Spirit Awards 2009: New Location

October 15, 2009 – Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, announced today that the 2010 Spirit Awards will be held on Friday evening March 5 at LA Live in downtown Los Angeles.  The event will be held in a tent on the complexís panoramic event deck beginning at 8:00 p.m.  Over the past 25 years, the event has been held at various locations in Los Angeles, including 385 North Restaurant, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Beverly Hills Hotel, Raleigh Studios, the Historic Hollywood Palladium, and the Santa Monica beach.

"We wanted to do something very special and different for the 25th Anniversary by holding the only late-night awards show, where our audience can tune-in live at 11:00pm on the East Coast," said Film Independent's Executive Director Dawn Hudson.  "Our new venue will still have the laid-back, no-holds-barred atmosphere that only the independent film community can create."  

The milestone ceremony will air live and uncut on Friday, March 5, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. PST/11:00 p.m. EST on IFC (Independent Film Channel).  The nominations press conference will take place on Tuesday, December 1, and all past Spirit Award winners and nominees will be eligible to vote for this year's winners.  

Longtime Film Independent supporter and multiple Spirit Awards nominee Laura Dern is chairing the 25th Anniversary Spirit Awards Event Committee.  Dern's history with the Spirit Awards dates back to 1986 and 1987, when she was nominated for Best Female Lead for her performances in Smooth Talk and Blue Velvet.  Dern and David Lynch won a Special Distinction Award in 2007 in recognition for their unique and stunning collaborative work on Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart andInland Empire.  Dern currently serves on Film Independent's Board of Directors.

"The Spirit Awards have always held a special place in my heart because of the acknowledgement they bestow on filmmaking talent who dare to tell powerful and provocative stories," said Dern.  "The 25th Anniversary pays tribute to them, as well as to those who continue to carry that independent spirit and who choose boldly to collaborate and create for vision, not commerce." 

Dick Clark Productions and independent producer Jamie McGurk will serve as Executive Producers, taking over the production from Diana Zahn-Storey, who executive produced the show for 15 years.  Zahn-Storey will continue to serve in an advisory capacity.  Zahn-Storey has started her own event production company, Nuts-n-Bolts Productions.  Spirit Award-winning actor, writer and director Mike White will serve as Creative Consultant to the show. 

McGurk has several projects in development through her production banner Off Balance Productions, and is a co-founder of SeaChange Communications, a political communications company specializing in non-traditional communications for the political and non-profit arenas.  She has donated her time as a marketing consultant for Film Independent and The H.E.L.P. Group, is the Co-President of California State Summer School for the Arts, and previously served as a Board of Trustees Member for the Motion Picture and Television Fund.

White's history with the Spirit Awards includes a win for Best Feature Under $500,000 and nominations for Best Screenplay and Best Debut Performance in 2001 for Chuck & Buck, followed by a Best Screenplay win in 2003 forThe Good Girl and a Best Screenplay nomination in 2008 for Year of the Dog.