As a film awards season nears its end, during which a lack of female directors has been one of the key talking points, Film Independent’s Sprit Awards have given three of their top prizes to films directed by women.
Best First Feature went to Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart, Julia Reichart won the Best Documentary trophy for American Factory and the top award of the night, Best Feature, went to Lula Wang’s The Farewell.
One of its stars, Zhao Shuzhen, was named the Best Supporting Actress.
Overlooked at the Oscars, Adam Sandler took home the Best Male Lead trophy for Uncut Gems, which also won Best Director for the Safdie Brothers, Benny and Josh, as well as Best Editing.
There are two main criteria to qualify for most of the categories at the Independent Spirit Awards; a film must be an American production that was made for less than $22.5 million.
But as is so often the case, co-productions throw up some peculiar results, with the Best Female Lead going to Renée Zellweger for her portrayal of Judy Garland in Judy – a role which also won her the corresponding prize at the British Independent Film Awards, which is open only to British films.
Willem Dafoe was named the Best Supporting Actor for The Lighthouse, which also took the cinematography prize.
Unusually for this event, which takes place in a marquee on Santa Monica beach, the day before the Oscars, most of the winners failed to get a look-in at the Academy Awards, but one of the Oscar hopefuls, Marriage Story, picked up the Spirit Award for Best Screenplay for Noah Baumbach, as well as being honoured with the predetermined Robert Altman Award, that recognises the achievement of the entire cast and crew.
South Korea’s Parasite continued to dominate the International category that it’s expected to win at the Oscars too.
And here is the full list of winners of the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards:
BEST FEATURE – The Farewell
BEST FIRST FEATURE – Booksmart
BEST FEMALE LEAD – Renee Zellweger, Judy
BEST MALE LEAD – Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems
BEST DIRECTOR Benny and Josh Safdie, Uncut Gems
BEST DOCUMENTARY — American Factory, directors Julia Reichart, Steven Bognar
BEST SUPPORTING MALE: Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE – Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell
BEST SCREENPLAY– Marriage Story, Noah Baumbach
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY – See You Yesterday, Fredrica Bailey, Stefon Bristol
BEST EDITING: Uncut Gems– Benny Safdie, Ronald Bronstein
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – Jarin Blaschke, The Lighthouse
BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM – Parasite, Bong Joon Ho
ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD
Noah Baumbach, Douglas Aibel, Francine Maisler, Alan Alda, Laura Dern, Adam Driver, Julie Hagerty, Scarlett Johansson, Ray Liotta, Azhy Robertson, Merritt Wever
JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD – Give Me Liberty
PRODUCERS AWARD — Mollye Asher
SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD -Rashaad Ernesto Green, director of Premature
TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD Nadia Shihab, director of Jabboland
THE BONNIE AWARD– Kelly Reichardt