Film Independent’s Spirit Awards (formerly known as the Independent Spirit Awards) were founded in 1984 and are awards dedicated to independent filmmakers. Film Independent is the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and also the Los Angeles Film Festival.
The 2016 / 31st Film Independent Spirit Awards were announced at the Spirit Awards on Saturday, February 27, 2016. The awards ceremony was held as a daytime luncheon in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica, just north of the Santa Monica Pier. The show was broadcast live exclusively on IFC at 2:00 pm PT/ 5:00 pm ET.
2016 / 31st Film Independent's SPIRIT AWARD winners:
BEST FEATURE – Award given to the producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.
Producers: Blye Pagon Faust, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, Michael Sugar
Tom McCarthy - Spotlight
BEST FEMALE LEAD
Brie Larson -Room
BEST MALE LEAD
Abraham Attah - Beasts of No Nation
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Mya Taylor - Tangerine
BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Idris Elba - Beasts of No Nation
BEST FIRST FEATURE - Award given to the director and producer.
The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Director: Marielle Heller
Producers: Miranda Bailey, Anne Carey, Bert Hamelinck, Madeline Samit
JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD – Given to the best feature made for under $500,000. Award given to the writer, director and producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.
Writer/Director/Producer: Trey Edward Shults
Producers: Justin R. Chan, Chase Joliet, Wilson Smith
Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer - Spotlight
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Emma Donoghue - Room
Ed Lachman - Carol
Tom McArdle - Spotlight
ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD – Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast.
Director: Tom McCarthy
Casting Directors:Kerry Barden and Paul Schnee
Ensemble Cast: Michael Cyril Creighton, Billy Crudup, Paul Guilfoyle, Neal Huff, Brian d’Arcy James, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, Jamey Sheridan, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci
BEST DOCUMENTARY - Award given to the director and producer.
The Look of Silence
Producer: Signe Byrge Sørensen
BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM - Award given to the director.
Son of Saul (Hungary)
Director: László Nemes
19th ANNUAL PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD – The 19th annual Producers Award, sponsored by Piaget, 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.
Mel Eslyn - WINNER
22nd ANNUAL KIEHL’S SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The 22nd annual Someone to Watch Award, sponsored by Kiehl’s Since 1851, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Kiehl’s Since 1851.
Director: Felix Thompson
21st TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The 21st annual 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.
Director: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi