Independent Spirit Awards

Uncut Gems and The Farewell were the big winners at the Independent Spirit Awards on February 8, 2020.

Uncut Gems

SIFF 2019 Closing Night and popular favorite The Farewell came out on top at the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards, winning Best Film and Best Supporting Actress for Zhao Shuzhen. The Safdie Brothers' Uncut Gems took home Best Actor for Adam Sandler, Best Editing, and Best Director. The Lighthouse rounded out the top award-getters with Best Supporting Actor for Willem Dafoe, and Best Cinematography.

While crossover hit Parasite continues its domination in the Foreign Language categories, the differences between the nominees of the Spirit Awards and the Oscars, to say nothing of the winners, was in high contrast this year. Women and people of color were nominated in EVERY category, and some of the winners represent people not even recognized by the Academy. Some of this diversity can be ascribed to the budget cutoff of the Independent Spirit Awards (i.e. women and directors of color are still not being given the big budget projects that end up at the Oscars), but also is reflective of the "spirit" of the Spirit Awards—recognizing extraordinary talent across all cinema.

The team from SIFF 2018 (and SIFF 2017 New Works-in-Progress project) Retablo was nominated for Best International Film, and while they fell to the Parasite juggernaut, director Alvaro Delgado Aparicio and his cast made the most of the experience, delivering "retablos" to Willem Dafoe and Bong Joon Ho. Celebrating the film community across the world is what awards should be about, congratulations to all the winners at the Independent Spirit Awards for keeping that spirit alive.

—Beth Barrett | SIFF Artistic Director

* denotes a film screening as part of a SIFF program

Best Feature
A Hidden Life* (SIFF Cinema)
Clemency *(SIFF 2019)
WINNER - The Farewell* (SIFF 2019, SIFF Cinema)
Marriage Story (SIFF Members Day Celebration film)
Uncut Gems* (SIFF Cinema)

Best Director
Robert Eggers – The Lighthouse*
Alma Har’el – Honey Boy
Julius Onah – Luce
WINNER - Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie – Uncut Gems*
Lorene Scafaria – Hustlers

Best First Feature
WINNER - Booksmart
The Climb
The Last Black Man In San Francisco*
The Mustang
See You Yesterday

Best Female Lead
Karen Allen – Colewell
Hong Chau – Driveways*
Elisabeth Moss – Her Smell*
Mary Kay Place – Diane*
Alfre Woodard – Clemency*
WINER - Renée Zellweger – Judy

Best Male Lead
Chris Galust – Give Me Liberty
Kelvin Harrison Jr. – Luce
Robert Pattinson – The Lighthouse*
WINNER - Adam Sandler – Uncut Gems*
Matthias Schoenaerts – The Mustang

Best Supporting Female
Jennifer Lopez – Hustlers
Taylor Russell – Waves*
WINNER - Zhao Shuzhen – The Farewell*
Lauren “Lolo” Spencer – Give Me Liberty
Octavia Spencer – Luce

Best Supporting Male
WINNER - Willem Dafoe – The Lighthouse*

Noah Jupe – Honey Boy
Shia Labeouf – Honey Boy
Jonathan Majors – The Last Black Man in San Francisco*
Wendell Pierce – Burning Cane*

Best Screenplay
WINNER - Noah Baumbach – Marriage Story*
Jason Begue, Shawn Snyder – To Dust*
Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie – Uncut Gems*
Chinonye Chukwu – Clemency*
Tarell Alvin Mccraney – High Flying Bird

Best First Screenplay
WINNER - Fredrica Bailey, Stefon Bristol – See You Yesterday
Hannah Bos, Paul Thureen – Driveways*
Bridget Savage Cole, Danielle Krudy – Blow The Man Down
Jocelyn Deboer, Dawn Luebbe – Greener Grass*
James Montague, Craig W. Sanger – The Vast Of Night

Best Cinematography
Todd Banhazl – Hustlers
WINNER - Jarin Blaschke – The Lighthouse*
Natasha Braier – Honey Boy
Chananun Chotrungroj – The Third Wife*
Pawel Pogorzelski – Midsommar*

Best Editing
Julie Béziau – The Third Wife*
WINNER - Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie – Uncut Gems*
Tyler L. Cook – Sword Of Trust*
Louise Ford – The Lighthouse*
Kirill Mikhanovsky – Give Me Liberty

John Cassavetes Award
Burning Cane*
WINNER - Give Me Liberty
Wild Nights With Emily*

Best Documentary
WINNER - American Factory*
Apollo 11
For Sama*
Island of the Hungry Ghosts

Best International Film
Invisible Life, Brazil
Les Miserables, France*
WINNER - Parasite, South Korea*
Portrait of a Lady on Fire, France
Retablo, Peru*
The Souvenir, United Kingdom

Someone to Watch Award
WINNER - Rashaad Ernesto Green – Premature*
Ash Mayfair – The Third Wife*
Joe Talbot – The Last Black Man in San Francisco*