"Spotlight" Shines Brightly at Independent Spirit Awards! 

Yay! My favorite film of 2015 was the big winner at the recently concluded Film Independent Spirit Awards taking home the best feature, director (Tom McCarthy), screenplay, and editing. It was previously announced that the film was the winner of the prestigious Robert Altman Award (ensemble) as well.

Oh and kudos to the Film Independent Spirit Awards for bestowing their Best Supporting Actress Award to Mya Taylor for "Tangerine!" Taylor becomes the first transgender performer to receive major acting award! See her acceptance speech right here.

Let's see if this will continue with tonight's Oscars. See my full Oscar predictions right here.

Here's the complete list of winners of the Film Independent Spirit Awards:

Best Feature
Award given to the Producer; Executive Producers are not awarded.
"Beasts of No Nation"
*** "Spotlight" (WINNER)

Best Director
Cary Joji Fukunaga, "Beasts of No Nation"
Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson, "Anomalisa"
David Robert Mitchell, "It Follows"
Sean Baker, "Tangerine"
Todd Haynes, "Carol"
*** Tom McCarthy, "Spotlight" (WINNER)

Best Screenplay
Charlie Kaufman, "Anomalisa"
Donald Margulies, "The End of the Tour"
Phyllis Nagy, "Carol"
S. Craig Zahler, "Bone Tomahawk"
*** Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer, "Spotlight" (WINNER)

Best First Screenplay
*** Emma Donoghue, "Room" (WINNER)
Jesse Andrews, "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl"
John Magary, Russell Harbaugh, Myna Joseph, "The Mend"
Jonas Carpignano, "Mediterranea"
Marielle Heller, "The Diary of a Teenage Girl"

Best First Feature
Award given to the director and producer.
"James White"
"Manos Sucias"
"Songs My Brothers Taught Me"
*** "The Diary of a Teenage Girl" (WINNER)

Best Female Lead
Bel Powley, "The Diary of a Teenage Girl"
*** Brie Larson, "Room" (WINNER)
Cate Blanchett, "Carol"
Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, "Tangerine"
Rooney Mara, "Carol"

Best Male Lead
*** Abraham Attah, "Beasts of No Nation" (WINNER)
Ben Mendelsohn, "Mississippi Grind"
Christopher Abbott, "James White"
Jason Segal, "The End of the Tour"
Koudous Seihon, "Mediterranea"

Best Supporting Female
Cynthia Nixon, "James White"
Jennifer Jason Leigh, "Anomalisa"
Marin Ireland, "Glass Chin"
*** Mya Taylor, "Tangerine" (WINNER)
Robin Bartlett, "H."

Best Supporting Male
*** Idris Elba, "Beasts of No Nation" (WINNER)
Kevin Corrigan, "Results"
Michael Shannon, "99 Homes"
Paul Dano, "Love & Mercy"
Richard Jenkins, "Bone Tomahawk"

Best Documentary
"Best of Enemies"
"Heart of a Dog"
*** "The Look of Silence" (WINNER)
"The Russian Woodpecker"

Best Cinematography
Cary Joji Fukunaga, "Beasts of No Nation"
*** Ed Lachman, "Carol" (WINNER)
Joshua James Richards, "Songs My Brothers Taught Me"
Michael Gioulakis, "It Follows"
Reed Morano, "Meadowland"

Best Editing
Julo C. Perez IV, "It Follows"
Kristan Sprague, "Manos Sucias"
Nathan Nugent, "Room"
Ronald Bronstein and Benny Safdie, "Heaven Knows What"
*** Tom McArdle, "Spotlight" (WINNER)

Best International Film
"A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence"
"Embrace of the Serpent"
*** "Son of Saul" (WINNER)

John Cassavetes Award
Given to the best feature made for under $500,000. Award given to the writer, director and producer; Executive Producers are not awarded.
"Christmas, Again"
"Heaven Knows What"
*** "Krisha" (WINNER)
"Out of My Hand"

Robert Altman Award

Kiehl's Someone to Watch Award
The 22nd annual Someone to Watch Award, sponsored by Kiehl’s Since 1851, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Kiehl’s Since 1851.
Chloe Zhao, "Songs My Brothers Taught Me"
*** Felix Thompson, "King Jack" (WINNER)
Robert Machoian and Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck, "God Bless the Child"

Piaget Producers Award
The 19th annual Producers Award, sponsored by Piaget, honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality, independent films. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.
Darren Dean
*** Mel Eslyn (WINNER)
Rebecca Green & Laura D. Smith

Truer Than Fiction
The 21st annual Truer Than Fiction Award, sponsored by LensCrafters is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by LensCrafters.
Alex Sichel and Elizabeth Giamatti, "A Woman Like Me"
*** Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, "Incorruptible" (WINNER)
Hemal Trivedi and Mohammed Ali Naqvi, "Among the Believers"

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