Contact: Alia Quart Khan, Film Independent
Tel: 310.432.1287 or

Gina Pence, Ginsberg/Libby
Tel: 323.645.6800 or


Spirit Awards to be broadcast live exclusively on IFC,
Saturday, February 27, 2016 2:00 pm PT / 5:00 pm ET

LOS ANGELES (January 5, 2016) – Film Independent President Josh Welsh announced today that Uzo Aduba (Orange Is the New Black, The Wiz Live!, American Pastoral) and Rami Malek (Mr. Robot, The Master, Short Term 12) will co-host the Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominee Brunch on Saturday, January 9 at BOA restaurant in West Hollywood where they will announce Film Independent’s grant winners for 2016. 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 very happy to kick off the awards season in January with Uzo Aduba and Rami Malek hosting the Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grant and Nominee Brunch,” said Josh Welsh President of Film Independent. “At the brunch we will celebrate this year’s nominees before the show and award $75,000 in grants to up and coming filmmakers.”

Uzo Aduba is a two-time Emmy Award winning actress whose work spans television, film and theatre.Aduba currently stars as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren in the critically acclaimed Netflix Original Series Orange is the New Black. For her performance, she won the 2015 Emmy Award for “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series” and the 2014 Emmy Award for “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy.” Additionally, Aduba won the 2015 Screen Actors Guild Award for “Outstanding Actress in a Comedy” and was a part of OINTB’s win for “Best Ensemble in a Comedy”. This year she is nominated for “Outstanding Actress in a Comedy” once again. With her SAG and 2014 Emmy honors, she became the first African American actress to win the award in each category. She was also nominated for the 2015 and 2016 Golden Globe Award for “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series, or TV Movie.”Aduba recently appeared in NBC’s production of The Wiz Live! and she recently wrapped production on Ewan McGregor’s American Pastoral alongside McGregor, Jennifer Connelly and Dakota Fanning.

Rami Malek is the break-out star of the USA hour-long drama Mr. Robot, for which he has received Golden Globe, SAG and BCFA nominations for “Best Actor”. In 2012, Rami was featured in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams. He also notably appeared in the HBO miniseries The Pacific as “Snafu.” His performance garnered incredible reviews and led him to being cast by Tom Hanks in Larry Crowne at Universal and Bill Condon in the last installment of Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn. Prior to that, Rami was seen in Night at the Museum 1 & 2, and had a memorable arc on 24. He was also featured in Spike Lee’s Old Boy opposite Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Olsen, and also starred in Short Term 12, directed by Destin Cretton. In 2014, Rami starred in the Dreamworks feature Need for Speed, directed by Scott Waugh, as well as Night at the Museum 3, opposite Ben Stiller. Mr. Robot will return for its second season in summer 2016.

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 or 310.432.1253.



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.



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

To download the new Film Independent Spirit Awards logo, click here.


About IFC

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