Spirit Awards 2016: Spotlight Wins All Top Awards–Picture, Director, Screenplay, Ensemble

Spotlight won top honors at the 2016 Spirit Awards, winning best feature, best director, best screenplay, best editing, and best ensemble.

Earlier in the afternoon, Brie Larson earned the prize for best lead female for her performance in Room.

Abraham Attah won the Spirit Award for best actor for his portrayal of a child soldier in the drama Beasts of No Nation — his first acting role.

Cast mate Idris Elba won the Spirit Award for supporting actor for Beasts of No Nation. The award is a partial redemption for Elba, who was snubbed by the Academy of of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on January 14 for his role as a commandant of an African army of child soldiers — a major reason for the #OscarsSoWhite protest about the exclusion of non-white actors from the nominations.

Elba brought on co-star Attah on stage in his acceptance speech. Elba won the Screen Actors Guild award for the part on Jan. 30.

Tom McCarthy won the Spirit Award for directing “Spotlight” — his second award of the day after winning for the script.

McCarthy and Josh Singer won for Best Screenplay for “Spotlight,” their exploration of the Boston Globe’s investigation into pedophile priests.

The announcements evoked a strong response from the audience at the 31st Spirit Award ceremonies at a tent on Santa Monica beach on Saturday afternoon.  McCarthy had introduced both the cast and the Globe journalists during the presentation of the previously announced Robert Altman cast award.

“We stand on the shoulders of these journalists,” McCarthy said back stage.

Transgender actress Mya Taylor won the Spirit Award for best supporting actress for the transgender drama “Tangerine” for her role as sex worker Alexandra.

“I came from almost nothing,” a beaming Taylor said from the stage following a standing ovation. “My life did a total 360.”

In a pre-broadcast announcement, Tom McArdle won the editing award for “Spotlight.” He’s also up for the Oscar.

Marielle Heller won the award for best first feature for “The Diary of a Teenage Girl,” starring Bel Powley in a coming-of-age drama.

Emma Donoghue won the best first screenplay award for “Room” while “The Look of Silence” took the documentary trophy.

Ed Lachman won the cinematography award for “Carol,” a romance set in 1950s New York City.

Laszlo Nemes’ “Son of Saul” took the international award. The Hungarian film, set in a World War II concentration camp, is a front-runner for the foreign language Oscar.

“Krisha,” which was shot in nine days, took the John Cassavetes award for best film produced for under $500,000.

Film Independent’s 31st Spirit Awards are being held Saturday — the day before the Academy Awards — in a tent on Santa Monica Beach. “Saturday Night Live” star Kate McKinnon and “Silicon Valley’s” Kumail Nanjiani  are co-hosting the awards.

The Spirit Awards are voted on by members of Film Independent and require that the films be produced in the U.S. for less than $20 million. “Birdman” and “12 Years a Slave” won both the SpiritAward and the Oscar best picture trophies during the past two years, as did “The Artist” four years ago.

See the winners and nominees below:

Best Feature

Anomalisa
Beasts of No Nation
Carol
Spotlight — WINNER
Tangerine

Best Director

Sean Baker, Tangerine
Cary Joji Fukunaga, Beasts of No Nation
Todd Haynes, Carol
Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson, Anomalisa
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight  WINNER
David Robert Mitchell, It Follows

Best Screenplay

Charlie Kaufman, Anomalisa
Donald Margulies, The End of the Tour
Phyllis Nagy, Carol
Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer, Spotlight  WINNER
S. Craig Zahler, Bone Tomahawk

Best First Feature

The Diary of a Teenage Girl  WINNER
James White
Manos Sucias
Mediterranea
Songs My Brothers Taught Me

Best First Screenplay

Jesse Andrews, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Jonas Carpignano, Mediterranea
Emma Donoghue, Room  WINNER
Marielle Heller, The Diary of a Teenage Girl
John Magary, Russell Harbaugh, Myna Joseph, The Mend

Best Male Lead

Christopher Abbott, James White
Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation
Ben Mendelsohn, Mississippi Grind
Jason Segel, The End of the Tour
Koudous Seihon, Mediterranea

Best Female Lead

Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Bel Powley, The Diary of A Teenage Girl
Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Tangerine

Best Supporting Male

Kevin Corrigan, Results
Paul Dano, Love & Mercy
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation  WINNER
Richard Jenkins, Bone Tomahawk
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes

Best Supporting Female

Robin Bartlett, H.
Marin Ireland, Glass Chin
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Anomalisa
Cynthia Nixon, James White
Mya Taylor, Tangerine  WINNER

Best Documentary

(T)error
Best of Enemies
Heart of a Dog
The Look of Silence WINNER
Meru
The Russian Woodpecker

Best International Film

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

Embrace of the Serpent
Girlhood
Mustang
Son of Saul

Best Cinematography

Beasts of No Nation
Carol  WINNER
It Follows
Meadlowland
Songs My Brothers Taught Me

Best Editing

Heaven Knows What
It Follows
Manos Sucias

Room

Spotlight  WINNER

 

John Cassavetes Award (Best Feature Under $500,000)

Advantageous
Christmas, Again
Heaven Knows What
Krisha  WINNER
Out of My Hand

Robert Altman Award (Best Ensemble)

Spotlight  WINNER

Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award

Chloe Zhao
Felix Thompson
Robert Machoian & Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck

Piaget Producers Award 

Darren Dean
Mel Eslyn
Rebecca Green and Laura D. Smith