2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards Winners

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2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards Winners

Take that, #OscarsSoWhite. The Film Independent Spirit Awards, held Saturday on the beach in Santa Monica, lived up to its reputation as the hipper counterpart to the Academy Awards.

While the big winner was Spotlight, which took home five awards (Best Feature, Best Director for Tom McCarthy; Best Screenplay for Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer; Best Editing and the Robert Altman Award for Best Ensemble), just as buzzworthy were the acting categories, in which three of the four awards went to people of color, including Mya Taylor (Tangerine), who became the first transgender person to win Best Supporting Female.

Netflix’s Beasts of No Nation earned nods in the Best Male Lead and Best Supporting Male categories for Abraham Attah and Idris Elba, respectively. Brie Larson won Best Female Lead for Room.

Presented by the nonprofit arts organization Film Independent, and traditionally held the day before the Oscars, the Spirit Awards honor films that are made outside of the major studios. Comedian Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley), who co-hosted with Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon, probably best described the awards as ones that “honor the best movies you’ve been meaning to see.”

The full list of winners follows:

Best Feature: Spotlight
Best Director: Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
Best Screenplay: Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, Spotlight
Best First Feature: The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Best First Screenplay: Emma Donoghue, Room
Best Male Lead: Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation
Best Female Lead: Brie Larson, Room
Best Supporting Male: Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Best Supporting Female: Mya Taylor, Tangerine
Best Documentary: The Look of Silence
Best International Film: Son of Saul
Best Cinematography: Carol
Best Editing: Spotlight
John Cassavetes Award (Best Feature Under $500,000): Krisha
Robert Altman Award (Best Ensemble): Spotlight
Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award: Felix Thompson, director of King Jack
Piaget Producers Award: Mel Eslyn, winner of a $25,000 unrestricted grant


Christine N. Ziemba is a Los Angeles-based freelance pop culture writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow her on Twitter.

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