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The Global Film Village: It was a Precious Spirit Awards Gala


by Marla Lewin

Lenny Kravitz and Mariah Carey celebrate with Lee Daniels at Spirit Awards

Lee Daniels' Precious swept the 25th anniversary of the Film Independent Spirit Awards taking home the Best Feature, Best Director, Best First Screenplay, Best Female Lead and Best Supporting Female awards. Precious won in every category for which it was nominated taking 5 awards. The other winners were lucky that Precious didn't have any male actors nominated and Lee Daniels wasn't a first time filmmaker.

Fox Searchlight was the other big winner with three awards, two for Crazy Heart,  Best First Feature, and Best Male Lead for Jeff Bridges; and one for (500) Days of Summer, for Best Screenplay.

Host  Eddie Izzard opened the show by joking that the independents have undergone big changes this year. Even the Spirit Awards have seen change moving from being held on the beach under a tent in Santa Monica to being held in Downtown LA under a tent on top of a parking structure. The show is known for its anything goes style and everyone gets to say whatever they want for as long as they need to say it. There is no band attempting to drown out the winners gushing their thank you's to everyone they know or love or in the past has ever met. Guest attire seemed a little more formal than in the past were it was more casual and funky. 

Abramaorama's Anvil! The Story of Anvil, from Director: Sacha Gervasi  won Best Documentary. It was produced By Film Independent's Film Festival Director Rebecca Yeldham prior to her joining the organization.

Sony Pictures Classics' An Education won Best Foreign Film unlike the Oscar's the Spirit's only require that the film be made outside of the United States.

Oscilloscope Laboratories' The Messenger, Woody Harrelson  won Best Supporting Male.

Magnolia Pictures' Humpday from Director/Producer Lynn Shelton won the John Cassavetes Award.

Focus Features' A Serious Man,  won  two awards; Best Cinematography for Roger Deakins and The 3rd annual Robert Altman Award, given to Joel Coen & Ethan Coen's A Serious Man. This is an ensemble award so winners included the entire team including casting directors Ellen Chenoweth and Rachel Tenner, and  cast members Richard Kind, Sari Lennick, Jessica McManus, Fred Melamed, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Aaron Wolff.

Winners of the Spirit cash prizes were:

Kyle Patrick Alvarez, director of Easier With Practice, received the seventeenth annual Acura Someone to Watch Award, which includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.

Bill Ross and Turner Ross, directors of 45365, received the sixteenth annual Chaz & Roger Ebert Truer Than Fiction Award, a $25,000 unrestricted grant.

Karin Chien, producer of The Exploding Girl and Santa Mesa, received the fourteenth annual Piaget Producers Award, a $25,000 unrestricted grant.

The 2010 ELLE/Garnier Directing Fellowship a production grant of $10,000,was given to Film Independent Fellow Jennifer Arnold (2005 Directors Lab) for her film A Small Act, which will air this summer on HBO.

Dick Clark Productions produced the show  for Film Independent  and it aired  live on IFC.

The following is a complete list of the winners:

Best Feature Precious - Lionsgate -Producers: Lee Daniels, Gary Magness, Sarah SiegelMagness

Best Director Lee Daniels - Lionsgate Precious

Crazy Heart Team for Best First Feature at Spirit Awards

Best First Feature Crazy Heart - Fox Searchlight Director: Scott Cooper

Producers: T Bone Burnett, Judy Cairo, Rob Carliner, Scott Cooper, Robert Duvall

Best Screenplay - Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber - Fox Searchlight (500) Days of Summer

Best First Screenplay Geoffrey Fletcher - Lionsgate Precious

John Cassavetes Award Humpday Magnolia Pictures (For the best feature made under $500,000) Writer/Director/Producer: Lynn Shelton

Best Supporting Female Mo'Nique -Lionsgate Precious

Best Supporting Male Woody Harrelson -Oscilloscope Laboratories The Messenger

Best Female Gabourey Sidibe -Lionsgate Precious

Best Male Jeff Bridges -Fox Searchlight Crazy Heart

Best Cinematography Roger Deakins -Focus Features A Serious Man

Best Foreign Film An Education-Sony Pictures Classics Director: Lone Scherfig

Best Documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil-Abramaorama Films Director: Sacha Gervasi


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About MarlaLewinGFV

Lewin Marla
(Global Film Village)

Marla is a producer, playwright, screenwriter, publicist and now a journalist. She attends 12 to 20 film festivals per year. She has spoken on filmmaking at many festivals including Cannes and SXSW.


Los Angeles

United States

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