Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, handed out top honors to Precious and Crazy Heart at this evening’s 25th Spirit Awards. (500) Days of Summer, Anvil! The Story of Anvil, An Education, Humpday, The Messenger, and A Serious Man also received awards at the milestone ceremony, held at LA Live’s event deck in downtown Los Angeles and broadcast live and uncut on IFC. Acclaimed comedian Eddie Izzard was Master of Ceremonies, and Ben Stiller served as Honorary Chair.
The Spirit Awards was the first event to exclusively honor independent film, and over the past 25 years, has become the premier awards show for the independent film community, celebrating films made by filmmakers who embody independence and originality. Artists receiving industry recognition first at the Spirit Awards include Joel & Ethan Coen, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone, Ashley Judd, Robert Rodriguez, David O. Russell, Edward Burns, Aaron Eckhart, Neil LaBute, Darren Aronofsky, Spike Jonze, Charlie Kaufman, Hilary Swank, Marc Forster, Todd Field, Christopher Nolan, Zach Braff, Amy Adams and many more.
This year’s major category winners were Lionsgate’s Precious, which won Best Feature, Best Director, Best First Screenplay, Best Female Lead, and Best Supporting Female; Fox Searchlight’s Crazy Heart, which won Best First Feature, and Best Male Lead; Fox Searchlight’s (500) Days of Summer, which won Best Screenplay; Abramaorama’s Anvil! The Story of Anvil, which won Best Documentary; Sony Pictures Classics’ An Education, which won Best Foreign Film; Magnolia Pictures’ Humpday, which won the John Cassavetes Award; Oscilloscope Laboratories’ The Messenger, which won Best Supporting Male; and Focus Features’ A Serious Man, which won Best Cinematography.
Kyle Patrick Alvarez, director of Easier With Practice, received the seventeenth annual Acura Someone to Watch Award, which includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant and honors a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not received appropriate recognition.
Bill Ross and Turner Ross, directors of 45365, received the sixteenth annual Chaz & Roger Ebert Truer Than Fiction Award, a $25,000 unrestricted grant presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant attention.
Karin Chien, producer of The Exploding Girl and Santa Mesa, received the fourteenth annual Piaget Producers Award, a $25,000 unrestricted grant created to honor emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality, independent films.
Also given was the 3rd annual Robert Altman Award, given to one film’s director, casting director, and ensemble cast. Joel Coen & Ethan Coen’s A Serious Man received this award, along with casting directors Ellen Chenoweth and Rachel Tenner, and ensemble cast members Richard Kind, Sari Lennick, Jessica McManus, Fred Melamed, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Aaron Wolff.
Also announced during the show, was the recipient of the 2010 ELLE/Garnier Directing Fellowship, which carries a production grant of $10,000, funded by ELLE and Garnier. Film Independent Fellow Jennifer Arnold (2005 Directors Lab) won for her film A Small Act, which will air summer 2010 on HBO.
Dick Clark Productions and independent producer Jamie McGurk served as Executive Producers. John Hamilton and IFC’s Christine Lubrano and Vienna Steiner served as Producers, with Chris Donovan directing and Billy Kimball writing the show.
The Spirit Award encores will air on IFC on Saturday, March 6 at 5:00am EST/PST and 11:15am EST/PST, and Sunday, March 7 at 8:30am EST/PST and 2:30pm EST/PST. In addition, SpiritAwards.com and a dedicated Spirit Awards channel on Babelgum.com will post red carpet and thank you cam interviews the next day.
Premier Sponsors IFC, ELLE, Piaget, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Acura, Stella Artois, LG Electronics and Principal Sponsors Netflix and 100% Pure New Zealand sponsored this year’s event. MySpace and LG Electronics were the Official Hosts of the 2010 Spirit Awards Live Arrivals Show. JW Marriot was the Official Host Hotel. The Standard, Downtown LA was a Participating Hotel and the Official Venue for the Member Viewing Party. Wire Image was the Official Photographer, American Airlines was the Official Airline Partner, and PR Newswire was the Official Breaking News Service of Film Independent. On3 Productions produced the Official Presenter Gift Lounge and Official Ceremony Gift Bags. FIJI Water was the Official Water of the Spirit Awards. On behalf of every celebrity that stopped by The FAGE Total Yogurt Bar backstage in the Official Presenter Gift Lounge, FAGE Total made a significant contribution to Film Independent’s signature diversity program, Project:Involve.
