‘Tis the Season: “2016 Independent Spirit Awards: Winners”

Independent films come and go so quickly, it seems impossible to be sure a given one even exists at all. Yet, indie films do, and the world is truly better off because of it. More and more people need to see these films as they tell such complex and dynamic stories, that otherwise wouldn’t be told. Where would the world of cinema be without them?

The afternoon finally arrived! Hosts Kate McKinnon (upcoming films “The Angry Birds Movie”, “Ghostbusters (2016)”) and Kumail Nanjiani (“Portlandia”, “Animals.”) showed up ready to have a lot of fun at the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards on IFC. They did an amazing job! I can’t believe this is my first year watching these awards live! I’m getting ahead here, as the live reactions are below. Regardless, this was a fantastic experience and I can’t wait to see what comes out in this year called 2016.

And now, the winners, as they were announced, which seems backwards, but it makes sense to me. It’s also easier. What? I’m somewhat lazy, and the fact that I’m even typing whilst listening to McKinnon’s and Nanjiani’s opening something, (it’s not a monologue), is amazing on it’s own. It’s the only time really, until tomorrow, when I decide to type a post before finishing what the post will be on. Anyway, time for me to actually pay full attention, as that’s why I’ve been waiting for the last half hour to go by.

The winners:

Best Supporting Male

Idris Elba- “Beasts of No Nation”

And the first one is out!! It was exciting to see clips of the other films, even if, like with “Love & Mercy”, and the winner, I’ve already seen it. It makes me so excited to see these films, or in the cast of the film that won this category, see it again. Elba’s speech was also quite perfect! I loved hearing it and it’s another reason why I do look forward to what he’s going to do next. He really will continue to go far in his career.

Best First Screenplay

Emma Donoghue- “Room”

YES!!!! And seeing presenter and star Jacob Tremblay’s (“”) reaction to her name being in the envelope was amazing!! A very well deserved win. So proud of Donoghue and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

Best Documentary

“The Look of Silence”

I don’t know if I knew this was a category up for consideration. I picked my choices as winners and I don’t have it written down. I’m not surprised it won, but huh. Okay. Moving on. And no, I looked, it wasn’t one I knew about and good choose. I feel cheated.

Best First Feature

“The Diary of a Teenage Girl”

Director Marielle Heller said she’d been working on this for eight years. WOW!! I can’t believe that! That’s what makes films so important too. Some take a long, long time to get made. This is incredible!! Heller’s speech was amazing!!

Robert Altman Award


A special award that recognizes the ensemble cast, the director, and casting directors. It’s a bit more complex, but I need to look it up first. Thank god for a commercial break! According to an article from ScreenDaily, the award was started in 2008 to honor the late director for a films ensemble and its director. A quote from Dawn Hudson says that the awards importance is because, “Robert Altman’s films represent the uniqueness of vision that Film Independent champions.” Another quote, I think from Hudson, says, “For his commitment to challenging the status quo and changing the landscape of independent film, we honor him with this new award.” Not a bad reasoning. So glad for independent films, the companies that get behind them all the way, and to the awards and critics that recognize them. (Featured image)

Best Cinematography

Ed Lachman- “Carol”

YES!!! While all these films look great, I’m being serious here, I was paying attention to the clips shown, this one is truly the best. He did amazing work that captured so much, told so much, and had me feeling so much. Great job!

John Cassevetes Award


Wow. It was shot in nine days! That’s incredible! Anyway, this award is another special award. The reason behind this, according to the presenters is to recognize the “creative team of a film budgeted at less than $500,000.” Not a bad reason when discussing independent film. The presenters also said that it’s how Cassavetes did a lot of his creative films and experimented with them. Such an important award and I’m a bit more interested in this film now.

Best Screenplay

Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer- “Spotlight”

Wow!! This film won!! It truly is a phenomenal film, and what I’m seeing so far, a well written script. I should say reading. I’m halfway thorough it.

Best International Film

“Son of Saul”

I could of told you this. Another category I didn’t even know existed. Why is that? Guess I gotta look better when watching and choosing on new awards. With each win, however, I’m more and more interested and intrigued by this film. I know what it’s about, but I haven’t even taken the time to watch a trailer. Guess I should start there and wait for it to hit theaters near me, or come out on DVD.

Best Supporting Female

Mya Taylor- “Tangerine”

“There is transgender talent… you better get out there and put it in your movie”, said winner Taylor about the transgender community and films. More and more, as this year has gone on, is proving to be a true statement. I’ve only heard great things about this film and am saddened that I still haven’t seen it. When I get the next best opportunity to watch it, I’ll check it out on Netflix! Which his where I believe it’s streaming right now. I could be wrong. Don’t quote me on that.

Best Director

Tom McCarthy- “Spotlight”

Once more “Spotlight” and McCarthy!! Such a phenomenal film! Well deserved. I don’t think there’s much more for me to say on this win and the film. Go see this film if you haven’t!

Best Male Lead

Abraham Attah- “Beasts of No Nation”

I feel like an idiot. I chose wrong. But, at least I have a bit more incentive to revisit this difficult and important film. As with “Tangarine” I need to make time for it first. I still can’t get over that I got one wrong. I was looking at 100 percent! Damn it!!

Best Female Lead

Brie Larson- “Room”

I had no doubts about this win. No, seriously, no doubts. She gave, among the nominees, one of the most nuanced and heartbreaking performances, but also one filled with so much love and hope. She embodied it all and I can only imagine how she did so. I love that in her acceptance speech she said, “And I’m so excited to be in a room with such brave filmmakers.” It’s the perfect statement. It says two things, but more importantly highlights the types of people that go out of there way to bring indie films to those that want them. So many great stories have been told, and I hope that more and more are told, so much so that big studios like Universal Pictures decide to take enormous chances on these stories, and the creatives that want to see them made. She even shouted “I love you” to her boyfriend, who responded right back with “I love you.”. It was an amazing moment. I am truly excited to see what she does next, even if it’s a big budget film like the film she’s working on now.

Best Feature


YES!!! Amazing film!! I can’t believe it won!! I actually can, but as the show went on I could see how any of the other nominees were worthy of this win. Even though they didn’t win, the other nominees are well deserving of the nominations. I can’t wait to see many of these films.

There you go! Independent film has been recognized once more! It was an incredible afternoon, even if some were a bit predictable. Still, it was amazing to witness Taylor win and become the first transgender person to win a major film award. The speeches were also just so on point with regards to why these actors, directors, and writers love being in this business, and work for very little to see these films come to life. If only so many other big named actors and the major Hollywood studios would get behind these creatives and films, we’d be headed towards a lot more quality films and she a diverse array of them as well.

I couldn’t think of where to put this, or how, so here it is. Nominees, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara getting friendly, again. I seriously have no idea how or why this happened. Oh well. It’s funny.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s