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Independent Spirit Awards 2024: Past Lives, American Fiction, And The Holdovers Win Big

The 2024 Film Independent Spirit Awards, an awards presentation for independent films and television shows, were held on Sunday, February 25, at the Santa Monica Pier in California. Aidy Bryant, an SNL alum, hosted the ceremony, which recognized the best of indie movies and television in 2023.


The Spirit Awards selected the peaceful romance Past Lives, starring Greta Lee and Teo Yoo, as the best feature, with writer-director Celine Song also receiving best director. The film, about two Korean immigrants who fall in love in New York, has also been nominated for best picture at next month’s Academy Awards.

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The Holdovers, a comedy-drama about a teacher and a student who bond over their mutual love of movies, won three prizes, including best cinematography and for actor Dominic Sessa’s breakout performance. Da’Vine Joy Randolph, who plays the teacher’s wife, received the best supporting performance prize less than 24 hours after receiving a Screen Actors Guild prize for the same role.

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American Fiction, a comedy about a black writer hired to ghostwrite a memoir for a white politician, received two awards: best lead performance by Jeffrey Wright and best screenplay by Cord Jefferson. Wright, who has lost several lead actor prizes this season to Oppenheimer’s Cillian Murphy, remarked that winning felt good after attending so many award presentations.

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Other notable winners include May December, a drama about a Hollywood actress who falls in love with a younger man, which won the best first screenplay award for Samy Burch; Chronicles of a Wandering Saint, a biopic about a Colombian priest who becomes a rebel leader, which won the best first feature award for Tomás Gómez Bustillo; and Bottoms, a comedy about two friends who explore their sexuality, which won the best editing award for Emma Seligman and Rachel Sennott.


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On television, Netflix’s Beef, a dark comedy about a road rage incident that turns into a feud, continued to score big, taking the prize for best new scripted series. Ali Wong from Beef received the best lead performance, knocking out co-star Steven Yeun in the gender-neutral category. Nick Offerman received Best Supporting Actor in a New Scripted Series for his role in The Last of Us, a post-apocalyptic thriller based on the computer game of the same title.


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The Spirit Awards also presented Kelly Reichardt’s Showing Up with the Robert Altman Award, which is granted to a film’s director, casting director, and ensemble cast. Jury Duty, a mockumentary series about a group of jurors who must decide the outcome of a celebrity murder trial, has been selected as the best ensemble cast in a new scripted series.


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The Spirit honors are notable for recognizing independent films and television shows that are frequently overlooked by mainstream honors. Many of this year’s Oscar hopefuls, such as Oppenheimer, Barbie, and Killers of the Flower Moon, were not considered independent films and hence were not recognized. Members of Film Independent, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting independent filmmakers, vote on the Spirit Awards.


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2024 Independent Spirit Awards: Winners  

Best Feature: Past Lives
Best Director: Celine Song for Past Lives
Best First Feature: A Thousand and One
Best Lead Performance: Greta Lee for Past Lives and Jeffrey Wright for American Fiction
Best Supporting Performance: Da’Vine Joy Randolph for The Holdovers and Charles Melton for May and December
Best Breakthrough Performance: Anaita Wali Zada for Fremont
Best Screenplay: Cord Jefferson for American Fiction
Best First Screenplay: Samy Burch for May and December
Best Cinematography: Pablo Lozano for Chronicles of a Wandering Saint
Best Editing: Santiago Cendejas, Gabriel Díaz, and Sofía Subercaseaux for Rotting in the Sun
John Cassavetes Award: The Artifice Girl
Robert Altman Award: Showing Up
Best New Scripted Series: I’m a Virgo
The Best Scripted Series: The Last of Us
Best Male Performance in a Scripted Series: Jason Sudeikis for Ted Lasso
Best Female Performance in a Scripted Series: Jean Smart for Hacks
Best Male Performance in a New Scripted Series: Ewan McGregor for Halston
Best Female Performance in a New Scripted Series: Kate Winslet for Mare of Easttown
Best Ensemble Cast in a New Scripted Series: Jury Duty
Best Stunt Ensemble: The Bear


By: Rowland Obiosah


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