2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards to Partner with Looped Live to Debut First-Ever Virtual Show

Press Contact: Seanna Hore, Ginsberg/Libby

Gladys Santos, Ginsberg/Libby


Spirit Awards Ceremony to be Augmented with Virtual Live Show Content, Exclusive Backstage, Blue Carpet, Live Performances and More

Looped Live to Make Show Interactive for Guests Around the Globe

LOS ANGELES (April 8, 2021) – Film Independent has partnered with virtual venue Looped to power and produce the first-ever virtual interactive Film Independent Spirit Awards. Virtual Show attendees will watch this year’s ceremony from inside the online equivalent of the Spirit Awards’ signature beach tent, joining a worldwide community of film lovers to celebrate, in style, the best independent films and TV shows of the year. The addition of this virtual venue will augment and enhance the 36th annual Spirit Awards telecast on April 22, hosted by SNL’s Melissa Villaseñor and broadcast LIVE exclusively on IFC and AMC+ at 10:00 pm.

Virtual attendees will engage with friends and colleagues in a fully interactive audio and visual experience throughout – from a curated cocktail hour, beginning at 9:00 pm ET / 6:00 pm PT, to attending the annual Spirit Awards After Party, reimagined as a virtual Karaoke Party. The full Spirit Awards experience has been recreated within Looped’s fully customized virtual venue. Guests will enjoy all the familiar elements of the Film Independent Spirit Awards from the comfort of their own home.

Before heading to private Spirit Awards viewing suites, the Virtual Show evening will kick-off with a curated, pre-show cocktail hour for all guests, featuring a main stage DJ set. Special guest entertainers will include RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni, including Nina West. Attendees will have the chance to engage with live video chat as they move between the various curated virtual bars and tents, including: The Wine Bar, hosted by Napa winemakers; The Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Bar, featuring a mixologist; the Blue Carpet photo booth and a host of other familiar hangouts including The Pier, The Carousel and The Bungalow. Or, for those wanting to ease into the evening, The Quiet Cabana. Guests will also have the chance to go to “The Beach” where they can let loose at the Silent Disco.

The Virtual Show Backstage will also feature tents exclusive to Nominees and Special Guests only. The main Backstage tent will be hosted by Creator of The Curvy Critic and film expert Carla Renata, and co-hosted by Variety film and media reporter Angelique Jackson. Carla is a frequent Film Independent virtual event moderator and friend to filmmakers everywhere.

Film Independent will also host a Viewing Party available to audiences around the globe to gather from home to watch the show and chat with fellow film and television lovers. The Spirit Awards Viewing Party is open to all and available exclusively on Looped. Film Independent Members receive a discounted registration; Film Lover and Arts Circle Members can attend for free.

More than just a party or awards show, the Spirit Awards remain the nonprofit arts org Film Independent’s largest annual fundraiser, making year-round programming and support for emerging filmmakers and film lovers worldwide possible. Spirit Awards partners join the organization in amplifying the voices of independent storytellers, celebrating their diversity, originality and uniqueness of vision. Their support enables Film Independent to foster the creative process, celebrate great work and continue to champion creativity, innovation and craftsmanship across cinematic disciplines.

Previously announced Spirit Awards Chair and 2014 Someone to Watch Award winner Shaka King will feature as a special guest. King recently announced the 2021 Emerging Filmmaker Awards presented by Genesis Motor North America, granting $25,000 to each to recipients Ekwa Msangi (Someone to Watch Award), Gerry Kim (Producers Award) and Elegance Bratton (Truer Than Fiction Award.) As a Premier Sponsor, Genesis Motor North America is also supporting the ongoing Film Independent Directors Close-Up series.

Returning again this year as the official spirits partner, Bulleit Frontier Whiskey will invite whiskey and film fans to join the brand and raise a glass to pioneers pushing the boundaries of film with the first-ever Official Cocktail of the Film Independent Spirit Awards, a one of a kind drink named “Drop the Mic”, inspired by the innovators and groundbreakers in film.

