Winners Announced for 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards


LOS ANGELES (February 26, 2011) – Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, handed out top honors to Black Swan, Winter’s Bone, 127 Hours, and The Kids Are All Right at this afternoon’s 26th Film Independent Spirit Awards. The King’s Speech, Exit Through the Gift Shop, Get Low, Tiny Furniture, and Daddy Longlegs also received awards at the ceremony, held in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica.

Tune in to IFC tonight at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT to catch all the action at the 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards, with actor and comedian Joel McHale hosting. Highlights include: Joel getting caught in a 127 Hours situation with only Dale Dickey, “Banksy” and John Waters to help him out; See how this year’s best feature nominees stack up against porn and the big studios; Catch the Spirit Awards’ version of a dead people montage; and more! The show was produced by Film Independent in association with dick clark productions, inc.

The Spirit Awards was the first event to exclusively honor independent film, and over the past 26 years, has become the premier awards show for the independent film community, celebrating films made by filmmakers who embody independence and originality. Artists receiving industry recognition first at the Spirit Awards include Joel & Ethan Coen, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone, Ashley Judd, Robert Rodriguez, David O. Russell, Edward Burns, Aaron Eckhart, Neil LaBute, Darren Aronofsky, Spike Jonze, Charlie Kaufman, Hilary Swank, Marc Forster, Todd Field, Christopher Nolan, Zach Braff, Amy Adams and many more.

This year’s major category winners were Fox Searchlight’s Black Swan, which won Best Feature, Best Director, Best Female Lead, and Best Cinematography and 127 Hours, which won Best Male Lead; Roadside Attractions’ Winter’s Bone, which won Best Supporting Female and Best Supporting Male; IFC Films’ Tiny Furniture, which won Best First Screenplay and Daddy Longlegs, which won the John Cassavetes Award; Focus Features’ The Kids Are All Right, which won Best Screenplay; The Weinstein Company’s the King’s Speech, which won Best Foreign Film; Producers Distribution Agency’s Exit Through the Gift Shop, which won Best Documentary; and Sony Pictures Classics’ Get Low, which won Best First Feature.

Also given was the 4th annual Robert Altman Award, given to one film’s director, casting director, and ensemble cast. Nicole Holofcener’s Please Give received this award, along with casting director Jeanne McCarthy and ensemble cast members Ann Guilbert, Rebecca Hall, Catherine Keener, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Lois Smith, and Sarah Steele.

Sandra Oh opened the carpet with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and an announcement that LG Cinema 3D made a $100,000 contribution to Film Independent’s signature diversity program Project:Involve. Project:Involve nurtures the careers of talented writers, directors and producers from under-represented communities.

Film Independent and dick clark productions, in partnership with LG Cinema 3D, streamed a Live Arrivals Show at, which included interviews with nominees and celebrities. The Arrivals Show will be rebroadcast at throughout the evening.

Premiere Sponsors are IFC, ELLE, Netflix, Piaget, Acura, Jameson Irish Whiskey®, LG Cinema 3D, HTCTM and Principal Sponsors are Stella Artois and AVEENO®. WireImage is the Official Photographer, American Airlines is the Official Airline and PR Newswire is the Official Breaking News Service of Film Independent. The Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows is the Official Host Hotel for the Spirit Awards. On 3 Productions is the producer of the Official Presenter Gift Lounge and Official Ceremony Gift Bags. The Official Water of the Spirit Awards is smartwater. LG Cinema 3D is the Presenting Sponsor of the Voter Party at Santa Monica Place. For more information on the winners, photo galleries, and video clips from the arrivals and show, please visit

The following is a complete list of the winners:

Best Feature Fox Searchlight
Black Swan Producers: Scott Franklin, Mike Medavoy, Arnold W. Messer, Brian Oliver

Best Director Fox Searchlight
Darren Aronofsky Black Swan

Best Screenplay Focus Features
The Kids Are All Right Writers: Stuart Blumberg & Lisa Cholodenko

Best First Feature Sony Pictures Classics
Get Low Director: Aaron Schneider
Producers: David Gundlach, Dean Zanuck

Best First Screenplay IFC Films
Lena Dunham Tiny Furniture

John Cassavetes Award IFC Films
(For the best feature made under $500,000) Writers/Directors: Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie
Daddy Longlegs Producers: Casey Neistat, Tom Scott

Best Supporting Female Roadside Attractions
Dale Dickey Winter’s Bone

Best Supporting Male Roadside Attractions
John Hawkes Winter’s Bone

Best Female Fox Searchlight
Natalie Portman Black Swan

Best Male Fox Searchlight
James Franco 127 Hours

Best Cinematography Fox Searchlight
Matthew Libatique Black Swan

Best Foreign Film The Weinstein Company
The King’s Speech Director: Tom Hooper

Best Documentary Producers Distribution Agency
Exit Through The Gift Shop Banksy

2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards Winners by Distributor

Fox Searchlight 5
IFC Films 2
Roadside Attractions 2
Focus Features 1
Producers Distribution Agency 1
Sony Pictures Classics 1
The Weinstein Company 1

On January 15th, the following winners were honored at the Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grant and Nominee Brunch at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood:

The 17th Annual Acura Someone to Watch Award was given to Mike Ott, director of LiTTLEROCK. The $25,000 unrestricted grant, funded by Acura, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not received appropriate recognition.

