The New York Amsterdam News and our new all-digital vertical “AmNews Curtain Raiser” were on the Santa Monica beach soaking up the indie love at the 2019 Independent Spirit Awards. Despite the unusually cool weather, the best of the indie film world and many that have already smashed open the Hollywood door, like Oscar winner Barry Jenkins, all rubbed shoulders in the pre-cocktail event.

In the crowd enjoying lobster rolls was Tony-Award winner Daveed Diggs (nominated for “BlindSpotting”), Jania Gavankar (“BlindSpotting” and HBO’s “True Blood”), OUT magazine’s new entertainment editor, Tre’vell Anderson, Glenn Close (who brought her dog, Pip), producer Effie T. Brown, Richard Grant and a host of top film producers, executives, casting agents, agents, talent managers and all types of gifted behind-the-scene talent.

The Spirit Awards are chosen by the Film Independent’s 6200 members after an anonymous committee vote on nominations. The eligibility rules require that movies be produced in the U.S. for less than $20 million.

Best Feature

“If Beale Street Could Talk”

Best Director

Barry Jenkins, “If Beale Street Could Talk”

Best First Feature

“Sorry To Bother You”

Best Supporting Female Actor

Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”

Best Supporting Male Actor

Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Best Cinematography

Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, “Suspiria”

Best Screenplay

Nicole Holofcener & Jeff Whitty, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Best First Screenplay

Bo Burnham, “Eighth Grade”

Best Editing

Joe Bini, “You Were Never Really Here”

Best Documentary

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

Best International Film

“Roma” (Mexico)

The Truer Than Fiction Award

Alexandria Bombach, “on her shoulders”

Bing Liu, “Minding The Gap”

RaMell Ross, “Hale County This Morning, This Evening”

Producers Award

Shrihari Sathe

The Someone to Watch Award

Alex Moratto, “Sócrates”

The Bonnie Award

Debra Granik

Robert Altman Award


Director: Luca Guadagnino

Casting Directors: Avy Kaufman, Stella Savino

Ensemble Cast: Malgosia Bela, Ingrid Caven, Lutz Ebersdorf, Elena Fokina, Mia Goth, Jessica Harper, Dakota Johnson, Gala Moody, Chloë Grace Moretz, Renée Soutendijk, Tilda Swinton, Sylvie Testud, Angela Winkler