The following is a complete list of the winners:
Producers: Lee Daniels, Gary Magness, Sarah Siegel-Magness
Best First Feature
Director: Scott Cooper
Producers: T Bone Burnett, Judy Cairo, Rob Carliner, Scott Cooper, Robert Duvall
Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
(500) Days of Summer
Best First Screenplay
John Cassavetes Award
(For the best feature made under $500,000)
Writer/Director/Producer: Lynn Shelton
Best Supporting Female
Best Supporting Male
A Serious Man
Best Foreign Film
Sony Pictures Classics
Director: Lone Scherfig
Anvil! The Story of Anvil
Director: Sacha Gervasi
2010 FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARD WINNERS BY DISTRIBUTOR
Sony Pictures Classics
Joining Dawn Hudson, Executive Director of Film Independent, were Master of Ceremonies Eddie Izzard, and Honorary Chair Ben Stiller.
Presenters and musical performances included: Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, Maria Bello, Pierce Brosnan, Mariah Carey, Rosario Dawson, Matt Dillon, Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Colin Farrell, Jodie Foster, Andy Garcia, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ethan Hawke, Ed Helms, Taraji P. Henson, Emile Hirsch, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ken Jeong, Lenny Kravitz, Carey Mulligan, Jeremy Renner, Ryan Reynolds, Amy Ryan, David Spade, Ben Stiller, Marisa Tomei, The Whitest Kids U Know, John Waters, and Olivia Wilde.
Celebrity guests and nominees included: Natalia Almada, Kyle Patrick Alvarez, Bonnie Arnold, Jacques Audiard, Paul Barkin, Sophie Barthes, Steve Beal, Maria Bello, Kristopher Belman, Jason Blum, Elan Bogarin, Jeff Bridges, T Bone Burnett, Judy Cairo, Rebecca Cammisa, Alessandro Camon, Rob Carliner, Cookie Carosella, Ellen Chenoweth, Karin Chien, Jemaine Clement, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Scott Cooper, Chris Curling, Cherien Dabis, Lee Daniels, Roger Deakins, Robert Duvall, Nisreen Faour, Larry Fessenden, Colin Firth, Geoffrey Fletcher, Tom Ford, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Sacha Gervasi, Adriano Goldman, Mark Gordon, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bradley Rust Gray, James Gray, Woody Harrelson, Michael Hoffman, Ben Howe, Lawrence Inglee, Bong Joon-Ho, Amy Kaufman, Robert Kenner, So Yong Kim, Richard Kind, Lars Knudsen, Dina Korzun, Jean Kouremetis, Lee Toland Krieger, Josee Lajoie, Hilal Ahmed Langoo, Sari Lennick, Gary Magness, Christian McKay, Raymond McKinnon, Jessica McManus, Fred Melamed, Jens Meurer, Andrew Miano, Zach Miller, Helen Mirren, Anne Misawa, Samantha Morton, Donal Mosher, Greg Mottola, Oren Moverman, Scott Neustadter, Asiel Norton, Mason Novick, Jessica Oreck, Michael Palmieri, Gwyneth Paltrow, Andrij Parekh, Oren Peli, Christina Piovesan, Christopher Plummer, Natalie Press, Tom Quinn, Bill Ross, Turner Ross, Robert Salerno, Souleymane Sy Savane, David Scearce, Lone Scherfig, Adam Scott, Lynn Shelton, Gabourey Sidibe, Robert Siegel, Sarah Siegel-Magness, Sebastian Silva, Dia Sokol, Michael Stuhlbarg, Tariq Tapa, Rachel Tenner, Jan Troell, Jessica Tuchinsky, Jay Van Hoy, Mia Wasikowska, Mark Waters, Michael H. Weber, Chris Weitz, Steven J Wolfe, Aaron Wolff, and Peter Zeitlinger.