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2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards


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27th Annual Film Independent Spirit Awards

(winners will appear highlighted in red)


Best Feature

(Award given to the Producer. Executive Producers are not listed)


Producers: Evan Goldberg, Ben Karlin and Seth Rogen

"The Artist"

Producer: Thomas Langmann


Producers: Miranda de Pencier, Lars Knudsen, Leslie Urdang, Dean Vanech and Jay Van Hoy

"The Descendants"

Producers: Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor


Producers: Michel Litvak, John Palermo, Marc Platt, Gigi Pritzker and Adam Siegel

"Take Shelter"

Producers: Tyler Davidson and Sophia Lin

Best Director

Michel Hazanavicius ~ "The Artist"

Mike Mills ~ "Beginners"

Jeff Nichols ~ "Take Shelter"

Alexander Payne ~ "The Descendants"

Nicolas Winding Refn ~ "Drive"

Best First Feature

(Award given to the director and producer)

"Another Earth"

"In The Family"

"Margin Call"

"Martha Marcy May Marlene"

"Natural Selection"

John Cassavetes Award



"Hello Lonesome"


"The Dynamiter"

Best Screenplay

Mike Mills ~ "Beginners"

Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash ~ "The Descendants"

Joseph Cedar ~ "Footnote"

Michel Hazanavicius ~ "The Artist"

Tom McCarthy ~ "Win"

Best First Screenplay

Mike Cahill and Brit Marling ~ "Another Earth"

Patrick deWitt ~ "Terri"

Phil Johnston ~ "Cedar Rapids"

Will Reiser ~ "50/50"

J.C. Chandor ~ "Margin Call"

Best Female Lead

Lauren Ambrose ~ "Think of Me"

Rachael Harris ~ "Natural Selection"

Adepero Oduye ~ "Pariah"

Elizabeth Olsen ~ "Martha Marcy May Marlene"

Michelle Williams ~ "My Week with Marilyn"

Best Male Lead

Demián Bichir ~ "A Better Life"

Jean Dujardin ~ "The Artist"

Ryan Gosling ~ "Drive"

Woody Harrelson ~ "Rampart"

Michael Shannon ~ "Shelter"

Best Supporting Female

Jessica Chastain ~ "Take Shelter"

Anjelica Huston ~ "50/50"

Janet McTeer ~ "Albert Nobbs"

Harmony Santana ~ "Gun Hill Road"

Shailene Woodley ~ "The Descendants"

Best Supporting Male

Albert Brooks ~ "Drive"

John Hawkes ~ "Martha Marcy May Marlene"

Christopher Plummer ~ "Beginners"

John C. Reilly ~ "Cedar Rapids"

Corey Stoll ~ "Midnight in Paris"

Best Cinematography

Joel Hodge ~ "Bellflower"

Benjamin Kasulke ~ "The Off Hours"

Darius Khondji ~ "Midnight in Paris"

Guillaume Schiffman - "The Artist"

Jeffrey Waldron ~ "The Dynamiter"

Best Documentary

(Award given to the director and producer)

"An African Election"

Producer/Director: Jarreth Merz

"Bill Cunningham New York"

Director: Richard Press

Producer: Philip Gefter

"The Interrupters"

Producer/Director: Steve James

Producer: Alex Kotlowitz/color]

"The Redemption of General Butt Naked"

Producers/Directors: Eric Strauss and Daniele Anastasion

"We Were Here"

Producer/Director: David Weissman

Best International Film

(Award given to the director)

"The Kid with a Bike"

Country: (Belgium, France, Italy)

Director: Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne


Country: (Denmark, Sweden, France, Germany)

Director: Lars Von Trier

"A Separation"

Country: (Iran)

Director: Asghar Farhadi


Country: (United Kingdom)

Director: Steve McQueen


Country: (United Kingdom)

Director: Paddy Considine

Special Awards

5th Annual Robert Altman Award

(Given to one film's director, casting director and its ensemble cast)


"Margin Call"


J.C. Chandor

Casting Directors:

Tiffany Little Canfield and Bernard Telsey

Ensemble Cast:

Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons,

Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore, Zachary Quinto, Kevin Spacey

and Stanley Tucci

15th Annual Piaget Producers Award

The 15th Annual Piaget Producers Award 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.

