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LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE Is Big Winner At Spirit Awards

Saturday, February 24----LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE and HALF NELSON, two films that had their premieres at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, were the big winners at the Spirit Awards, the annual awards event honoring independent filmmakers, producers and acting talents, sponsored by film organization Film Independent. LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, which may just pull a Best Film Oscar out of its hat tomorrow night, was recognized for Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (for veteran Alan Arkin). HALF NELSON,  a searing drama that received some of the best reviews of the past season, won awards for Best Actor and Best Actress (Ryan Gosling and Shareeka Epps respectively).

The Spirit Awards were held on Saturday afternoon in a tent on Santa Monica Beach, with mistress of ceremonies Sarah Silverman offering a hilarious if x-rated presence (with almost every other word being bleeped from the cablecast on the Independent Film Channel and American Movie Classics). The ceremony ranged from the irreverent (the bawdy song parodies honoring the Best Film nominees, the speech by John Waters) to moments of deep sincerity (the heart-felt acceptance speeches and the tribute to director Robert Altman).

While even those who are vaguely aware of independent film recognize LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, the main treat of the ceremonies is the recognition given to smaller films, some of which received a limited distribution or no formal release at all. The opportunity for these emerging talents to be recognized, and for their films to get promoted to a large television-viewing audience is what makes this ceremony different from all the others in the hectic awards season. Perhaps many of the films honored will be discovered on dvd and the Spirit Award nominees and winners can use the momentum and exposure to help them with their future projects.

2007 SPIRIT AWARD WINNERS

BEST FEATURE

  

BEST DIRECTOR

BEST FIRST FEATURE

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY

BEST FEMALE LEAD
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE

BEST DOCUMENTARY

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