‘Moonlight’, ‘The Witch’ Score Big at 2017 Film Independent Spirit Awards

     February 26, 2017


For many years now, the night before the Oscars unleash the flood of excessive praise, awkward moments, bad jokes, and political screeds, the Film Independent Spirit Awards have had their night and last night was no exception. Hosted by Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, who opened the show with a very funny dialogue that you can watch below, the ceremony ended with a more-than-due sweep by Moonlight, along with The Witch picking up two awards for Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay. Meanwhile, Casey Affleck, Isabelle Huppert, Molly Shannon, and Ben Foster took the big acting awards for Manchester by the Sea, Elle, Other People, and, sigh, Hell or High Water. For the rest of the big winners from last night, you can take a look right below. It could very well be the last awards Moonlight gathers up before this evening’s festivities, but let’s hope not.

Here’s the opening dialogue between Mulaney and Kroll:

Here are the winners for last night’s Independent Spirit Awards:

Best Feature:

Moonlight (A24)

Producers: Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Adele Romanski

Best Director: 

Barry Jenkins, Moonlight (A24)

Best Screenplay:

Barry Jenkins, Tarell Alvin McCraney (Story By)Moonlight (A24)

Best First Feature:

The Witch (A24)

Director: Robert Eggers

Producers: Daniel Bekerman, Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, Jodi Redmond,

Rodrigo Teixeira

Best First Screenplay:

Robert Eggers, The Witch (A24) 

John Cassavetes Award (For best feature made under $500,000):

Spa Night (Strand Releasing)

Writer/Director: Andrew Ahn

Producers: David Ariniello, Giulia Caruso, Ki Jin Kim, Kelly Thomas

Best Supporting Female: 

Molly Shannon, Other People (Vertical Entertainment)


Image via Sony Picture Classics

Best Supporting Male:

Ben Foster, Hell or High Water (CBS Films/Lionsgate)

Best Female Lead: 

Isabelle Huppert, Elle (Sony Pictures Classics)

Best Male Lead:

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea (Amazon Studios) 

Robert Altman Award:

Moonlight (A24)

Director: Barry Jenkins

Casting Director: Yesi Ramirez

Ensemble Cast: Mahershala Ali, Patrick Decile, Naomie Harris, Alex Hibbert, André Holland, Jharrel Jerome, Janelle Monáe, Jaden Piner, Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders

Best Cinematography:

James Laxton, Moonlight (A24)

Best Editing:

Joi McMillon, Nat Sanders, Moonlight (A24)

Best International Film:

Toni Erdmann (Germany and Romania– Sony Pictures Classics)

Director: Maren Ade

Best Documentary:

O.J.: Made in America (ESPN Films)

Director/Producer: Ezra Edelman

Producers: Deirdre Fenton, Libby Geist, Nina Krstic, Erin Leyden, Tamara Rosenberg, Connor Schell, Caroline Waterlow

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