The 16th Annual AVEENO® Truer Than Fiction Award was given to Jeff Malmberg, director of Marwencol. The $25,000 unrestricted grant, funded by AVEENO®, is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition.

The 14th Annual Piaget Producers Award was given to Anish Savjani, producer of Meek’s Cutoff. The $25,000 unrestricted grant, funded by Piaget, is presented to an emerging producer who, despite highly limited resources demonstrates the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality, independent films.

The inaugural Jameson FIND Your Audience Award was given to Marwencol. The $50,000 marketing and distribution grant, funded by Jameson Irish Whiskey, was designed to meet independent filmmakers’ biggest challenge today: How to get their films out into the marketplace.


Joining Dawn Hudson, Executive Director of Film Independent, was Host Joel McHale.

Presenters included: Will Arnett, Don Cheadle, David Cross, Rosario Dawson, Jesse Eisenberg, Vera Farmiga, Jamie Foxx, James Franco, Greta Gerwig, Terrence Howard, Josh Hutcherson, Anna Kendrick, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence, Diego Luna, Ewan McGregor, Eva Mendes, Sandra Oh, Josh Radnor, Jeremy Renner, Craig Robinson, Paul Rudd, Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Ben Stiller, Uma Thurman, Kerry Washington, Mia Wasikowska, John Waters, Naomi Watts, and Rainn Wilson.

Celebrity guests and nominees included: Natalie Portman, Annette Bening, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Williams, Greta Gerwig, Aaron Eckhart, James Franco, Ben Stiller, Ronald Bronstein, Ashley Bell, Dale Dickey, Allison Janney, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Naomi Watts, John Hawkes, Samuel L. Jackson, Bill Murray, John Ortiz, Mark Ruffalo, Catherine Keener, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Amanda Peet, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Anne Heche, Anthony Mackie, Nia Vardalos, Darren Aronofsky, Tom Hooper, Danny Boyle, Lisa Cholodenko, Debra Granik, John Cameron Mitchell, Nicole Holofcener, Stuart Blumberg, Anne Rosellini, Todd Solondz, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Aaron Schneider, Lena Dunham, Sebastian Junger, Tim Hetherington, Jeff Malmberg, Nik Fackler, Carmine Famiglietti, Scott Franklin, Megan Gilbride, Bob Glaudini, Ann Guibert, Tanya Hamilton, Jordan Horowitz, Ben Howe, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Laurel Nakadate, Casey Neistat, Eric Newman, Brian Oliver, Mike Ott, Bryan Poyser, Celine Rattray, Adele Romanski, Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie, Dean Zanuck, Marc Abraham, Ilisa Barbash, Diane Bell, Matthew Bonifacio, Frazer Bradshaw, Stéphane Brizé, Chris Byrne, Karin Chien, Sean Costello, Lance Daly, Adam Kimmel, Mark Landsman, In-Ah Lee, A.D. Liano, Matthew Libatique, Jody Lee Lipes, Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Kyle Martin, Jeanne McCarthy, Michael McDonough, Mike Medavoy, Matthew Medlin, Arnold W. Messer, Anish Savjani, Tom Scott, Dana Adam Shapiro, Ronald Simons, John Smithson, Daniel Stamm, Sarah Steele, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Laura Techera Francia, Lynn True, Alicia Van Couvering, Evan M. Wiener, and more.

About the Film Independent Spirit Awards

The Film Independent Spirit Awards is a celebration honoring films made by filmmakers who embody independence and originality. Televised in millions of homes and covered internationally by the press, the Spirit Awards has become the vanguard event in independent film, recognizing the achievements of independent filmmakers and promoting independent film to a wider audience.

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 Foreign Film, Best Documentary, and the Robert Altman Award. The Filmmaker Grants include the Acura Someone to Watch Award, Piaget Producers Award, AVEENO® Truer Than Fiction Award, and the Jameson FIND Your Audience Award.

This year’s ceremony is sponsored by Premier Sponsors IFC, ELLE, Netflix, Piaget, Acura, Jameson Irish Whiskey®, LG Cinema 3D, HTCTM and Principal Sponsors Stella Artois and AVEENO®. WireImage is the Official Photographer of Film Independent, American Airlines is the Official Airline of Film Independent, The Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows is the Official Host Hotel, and PR Newswire is the Official Breaking News Service of Film Independent. On 3 Productions is the producer of the Official Presenter Gift Lounge and Official Ceremony Gift Bags. The Official Water of the Spirit Awards is smartwater. LG Cinema 3D is the presenting sponsor of the Spirit Awards Voter Party at Santa Monica Place.

For more information on submission guidelines, voting, photo and video galleries, and the history of the Spirit Awards, please visit

About Film Independent

Film Independent is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit 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, 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 leader, or a film lover.

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 offers free Filmmaker Labs for selected writers, directors, and producers; provides cut-rate services for filmmakers; and presents year-round networking opportunities. Film Independent’s mentorship and job placement program, Project:Involve, pairs emerging culturally diverse filmmakers with film industry professionals.

Film Independent produces the Los Angeles Film Festival, celebrating the best of American and international cinema and the Spirit Awards, a celebration honoring films and filmmakers that embody independence and originality.

For more information or to become a member, visit


Contact: Elise Freimuth, Film Independent

Chris Libby, Ginsberg/Libby
Tel: 323.645.6800 or