Chad Burris ~ "Mosquito y Mari"

Sophia Lin ~ "Take Shelter"

Josh Mond ~ "Martha Marcy May Marlene"

Audi Someone to Watch Award

Simon Arthur ~ "Silver Tongues"

Mark Jackson ~ "Without"

Nicholas Ozeki ~ "Mamitas"

The 17th Annual NOKIA

Truer Than Fiction Award

The 17th Annual NOKIA Truer Than Fiction Award 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 NOKIA.

"Where Soldiers Come From"

"Hell and Back Again"

"Bombay Beach"

Nokia Truer Than Fiction Award

Alma Har’el

Danfung Dennis

Heather Courtney

The Jameson FIND Your Audience Award

The Jameson FIND Your Audience Award was established this year to help make it possible for one Spirit Award-nominated film to find a broader audience.

Spirit Award-nominated films in need of expanding their marketing and distribution efforts will be considered. The award includes a $50,000 marketing and

distribution grant, funded by Jameson Irish Whiskey. The grant was designed to meet independent filmmakers’ biggest challenge today: How to get their films

out into the marketplace. A blue-ribbon committee will determine the winner.

Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray

Sheldon Larry

Cara Marcous

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  • 4 weeks later...


'The Artist' Dominates 2012 Spirit Awards

by David Germain, AP Movie Writer


2012 Spirit Awards

SANTA MONICA, California"The Artist" won Best Picture and three other prizes at the Spirit Awards honoring independent film, a possible prelude to a big night at the Academy Awards for the black-and-white silent movie. The film's director, Michel Hazanavicius, garnered top honors as well.

"The Artist" earned lead actor acclaim for Jean Dujardin as a silent-era star whose career crumbles as talking pictures take over in the 1920s. The cinematography prize went to Guillaume Schiffman. "The Artist" is the best-picture favorite at Sunday's Oscars.

Michelle Williams won Best Actress as Marilyn Monroe in the filmmaking tale, "My Week with Marilyn." Supporting-acting honors went to Christopher Plummer as an elderly widower who comes out as gay in "Beginners" and Shailene Woodley as a troublesome Hawaiian teenager in "The Descendants."

"The Artist" producer Thomas Langmann said the awards attention for the film was especially gratifying given how difficult it was to line up financing for a silent film, a form that went out of vogue more than 80 years ago. "Everybody told us this is so much against conventional wisdom," Langmann said.

At Sunday's Oscars, Dujardin is in a two-man race for best actor against "The Descendants" star George Clooney. Williams is nominated for best actress at the Oscars, though Viola Davis of "The Help" and Meryl Streep of "The Iron Lady" are considered the favorites.

Williams gave the best performance among the Spirit Awards winners with a touching acceptance speech acknowledging her kinship with low-budget independent filmmakers and recalling her first time at the ceremony a decade ago. "I wore my own clothes back then, which were not very good, and I cut my own hair, which also was not very good," Williams said.

Williams continued, "I still remember the feeling that in this room, unlike others, that that was OK. Possibly even preferred. And what I thought then and I still feel now is that it's because this room was a room full of misfits, outcasts, loners, dreamers, mumblers, delinquents, dropouts. Just like me."

Plummer is the supporting-actor favorite at the Oscars, at 82 potentially becoming the oldest actor ever. "It's taken me the longest time to realize the Spirit Awards have nothing to do with booze," Plummer joked, going on to thank all the spirits that have come his way in his career, "good and evil."

Woodley was not nominated for an Oscar but won out over a lineup that included Academy Award nominee Janet McTeer of the Irish drama "Albert Nobbs."

"The Descendants" also won the screenplay award for director Alexander Payne and his co-writers, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash.

Dujardin was unable to attend the Spirit Awards. He was traveling back to Los Angeles for Sunday's Oscars after the Cesar awards in France on Friday, where "The Artist" won six prizes, including best picture and director for Hazanavicius.

Writer-director Hazanavicius made a rushed trip from France to Los Angeles for the Spirit Awards, joking backstage that the "police escort to come from the airport, that was great."

Other winners:

— First feature: "Margin Call," directed by J.C. Chandor

— International Film: "A Separation," directed by Asghar Farhadi

— Documentary: "The Interrupters"

— First Screenplay: Will Reiser, "50/50"

— John Cassavetes Award for Feature Film made for less than $500,000: "Pariah."

An informal celebration compared to Hollywood's many black-tie honors, the Spirit Awards were presented in their usual venue in a tent along the beach in Santa Monica, just west of Los Angeles. Hosted by Seth Rogen, the ceremony was taped to air later Saturday on IFC.

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