If Beale Street Could Talk
If Beale Street Could Talk

If Beale Street Could Talk, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Suspiria, Eighth Grade, First Reformed, Sorry To Bother You, The Wife and You Were Never Really Here. En El Séptimo Día, Won’t You Be My Neighbor and Roma received awards at Film Independent’s 34th Spirit Awards ceremony.

This year’s major winners were If Beale Street Could Talk, which won Best Feature, Best Director and Best Supporting Female; Can You Ever Forgive Me? which won Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Male; Suspiria which won the Robert Altman Award and Best Cinematography; En El Séptimo Día which won the John Cassavettes Award; Eighth Grade which won Best First Screenplay; First Reformed which won Best Male Lead; Sorry to Bother You which won Best First Feature; The Wife which won Best Female Lead; You Were Never Really Here which won Best Editing; Won’t You Be My Neighborwhich won Best Documentary; and Roma which won Best International Film.

The 12th annual Robert Altman Award was given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast. Suspiria director Luca Guadagnino received this award, along with casting directors Avy Kaufman and Stella Savino as well as cast members Malgosia Bela, Ingrid Caven, Lutz Ebersdorf, Elena Fouina, Mia Goth, Jessica Harper, Dakota Johnson, Gala Moody, Chloë Grace Moretz, Fabrizia Sacchi, Renée Soutendijk, Tilda Swinton, Sylvie Testud, Angela Winkler.

The 2019 Roger and Chaz Ebert Foundation Fellowship annually selects an outstanding filmmaker and participant in Project Involve. Now in its 26th year, Project Involve has proudly fostered the careers of artists from underrepresented backgrounds, empowering them to create stories for film and television that are reflective of our community. The Fellowship includes an unrestricted cash grant of $10,000 and was awarded to screenwriter Stephanie Adams-Santos, a distinct and bold new voice.

Winners of 34th Spirit Awards

Best Feature:

If Beale Street Could Talk (Annapurna Pictures)
Producers: Dede Gardner, Barry Jenkins, Jeremy Kleiner, Sara Murphy, Adele Romanski

Best Director:

Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk (Annapurna Pictures)

Best Screenplay:

Nicole Holofcener, Jeff Whitty, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Best First Feature:

Sorry To Bother You (Annapurna Pictures)
Director: Boots Riley
Producers: Nina Yang Bongiovi, Jonathan Duffy, Charles D. King, George Rush, Forest Whitaker, Kelly Williams

Best First Screenplay:

Bo Burnham, Eighth Grade (A24)

John Cassavetes Award:

(for best feature made under $500,000)
En El Séptimo Día (The Cinema Guild)
Writer/Director/Producer: Jim McKay
Producers: Alex Bach, Lindsey Cordero, Caroline Kaplan, Michael Stipe

Best Supporting Female:

Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk (Annapurna Pictures)

Best Supporting Male:

Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Best Female Lead:

Glenn Close, The Wife (Sony Pictures Classics)

Best Male Lead:

Ethan Hawke, First Reformed (A24)

Robert Altman Award:

Suspiria (Amazon Studios)
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Casting Directors: Avy Kaufman and Stella Savino
Ensemble Cast: Malgosia Bela, Ingrid Caven, Lutz Ebersdorf, Elena Fouina, Mia Goth, Jessica Harper, Dakota Johnson, Gala Moody, Chloë Grace Moretz, Fabrizia Sacchi, Renée Soutendijk, Tilda Swinton, Sylvie Testud, Angela Winkler

Best Cinematography:

Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, Suspiria (Amazon Studios)

Best Editing:

Joe Bini, You Were Never Really Here (Amazon Studios)

Best International Film:

Roma (Mexico – Netflix)
Director: Alfonso Cuarón

Best Documentary:

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Focus Features)
Director/Producer: Morgan Neville
Producers: Caryn Capotosto, Nicholas Ma

Bonnie Award

Debra Granik received the second annual Bonnie Award. Bonnie Tiburzi Caputo joined American Airlines in 1973 at age 24, becoming the first female pilot to fly for a major U.S. airline. In her honor, the Bonnie Award recognizes a mid-career female director with a $50,000 unrestricted grant sponsored by American Airlines. Finalists for the award were Tamara Jenkins and Karyn Kusama.

Producers Award

Shrihari Sathe received the 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 22nd year, includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant. Finalists for the award were Jonathan Duffy and Kelly Williams and Gabrielle Nadig.

Someone to Watch Award

Alex Moratto, director of Sócrates, received the Someone to Watch Award. The award recognizes talented filmmakers of singular vision who have not yet received appropriate recognition. The award is in its 25th year and includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant. Finalists for the award were Ioana Uricaru, director of Lemonade and Jeremiah Zagar, director of We The Animals.

Truer Than Fiction Award

Bing Liu, director of Minding The Gap, received the 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 24th year and includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant. Finalists for the award were Alexandria Bombach, director of On Her Shoulders and Ramell Ross, director of Hale County This Morning, This Evening.

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