Sideways stamped its inimitable mark on the 20th IFPIndependent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica on Saturday (26), winning five awardsincluding best feature, best director for Alexander Payne and best male leadfor Paul Giamatti.
The$16m Fox Searchlight hit, whose inclusion in the budget-contingent Spirits wasa surprise to many, also took best supporting male honours for Thomas HadenChurch, while Virginia Madsen won best supporting female, and Payne and writingpartner Jim Taylor collected the best screenplay prize.
Bestfemale lead went to Catalina Sandino Moreno for HBO/Fine Line's Maria FullOf Grace, while Zach Braff's GardenState, another Fox Searchlighttitle, won best first feature. Fine Line's The Sea Inside won best foreign film for director AlejandroAmenabar.
JacobAaron Estes' Mean Creek won both the John Cassavetes Award for a film whichcost under $500,000 and a special distinction award for its ensemble cast.
MeAnd You And Everyone We Know and TheMotel producer Gina Kwon receivedthe eighth annual Bravo/American Express Producers Award, Chain director Jem Cohen won the eleventh annual TurningLeaf Someone To Watch Award, while Born Into Brothels directors Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman won theeighth annual DIRECTV/IFC Truer Than Fiction Award.
Thestar-studded show, which was hosted by Samuel L Jackson, featured a powerfullineup of presenters including Robin Williams, Jodie Foster, Cate Blanchett,Laura Linney, Salma Hayek, Quentin Tarantino, Gael Garcia Bernal, JakeGyllenhaal, John Waters and Dennis Quaid.
Completelist of winners:
BestFeature Sideways (Prod: MichaelLondon)
BestDirector Alexander Payne, Sideways
BestScreenplay Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Sideways
BestFirst Feature Garden State (Dir:Zach Braff/Prods: Pamela Abdy, Gary Gilbert, Dan Halsted, Richard Klubeck)
BestFirst Screenplay Joshua Marston, Maria Full Of Grace
JohnCassavetes Award Mean Creek (Wr/dir:Jacob Aaron Estes/Prods:Susan Johnson, Rick Rosenthal, Hagai Shaham)
BestDebut Performance Rodrigo de la Serna, The Motorcycle Diaries
BestSupporting Female Virginia Madsen, Sideways
BestSupporting Male Thomas Haden Church, Sideways
BestFemale Lead Catalina Sandino Moreno, Maria Full Of Grace
BestMale Lead Paul Giamatti, Sideways
BestCinematography Eric Gautier, The Motorcycle Diaries
BestForeign Film The Sea Inside (Dir:Alejandro Amenabar)
Best Documentary Metallica:Some Kind Of Monster (Dirs: JoeBerlinger, Bruce Sinofsky)