As the Official Cocktail of the 2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards, “Drop the Mic” embodies the character of the Awards, incorporating imaginative flavors that showcase the innovative spirit of filmmakers. The orange and cacao shrubs in the cocktail are an old technique used to preserve flavors bringing a taste of the Bulleit Frontier to the forefront of your palette. Combined with Oloroso Sherry and mole bitters, the drink takes on a gritty but fruit forward flavor profile much like the grit and determination of the dynamic mix of filmmakers and entertainers nominated for this year’s Awards. The dark and elegant shade of the cocktail is inspired by the Film Independent Spirits Awards trophy and presented in a rocks glass. When stirred, the cocktail merges the Bulleit Bourbon and Film Independent Spirit Awards’ pioneer nature bringing them together as two frontier spirits. As you sip it, it’s surely a drink worthy of a mic drop!

The Film Independent Spirit Awards are sponsored by Premier Sponsors Genesis Motor North America and IFC. Bulleit Frontier Whiskey is the Official Spirit. FIJI Water is the Official Water. Looped is the Official Host of the Virtual Spirit Awards. 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.

To attend the first-ever virtual Film Independent Spirit Award, contact Jennifer Murby at jmurby@filmindependent.org.

To learn about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Stephanie Terifay at sterifay@filmindependent.org.

To attend the Spirit Awards Viewing Party, register here.

To learn more about the Spirit Awards eligibility rules and regulations please visit spiritawards.com.

The winners of the Film Independent Spirit Awards are voted upon by Film Independent Members. Membership is open to the public. For more information or to become a Member, visit filmindependent.org.


Film Independent is the nonprofit arts organization that champions creative independence in visual storytelling and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds an audience for their projects and works to diversify the film industry. Film Independent’s Board of Directors, filmmakers, staff and constituents are comprised of an inclusive community of individuals across ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race and sexual orientation. Anyone passionate about film can become a Member, whether you are a filmmaker, industry professional or a film lover.

In addition to producing the Spirit Awards, Film Independent produces Film Independent Presents, a year-round screening series for its members that offers unique cinematic experiences for the Los Angeles creative community and the general public. Through annual screenings and events, Film Independent provides access to a network of like-minded artists who are driving creativity in the film industry.

Film Independent’s Artist Development program offers free labs for selected writers, directors, producers and documentary filmmakers and presents year-round networking opportunities. Project Involve is Film Independent’s signature program dedicated to fostering the careers of talented filmmakers from communities traditionally underrepresented in the film industry.


IFC is the home of offbeat, unexpected comedies. Acclaimed series Documentary Now!, Sherman’s Showcase, Baroness von Sketch Show and Year of the Rabbit air alongside fan-favorite movies and comedic cult TV shows. IFC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc., and available across multiple platforms. IFC is Always On, Slightly Off.


AMC+ is the company’s new premium streaming bundle featuring an extensive lineup of popular and critically acclaimed original programming from across AMC Networks’ entertainment networks and a number of the company’s targeted streaming services, including Shudder, Sundance Now and IFC Films Unlimited, which feature content such as Riviera, Creepshow, A Discovery of Witches and Boyhood. Currently available to Amazon Prime Video Channels, Apple TV channels, Roku Channels, Comcast Xfinity, DirecTV, DISH and Sling TV.


Looped’s interactive streaming technology, production, and ticketing solutions provide creators with a world-class virtual venue to seamlessly host their events. Looped connects fans from around the world to attend these events and customizes their experience with one-of-a-kind offerings such as front row seats, backstage passes, and co-viewing suites. During Looped’s events, fans have access to interactive features such as global chat rooms and live polling, allowing for audience participation directly with creators. To date, more than 300,000 fans and 1,000 creators have united on Looped. Learn more at www.loopedlive.com and on social media @loopedlive.