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Established 1995 filmfestivals.com serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.

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Little Miss Sunshine receives 4 Independent Spirit Awards (and 2 Oscar)

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




Little Miss Sunshine
Producers: Marc Turtletaub, David T. Friendly, Peter Saraf, Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa



BEST DIRECTOR

Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris
Little Miss Sunshine


BEST FIRST FEATURE



Sweet Land
Director: Ali Selim Producers: Alan Cumming, James Bigham, Ali Selim



JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD


Quinceanera
Writer/Directors: Richard Glatzer & Wash Westmoreland Producer: Anne Clements


BEST SCREENPLAY



Jason Reitman
Thank You For Smoking





BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY

Michael Arndt
Little Miss Sunshine

BEST FEMALE LEAD

Shareeka Epps
Half Nelson


BEST MALE LEAD



Ryan Gosling
Half Nelson



BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE


Frances McDormand
Friends with Money


BEST SUPPORTING MALE

Alan Arkin
Little Miss Sunshine


BEST DOCUMENTARY

The Road to Guantanamo
Directors: Michael Winterbottom & Mat Whitecross


BEST FOREIGN FILM
The Lives of Others (Germany)
Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck


Sandy Mandelberger, Awards Watch Editor



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Chatelin Bruno
(Filmfestivals.com)

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