Spirit Awards Mon 2.8.2021

SNL’s Melissa Villaseñor to Host the 2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards, April 22

What do Owen Wilson, Jennifer Lopez and Sarah Silverman all have in common? Well, they probably all own Teslas or something. But no, the thing we’re talking about is that each one of these celebs—plus Dolly Parton, Gwen Stefani, Britney Spears, Kristen Wiig and many more—have all been impersonated at one point or another (and with unnerving exactitude) by the great Melissa Villaseñor. But on April 22, the SNL funny woman and impressionist will take on a brand new role unlike any other: as Host of 2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards.

“As someone who considers herself a pretty dependent person, I’m truly honored to host the Film Independent Spirit Awards,” said the comedienne, who in 2016 made history by becoming SNL’s first-ever Latina cast member. Said Josh Welsh, President of Film Independent: “The time to laugh has definitely arrived, and not a moment too soon!”

Added Welsh: “We’re thrilled to welcome Melissa into the club of smart, funny film lovers to host the Spirit Awards.” Recent hosts have included Aubrey Plaza, Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, Kate McKinnon and Kumail Nanjiani, Fred Armisen and Kristen Bell, Sarah Silverman and Patton Oswalt, just to name a few.

Spirit Award nominees were revealed in a special video announcement on January 25, featuring special guest presenters Olivia Wilde, Barry Jenkins (plus dog) and Laverne Cox. Watch the entire announcement below:

In further efforts to help ensure you don’t miss out on anything Sprit Awards season has to offer, we should point out that this Thursday, February 11, is the FINAL DAY to become a Member of Film Independent in order to vote for this year’s winners—not to mention receive Spirit Awards screeners and special priority access to Film Independent online events.

“Melissa and the unique circumstances of now will make this year’s ceremony like no other,” promises IFC Executive Director Blake Callaway, the network once again returns as the show’s exclusive broadcaster, alongside OTT streaming counterpart AMC+. “It will certainly be a departure from the past,” says Callaway of the show’s move to primetime on Thursday, April 22, “But with Melissa, the chances of Dolly, Ariana Grande, Bjork, Gwen Stefani, Julie Andrews and Lady Gaga showing up have skyrocketed.” Or someone else—who knows?

The Spirit Awards, you should know, are also the primary fundraiser for Film Independent and its wide variety of year-round filmmaker support programs, including artist development labs, international programs, film education, special screenings, mentorship and more. Learn about our mission here.

The 36th Film Independent Spirit Awards will be broadcast exclusive on IFC Thursday, April 22 at 10:00 pm ET. Check out all of this year’s nominees here.

To learn more about supporting Film Independent’s mission and programs, contact Jennifer Murby at jmurby@filmindependent.org.

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Stephanie Terifay at sterifay@filmindependent.org.

The Film Independent Spirit Awards are sponsored by Premier Sponsor IFC. FIJI Water is the Official Water. Getty Images is the Official Photographer. We are also honored to be partnering with the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) SeeHer, the leading global movement for gender equality in media, advertising, marketing and entertainment and AMC Networks to further celebrate and act as a catalyst for accurate and meaningful representation in storytelling. Tune in April 22!

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(Header photo credit: Mary Ellen Matthews)