The 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards took place in Santa Monica and it was a jam packed show with superstars in attendance. I had a chance to attend and cover the press room with the awards winners. A phenomenal list of nominees and winners that highlighted diversity. Below are the press and winners Q&A from the likes of Adam Sandler, Bong Joon-Ho, Lulu Wang and more.
ADAM SANDLER (BEST MALE LEAD ‘UNCUT GEMS’):
Fantastic work by Sandler in the movie, much deserved win. Was very happy to see him win after getting snubbed for an Oscar nomination. Adam seemed very gracious and was his usual fun self at the presser.
BONG JOON-HO (BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM ‘PARASITE’):
Fortunately I had the opportunity to cover Bong at multiple award shows during this award season. He’s always been fun and always offering some new insight and humor. Parasite is a phenomenon and it couldn’t have a better leader to be the face of it.
OLIVIA WILDE (BEST FIRST FEATURE ‘BOOKSMART’):
Olivia Wilde has had a great room with her freshman directorial debut with Booksmart. One of my favorite comedies of 2019. Great to see her win and accept the award with her cast and writers. Olivia spoke eloquently about female directors in this presser.
WILLEM DAFOE (BEST SUPPORTING MALE ‘THE LIGHTHOUSE’):
Unfortunately Willem Dafoe’s presser was quick. Mainly due to some untasteful questions from the press. Reporters kept asking him about Robert Pattinson becoming Batman. The man won an award and he’s being bombarded by questions about his castmate that wasn’t even there. Just disrespectful to Mr. Dafoe and he remained polite and professional through it.
LULU WANG (BEST FEATURE ‘THE FAREWELL’):
I’ve had the opportunity to cover and speak to Lulu during this awards season. She’s been great through the entire run. Gracious and kind. She seemed genuinely stunned and joyous in winning the Best Feature award. Happy for her to get that recognition for a film that should have gotten more awards considerations elsewhere.
JOSH & BENNY SAFDIE (BEST DIRECTOR(S) ‘UNCUT GEMS’):
The Safdie brothers are hilarious! Such interesting and funny guys. I was thrilled to see them with the Best Director award. They did a fantastic job with Uncut Gems. They were very entertaining at the podium and seemed very happy.
JARIN BLASCHKE (BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY ‘THE LIGHTHOUSE’):
Deserving recognition for Jarin. He did great work with unique cinematography for The Lighthouse. Jarin seemed very cool and easy going. He provided some insightful answers.
COMPLETE LIST OF WINNERS:
BEST FEATURE – The Farewell (PRODUCERS: Anita Gou, Daniele Melia, Andrew Miano, Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub, Lulu Wang, Chris Weitz, Jane Zheng)
BEST DIRECTOR – Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie, Uncut Gems
BEST FEMALE LEAD –Renée Zellweger, Judy
BEST MALE LEAD – Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE – Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell
BEST SUPPORTING MALE – Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse
BEST SCREENPLAY – Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story
BEST EDITING – Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie, Uncut Gems
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE – American Factory (DIRECTORS/PRODUCERS: Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert; PRODUCERS: Julie Parker Benello, Jeff Reichert)
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – Jarin Blaschke, The Lighthouse
BEST FIRST FEATURE – Booksmart (DIRECTOR: Olivia Wilde PRODUCERS: Chelsea Barnard, David Distenfeld, Jessica Elbaum, Megan Ellison, Katie Silberman)
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY – Fredrica Bailey, Stefon Bristol, See You Yesterday
JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD – Give Me Liberty (DIRECTOR: Kirill Mikhanovsky WRITER/PRODUCER: Alice Austen PRODUCERS: Val Abel, Wally Hall, Michael Manasseri, George Rush, Sergey Shtern)
ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD – Marriage Story(DIRECTOR: Noah Baumbach; CASTING DIRECTORS: Douglas Aibel, Francine Maisler; ENSEMBLE CAST: Alan Alda, Laura Dern, Adam Driver, Julie Hagerty, Scarlett Johansson, Ray Liotta, Azhy Robertson, Merritt Wever)
BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM – Parasite, South Korea (DIRECTOR: Bong-Joon Ho)
PRODUCERS AWARD – Mollye Asher
SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – Rashaad Ernesto Green, Premature
TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – Nadia Shihab, Jaddoland
BONNIE AWARD –Kelly Reichardt
Check out highlights from this year’s show below:
For more on the FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS CLICK HERE