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KATE MCKINNON AND KUMAIL NANJIANI TO CO-HOST 2016 FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS
Ceremony to premiere live exclusively on IFC
Saturday, February 27 at 2:00 PM PT / 5:00 PM ET
LOS ANGELES (January 7, 2016) – Film Independent President Josh Welsh announced today that Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live, Ghostbusters, Sisters) and Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley, The Big Sick, My Name is Doris) will co-host the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards. The nonprofit, which also produces the LA Film Festival and Film Independent at LACMA, will hold the 31st annual awards ceremony as a daytime luncheon in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica on Saturday, February 27 with the premiere broadcast airing live exclusively on IFC at 2:00 pm PT / 5:00 pm ET.
“We are ridiculously excited to have Kate McKinnon and Kumail Nanjiani hosting the Spirit Awards this year,” said Josh Welsh, Film Independent’s President. “They are two of the smartest, funniest human beings on the planet and I can’t wait to see what creative mayhem they bring to the show in February,” added Welsh.
“Kate and Kumail embody the wildly smart – yet slightly twisted – comic sensibility that IFC is known for,” said IFC President Jennifer Caserta. “I anticipate that their fresh and unexpected take on hosting the Spirit Awards will set a new bar and have everyone talking.”
The multiple Emmy nominee Kate McKinnon currently stars on the 41st season of Saturday Night Live, having joined the cast in April 2012. McKinnon received 2014 and 2015 Emmy nominations for ‘Outstanding Supporting Actress’ in a Comedy Series for her work on SNL. She has entertained viewers with her critically acclaimed impression of Hillary Rodham Clinton, as well as other notable impressions including Justin Bieber and Ellen DeGeneres. She is also known for her standout “Weekend Update” turns as artist Cecilia Giminez and Russian meteor witness Olga Povlatsky. McKinnon can be been seen in the upcoming films Ghostbusters and Masterminds. In addition, she has lent her voice to the upcoming feature film Angry Birds and animated series including The Simpsons and Family Guy.
Kumail Nanjiani is an actor, writer and comedian currently starring as ‘Dinesh’ on the critically acclaimed HBO comedy series Silicon Valley, which won the TV Critics Choice Award for ‘Best Comedy Series’ last year and has received several Emmy and Golden Globes nominations. Soon he will be playing the lead role in The Big Sick, a film he co-wrote with his wife Emily V. Gordon, produced by Judd Apatow and Barry Mendel and directed by Michael Showalter. Nanjiani’s many memorable comedic roles include the films The Five-Year Engagement (also produced by Apatow), Sex Tape and Hot Tub Time Machine 2. He will next be seen in the upcoming films Hello, My Name Is Doris, Central Intelligence, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates and Fist Fight. Nanjiani is also a writer, executive producer and co-host of Comedy Central’s The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail. He’s also recurring on IFC’s Portlandia, and will have a guest role on the upcoming return of The X-Files on Fox.
In addition to celebrating the broad spectrum of independent filmmaking, the Spirit Awards is also the primary fundraiser for Film Independent’s year-round programs, which cultivate the careers of emerging filmmakers and promote diversity in the industry. To learn more about table sales, attendance and donations please contact email@example.com or 310.432.1253.
ABOUT THE FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS
Now in its 31st year, the Film Independent Spirit Awards is an annual celebration honoring artist-driven films made with an economy of means by filmmakers whose films embody independence and originality. The Spirit Awards recognizes the achievements of American independent filmmakers and promotes the finest independent films of the year to a wider audience.
The winners of the Spirit Awards are voted upon by Film Independent and IFP Members. Awards are given in the following categories: Best Feature, Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay, Best Director, Best Screenplay, John Cassavetes Award (given to the best feature made for a budget under $500,000), Best Male Lead, Best Female Lead, Best Supporting Male, Best Supporting Female, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best International Film, Best Documentary and the Robert Altman Award. The Filmmaker Grants include the Piaget Producers Award, the Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award and the Truer Than Fiction Award. The Film Independent Spirit Awards are sponsored by Premier Sponsors Piaget, Bank of America, Heineken, American Airlines, Jaguar and IFC. FIJI Water is the Official Water of the 2016 Spirit Awards. WireImage is the Official Photographer of Film Independent.
ABOUT FILM INDEPENDENT
Film Independent is a nonprofit arts organization that champions independent film 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 is 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 the Los Angeles Film Festival and Film Independent at LACMA Film Series, a year-round, weekly program that offers unique cinematic experiences for the Los Angeles creative community and the general public.
With over 250 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.
For more information or to become a Member, visit filmindependent.org/membership.
To download the new Film Independent Spirit Awards logo, click here.
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