Saunders to receive up-and-comer Spirit

Macaulay, O'Hara in line for Producer's Award

Scott Saunders, the director of “The Lost Words” and “The Headhunter’s Sister,” will receive the Independent Spirit Awards’ Someone to Watch prize at the Saturday ceremony.

Additionally, the producing team of Scott Macaulay and Robin O’Hara were unveiled as the recipients of the event’s first Producers Award. The prizes both come with a $20,000 unrestricted cash grant.

‘Lost’ limited

Saunders follows such past winners of the prize as Lodge Kerrigan and Christopher Munch. His first feature, “Lost Words,” received limited distribution in 1994, following fest exposure and prizes, and “Sister,” which debuted at the 1997 L.A. Indie fest, is awaiting distribution. Saunders directed, co-produced and co-wrote both features using state-of-the-art video technology.

“Awards like this keep you going,” Saunders said. “A nice chunk of this will go toward credit card debt, and the rest will be a big help in giving me time to develop my next projects. I might even make it on film, just for a change of pace.”

Six-year pact

As a producing team, Macaulay and O’Hara began their association six years ago with Tom Noonan’s “What Happened Was …,” which won Sundance’s top prize and screenwriting award.

“I was floored when we were told of the nomination,” Macaulay said. “Almost no one ever acknowledges the producer, and you begin to feel like the forgotten participant. I just don’t know what to say about winning other than it’s a great feeling.”

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