Ahead of the Oscars, Hollywood gathers at the Independent Spirit Awards to celebrate films with a budget under $20 million or “independent” films.
With a budget of nearly $30 million, La La Land was kept out of the selection which led to a much deserved acclaim for Moonlight and lots of other very pleasant surprises.
Moonlight was the shining star of last night’s ceremony winning five awards from Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director for Barry Jenkins, Best Cinematography for James Laxton, Best Editing for Joi McMillion and Nat Sanders and Best Feature.
Manchester By The Sea went to score Best Male Lead Award for Casey Affleck and Best Original Screenplay for Kenneth Lonergan.
The Indie Spirit Awards were a big night for women as well. Apart from Joi McMIllion winning the award for Best Editing for Moonlight, Isabelle Huppert scored the Best Female Lead for her role in Elle, following her win at the Cesars on Friday night!
One of the big surprise of the night was Molly Shannon who took home the Best Supporting Female Award for her very moving performance as as a cancer patient in Other People. Maren Ade accepted her Best International Film Award for Toni Erdmann while declaring: “I’m proud to stand here as a female director”.
In the spirit of independent filmmaking, the John Cassavetes Award for the Best Feature under $500,000 went to Andrew Ahn‘s Spa Night.
Another surprise was Robert Eggers’ Sundance horror hit, The Witch, who won two awards, for Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay.
The last three Spirit Award winners have went on to win the Oscar for best picture. It seems that if a film could potentially challenge La La Land, it would definitely be Moonlight.