Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, handed out top honors to Silver Linings Playbook, The Sessions and The Perks of Being A Wallflower at this afternoon’s 28th Film Independent Spirit Awards. Beasts of the Southern Wild, Magic Mike, Amour and The Invisible War also received awards at the ceremony, which is held in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica.
The Spirit Awards were the first event to exclusively honor independent film, and over the past 28 years, has become the premier awards show for the independent film community, celebrating films made by filmmakers who embody independence and originality. Artists receiving industry recognition first at the Spirit Awards include Joel & Ethan Coen, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone, Ashley Judd, Robert Rodriguez, David O. Russell, Edward Burns, Aaron Eckhart, Neil LaBute, Darren Aronofsky, Spike Jonze, Charlie Kaufman, Hilary Swank, Marc Forster, Todd Field, Christopher Nolan, Zach Braff, Amy Adams and many more.
This year’s major category winners were Silver Linings Playbook, which won Best Feature, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Female Lead and The Sessions, which won Best Supporting Female and Best Male Lead; The Perks of Being A Wallflower, which won Best First Feature and Safety Not Guaranteed, which won Best First Screenplay; Beasts of the Southern Wild, which won Best Cinematography, Magic Mike, which won Best Supporting Male and Middle of Nowhere from AFFRM in partnership with Participant Media, which won the John Cassavetes Award; Sony Pictures Classics’ Amour, which won Best International Film and Cinedigm Entertainmet Group’s The Invisible War, which won Best Documentary. A Special Distinction Award was given posthumously to Cinematographer Harris Savides.
The 6th annual Robert Altman Award was given to one film’s director, casting director, and ensemble cast. Sean Baker’s Starlet received this award, along with casting directors Julia Kim and ensemble cast members Dree Hemingway, Besedka Johnson, Karren Karagulian, Stella Maeve, James Ransone.
The 2013 Chaz and Roger Ebert Fellowship, which is awarded to a filmmaker in Project Involve, Film Independent’s diversity mentorship program and includes a cash grant of $10,000, was given to Melissa Haizlip, director of the documentary Mr. SOUL!. Haizlip is a Film Independent Fellow participating in Project Involve 2012-2013. Her film, which is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, was screened at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 41st Annual Independent Film Series in 2011.
The following is a complete list of the winners:
Best Feature: Silver Linings Playbook (The Weinstein Company)
Producers: Bruce Cohen, Donna Gigliotti, Jonathan Gordon
Best Director: David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook (The Weinstein Company)
Best Screenplay: David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook (The Weinstein Company)
Best First Feature: The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Summit Entertainment)
Writer/Director: Stephen Chbosky / Producers: Lianne Halfon, John Malkovich, Russell Smith
Best First Screenplay: Derek Connolly, Safety Not Guaranteed (FilmDistrict)
John Cassavetes Award (For best feature made under $500,000): Middle of Nowhere (AFFRM in partnership with Participant Media)
Writer/Director/Producer: Ava DuVernay / Producers: Howard Barish, Paul Garnes
Best Supporting Female: Helen Hunt, The Sessions (Fox Searchlight)
Best Supporting Male: Matthew McConaughey, Magic Mike (Warner Bros.Pictures)
Best Female Lead: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook (The Weinstein Company)
Best Male Lead: John Hawkes, The Sessions (Fox Searchlight)
Robert Altman Award: Starlet (Music Box Films)
Director: Sean Baker / Casting Director: Julia Kim / Ensemble Cast: Dree Hemingway, Besedka Johnson, Karren Karagulian, Stella Maeve, James Ransone
Best Cinematography: Ben Richardson, Beasts of the Southern Wild (Fox Searchlight)
Best International Film: Amour (France – Sony Pictures Classics) Director: Michael Haneke
Best Documentary: The Invisible War (Cinedigm Entertainment Group)
Director: Kirby Dick / Producers: Amy Ziering, Tanner King Barklow
Special Distinction: Harris Savides
2012 FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARD WINNERS BY DISTRIBUTOR
4 The Weinstein Company
3 Fox Searchlight
1 Summit Entertainment
1 Cinedigm Entertainment Group
1 Sony Pictures Classics
1 Music Box Films
1 AFFRM in partnership with Participant Media
1 Warner Bros. Pictures