BrokebackMountain continued its virtual sweepof best picture awards at the 2006 Independent Spirit Awards which took placein a tent on the beach at Santa Monica this afternoon (Saturday). The event, which isstaged by Film Independent (formerly IFP/West), acted as a mirror to tomorrow'sAcademy Awards which this year is dominated by lower budget independent titles.
Brokebackwon best film and best director forAng Lee, but the wealth was spread to other Oscar contenders.
Crashwas named best first feature andalso won a prize for Matt Dillon as best supporting male.
Capotetook best male lead for PhilipSeymour Hoffman and best screenplay for Dan Futterman, while Transamerica won prizes for best female lead for Felicity Huffmanand best first screenplay for Duncan Tucker and Good Night, And Good Luck won the cinematography Spirit for Robert Elswit.
ComedienneSarah Silverman was master of ceremonies at the show which also saw prizes goto Amy Adams for best supporting female for Junebug, Hany Abu-Assad's Paradise Now for best foreign film and Alex Gibney's Enron: TheSmartest Guys In The Room for bestdocumentary.
TheJohn Cassavetes Award for best feature made for under $500,000 went to MoraStephens' Conventioneers producedby Joel Viertel and Cinema Libre Studio. Capote producer Caroline Baron won the ninth annualAMC/American Express Producers Award, an unrestricted $25,000 grant, which"honours producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate thecreativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality independent films."
IanGamazon and Neill Dela Llana, directors of Cavite, won the twelfth annual IFC/Acura Someone To WatchAward, a $25,0000 grant created to "honour a director of singular vision whohas not yet received appropriate recognition."
The Spirits were tinged withsadness for the winning film in the Truer Than Fiction award category whichhonours emerging documentary film-makers with a $25,000 unrestricted grant. Thewinners were Ian Olds and Garrett Scott, directors of Occupation: Dreamland, but tragically Scott died of a heart attack onThursday at the age of 37. Olds spoke movingly about Scott in his acceptance speech.