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Contact: Greg Longstreet, Film Independent
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Gina Lang, Ginsberg/Libby
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Spirit Award Winners To Be Revealed on Saturday, February 23
Premiere broadcast on IFC at 10:00 pm ET/PT

LOS ANGELES (January 12, 2013) – Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, announced the winners of its four Spirit Awards filmmaker grants today at its annual Spirit Awards Nominee Brunch held at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood. Salma Hayek and Jeremy Renner hosted the casual event and handed out the honors.

Winners for the remaining categories will be revealed at the 2013 Film Independent Spirit Awards in a tent at Santa Monica beach on Saturday, February 23, 2013. The awards ceremony will premiere later that evening at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on IFC, and as previously announced actor, writer and producer Andy Samberg will serve as host of the ceremony.

“We at Film Independent understand how valuable these grants are in the world of independent film,” said Film Independent Co-President Josh Welsh. “The additional financial support it affords the winners will ensure their artistic vision moves forward.”

“We love to highlight talented, hardworking filmmakers whose herculean efforts can be seen in their films,” said Film Independent Co-President Sean Mc Manus. “We commend all the finalists and recipients for keeping the independent spirit alive through their tireless work.”

Adam Leon, director of Gimme The Loot, received the Someone to Watch Award. The award recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award, which is in its nineteenth year, includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant. The finalists for the award included Rebecca Thomas for Electrick Children and David Fenster for Pincus.

Peter Nicks, director of The Waiting Room received the Stella Artois Truer Than Fiction Award. The award is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not received significant recognition. The award is in its eighteenth year and includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Stella Artois. Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims for Only The Young and Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel for Leviathan were also finalists for the award.

Mynette Louie received the Piaget Producers Award. The award honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources demonstrate the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality, independent films. The annual award, in its sixteenth year, includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget. Finalists were Derrick Tseng and Alicia Van Couvering.

Laura Colella for Breakfast With Curtis, which premiered at the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival, received the third annual Jameson® FIND Your Audience Award. The award helps one low-budget independent film find a broader audience. The award included a $50,000 marketing and distribution grant, funded by Jameson® Irish Whiskey. The other finalists were Sara Lamm, Mary Wigmore, Kate Roughan and Zachary Mortensen for Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin And The Farm Midwives and Jeremy Kipp Walker and John Mitchell for History Of Future Folk.

The Film Independent Spirit Awards are sponsored by Premier Sponsors Piaget and Jameson® Irish Whiskey and Lincoln and Principal Sponsor Stella Artois. WireImage is the Official Photographer, PR Newswire is the Official Breaking News Service of Film Independent and American Airlines is the Official Airline.

For more information on submission guidelines, voting, media and publicist credentials, and the history of the Spirit Awards, please visit

Now in its 28th year, the Film Independent Spirit Awards is an annual celebration honoring artist-driven films made with an economy of means by filmmakers who 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.

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 International Film, Best Documentary, and the Robert Altman Award. The Filmmaker Grants include the Piaget Producers Award, Someone to Watch Award, Stella Artois Truer Than Fiction Award and Jameson FIND Your Audience Award.

Film Independent is a 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, 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.

Film Independent produces the Spirit Awards, the annual celebration honoring artist-driven films and recognizing the finest achievements of American independent filmmakers. Film Independent also produces the Los Angeles Film Festival, showcasing the best of American and international cinema and the 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