SANTA MONICA, CA – FEBRUARY 26: Actor Ben Stiller attends the 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards hosted by Jameson Irish Whiskey at Santa Monica Beach on February 26, 2011 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images For Jameson) *** Local Caption *** Ben Stiller

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 the 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.

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.

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



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.


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