Oscar 2007: Rainn Wilson to Host Spirit Awards Ceremony

December 20, 2007-Film Independent announced today that Rainn Wilson will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the 2008 Spirit Awards, to take place in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica on Saturday, February 23, 2008. Wilson, best known for his role as a paper salesman, nonetheless, on NBCs The Office, will be hosting a more eco-friendly awards show, as Film Independent engages in a company-wide greening initiative.

Film Independent was granted a waiver by the Writers Guild of America in order for the Spirit Awards to hire WGA writers. As a member of the WGA, Wilson in addition to his hosting duties will also serve as a writer for the show.

The 2008 ceremony will air live and uncut beginning at 5:00p.m. EST on IFC (Independent Film Channel), with an edited re-broadcast of the ceremony airing later that evening on AMC at 10:00 p.m.

Nominations for the 2008 Film Independent Spirit Awards were announced on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 with Im Not There receiving the inaugural Robert Altman Award, to be presented to the films director, casting director and its ensemble cast. Diana Zahn-Storey returns to executive produce the event for the fourteenth consecutive year.

We have been so lucky in the past to have a string of original hosts for the Spirit Awards and that trend continues with Rainn, Diana Zahn-Storey, Sprit Awards executive producer commented. The Spirit Awards are going through a type of renewal with our greening initiative and we know that Rainn will be able to inject new ideas into this years ceremony as well.

“Film Independent and the Spirit Awards have a history of providing a fresh perspectiveone that reflects the voices of the filmmakers we represent,” said Dawn Hudson, executive director, Film Independent. “We are proud to give our talented, new host a platform to express his original voice and unique perspective.

It is truly an honor to be asked to host an awards show that salutes the cutting edge in cinema. I like to think that I bring a bit of an independent spirit to the proceedings as I recently installed a gun-rack in my Prius, said Rainn Wilson.

IFC is proud to again broadcast the only uncut, uncensored awards show on television, and thrilled to have Rainn Wilson to host, added Evan Shapiro, IFCs Executive Vice President and General Manager. Despite mainstream success, Rainn truly represents independent culture and has a brilliant comic mind he is the perfect irreverent voice for the Spirits and our audiences.

Wilson can currently be seen on NBC in the fourth season of the Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Award Winning series for Best Comedy, the American version of The Office, alongside Steve Carell, John Krasinski and Jenna Fisher. Endearing himself to millions, he earned his first Emmy nomination this year in the supporting actor category for his portrayal of Dwight Schrute, an eccentric paper salesman whose ego knows no bounds, dreams of being #2 and fervently torments his colleagues in his own lovable, pathetic fashion.

Upcoming for Wilson is The Rocker, a music-themed comedy that follows a failed, down-and-out drummer (Wilson) who, twenty years after being kicked out of his now-famous group, gets a second chance with his nephews high school rock band. The film is being released through Shawn Levy and Tom McNultys 21 Laps Entertainment banner for Fox Atomic in March, 2008. He is also currently in pre-production on Bonzai Shadowhands, a dark comedy that he will both write and star in for Fox Searchlight, which Jason Reitman (Thank You for Smoking, Juno) is set to direct and produce through his shingle Hard C. The story revolves around a once-great ninja who is now living a life of mediocrity somewhere in Californias San Fernando Valley.

Wilson was most recently seen in the fantasy family feature The Last Mimzy, alongside Joely Richardson and Tim Hutton. Other film credits include Ivan Reitmans comedy for 20th Century Fox, Super Ex-Girlfriend, opposite Luke Wilson and Uma Thurman; Sahara, with Matthew McConaughey, Steve Zahn, and Penelope Cruz; Baadasssss; Steven Soderberghs Full Frontal; Cameron Crowes Almost Famous; Americas Sweetheart; House of 1,000 Corpse and Galaxy Quest. Prior to The Office, Wilson was best known for his role as Arthur Martin, the pitiable morticians apprentice on HBOs Emmy Award winning television series, Six Feet Under. He has also guest-starred on CSI, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Dark Angel and Monk, and he co-starred in the television movie When Billy Beat Bobby.