Sorry to Bother You: Boots Riley Wins Best First Feature

In the category for Best First Feature, Boots Riley earned the award for Sorry to Bother You, beating tough competition from The Tale, Wildlife, Hereditary, and We the Animals.

Riley used his acceptance speech to applaud “direct action” political movements that have trickled into contemporary filmmaking, and also chided the CIA for “attempting a coup” for crude oil in the conflicted country.

Bo Burnham won Best First Screenplay, for his resonant coming-of-age tale “Eighth Grade.”

“I was told very often that I was a comedian for 13-year-old girls, and f— yeah I am! I’m proud of that. They deserve to be paid attention to,” Burnham said.

He said he was intimidated entering Hollywood’s high-art circles coming from his stand-up, and thanked the community at large for embracing him.

The crowd also embraced host Aubrey Plaza, whose deadpan humor livened up an afternoon honoring a field blood-and-guts dramas.

“They originally wanted no one to host this show, but they’re already booked for tomorrow,” Plaza said, nodding to the hostless Oscars ceremony that will air live on Sunday.

The “Parks and Recreation” star opened the ceremony with a ritual sacrifice skit where she and an army of indie actresses conjured the “independent spirit awards spirit.”

The Spirit Awards nominations are selected by a 46-member committee and the awards are voted on by the 6,000 members of Film Independent.