It was awarded to screenwriter Stephanie Adams-Santos, who has a distinct and bold new voice. The complete list of the winners is listed below.

Best Feature: If Beale Street Could Talk (Annapurna Pictures)

Producers: Dede Gardner, Barry Jenkins, Jeremy Kleiner, Sara Murphy, Adele Romanski.

Best Director: Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk (Annapurna Pictures).

Best Screenplay: Nicole Holofcener, Jeff Whitty, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Fox Searchlight Pictures).

Best First Feature: Sorry To Bother You (Annapurna Pictures)

Director: Boots Riley. Producers: Nina Yang Bongiovi, Jonathan Duffy, Charles D. King, George Rush, Forest Whitaker, Kelly Williams.

Best First Screenplay: Bo Burnham, Eighth Grade (A24).

John Cassavetes Award (For best feature made under $500,000):

En El Séptimo Día (The Cinema Guild). Writer/Director/Producer: Jim McKay. Producers: Alex Bach, Lindsey Cordero, Caroline Kaplan, and Michael Stipe.

Best Supporting Female: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk (Annapurna Pictures).

Best Supporting Male: Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Fox Searchlight Pictures).

Best Female Lead: Glenn Close, The Wife (Sony Pictures Classics).

Best Male Lead: Ethan Hawke, First Reformed (A24).

Robert Altman Award: Suspiria (Amazon Studios). Director: Luca Guadagnino, Casting Directors Avy Kaufman and Stella Savino

Ensemble. Cast: Malgosia Bela, Ingrid Caven, Lutz Ebersdorf, Elena Fouina, Mia Goth, Jessica Harper, Dakota Johnson, Gala Moody, Chloë Grace Moretz, Fabrizia Sacchi, Renée Soutendijk, Tilda Swinton, Sylvie Testud, and Angela Winkler.

Best Cinematography: Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, Suspiria (Amazon Studios).

Best Editing: Joe Bini, You Were Never Really Here (Amazon Studios).

Best International Film: Roma (Mexico – Netflix). Director: Alfonso Cuarón.

Best Documentary: Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Focus Features)

Director/Producer: Morgan Neville and Producers: Caryn Capotosto, Nicholas Ma.

On January 5, the following winners were honored at the Spirit Awards Nominee Brunch hosted by Brian Tyree Henry and Lena Waithe at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood:

Debra Granik received the second annual Bonnie Award. Bonnie Tiburzi Caputo joined American Airlines in 1973 at age 24, becoming the first female pilot to fly for a major U.S. airline. In her honor, the Bonnie Award recognizes a mid-career female director with a $50,000 unrestricted grant sponsored by American Airlines.

Shrihari Sathe received the Producers Award. The award honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality, independent films. The annual award, in its 22nd year, includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.

Alex Moratto, director of Sócrates, received the Someone to Watch Award. The award recognizes talented filmmakers of singular vision who have not yet received appropriate recognition. The award is in its 25th year and includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.

Bing Liu, director of Minding The Gap, received the Truer Than Fiction Award. The award is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award and includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.

Included in the ceremony were presenters included: Sterling K. Brown, Gemma Chan, Glenn Close, Laura Dern, Mark Duplass, Elsie Fisher, Regina Hall, Armie Hammer, Brian Tyree Henry,Taraji P. Henson, Michael Keaton, Riley Keough, Kiki Layne, Thomasin Harcourt Mckenzie, Viggo Mortensen, Carey Mulligan, Ray Romano, Ekaterina Samsonov, Amanda Seyfried, Molly Shannon, Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Finn Wolfhard, and more.

#Awards #AwardWinningFilms #FilmIndependent #SpiritAwards