2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards: The Winners

Film Independent Spirit Awards

The 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards were handed out live on IFC–during a ceremony hosted by Aubrey Plaza–from a beach in Santa Monica.

The best speeches of the night came from Uncut Gems directors Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie in addition to Best Male Lead Adam Sandler.

Best Feature:

The Farewell (A24)
Producers: Anita Gou, Daniele Melia, Andrew Miano, Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub, Lulu Wang, Chris Weitz, Jane Zheng

Best Director:

Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie, Uncut Gems (A24)

Best Screenplay:

Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story (Netflix)

Best First Feature:

Booksmart (Annapurna Pictures/United Artists Releasing)
Director: Olivia Wilde
Producers: Chelsea Barnard, David Distenfeld, Jessica Elbaum, Megan Ellison, Katie Silberman

Best First Screenplay:

Fredrica Bailey & Stefon Bristol, See You Yesterday (Netflix)

John Cassavetes Award:

(for best feature made under $500,000)
Give Me Liberty (Music Box Films)
Writer/Director/Producer: Kirill Mikhanovsky
Writer/Producer: Alice Austen
Producers: Val Abel, Wally Hall, Michael Manasseri, George Rush, Sergey Shtern

Best Supporting Female:

Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell (A24)

Best Supporting Male:

Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse (A24)

Best Female Lead:

Renée Zellweger, Judy (Roadside Attractions)

Best Male Lead:

Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems (A24)

Robert Altman Award:

Marriage Story (Netflix)
Director: Noah Baumbach
Casting Directors: Douglas Aibel, Francine Maisler
Ensemble Cast: Alan Alda, Laura Dern, Adam Driver, Julie Hagerty, Scarlett Johansson, Ray Liotta, Azhy Robertson, Merritt Wever

Best Cinematography:

Jarin Blaschke, The Lighthouse (A24)

Best Editing:

Ronald Bronstein & Benny Safdie, Uncut Gems (A24)

Best International Film:

Parasite (South Korea — Neon)
Director: Bong Joon-Ho

Best Documentary:

American Factory (Netflix)
Director/Producer: Steven Bognar & Julia Reichert
Producers: Julie Parker Benello, Jeff Reichert

Previous winners announced in early January:

  • Kelly Reichardt received the third Bonnie Award.
  • Mollye Asher received the Producers Award.
  • Rashaad Ernesto Green, director of Premature, received the Someone to Watch Award.
  • Nadia Shihab, director of Jaddoland, received the Truer Than Fiction Award.

Tune in next year to see who wins during the 2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.