×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Independence days

Key years in Spirit Awards history

1985: IFP/West’s first organized kudo luncheon (shared by Filmex) is held at Los Angeles eatery 385 North. ‘Findie’ awards are handed out to supporters of indie filmmaking; among them are Cineplex Theaters, distrib Island Alive and Glen Glenn Sound. Peter Coyote and Jamie Lee Curtis serve as guest hosts.

1986: The Findie becomes an honorary award, and the kudos are redubbed the Independent Spirit Awards, focusing on eight feature-film categories. Eastman Kodak is the first corporate sponsor, joining previous benefactor, the Arkansas Film Commission. The Spirits garner some attention for honoring “The Trip to Bountiful” thesp Geraldine Page and scribe Horton Foote, as well as “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” which are among the Oscar winners two days later.

1987: Buck Henry (pictured with Winona Ryder) begins a seven-year stint hosting the Spirits ceremony. Oliver Stone’s “Platoon” wins four kudos, including picture — to date, the only time that category’s winner corresponds with the Academy Awards’ choice. 1988: Three categories are added: two for supporting thesps and one for foreign feature. Swedish helmer Lasse Hallstrom, winner in the latter category for “My Life as a Dog,” gives out his cell phone number in a plea for work during his speech.

1989: Warners-distribbed indie “Stand and Deliver,” about an L.A. calculus teacher, wins six awards (out of seven noms) — a record that has been matched just once, by 1996 Coen brothers pic “Fargo.” Venue moves to the Blossom Room at L.A.’s Roosevelt Hotel, which also played host to the first Academy Awards ceremony 60 years earlier.

1990: Gus Van Sant’s “Drugstore Cowboy,” produced by Avenue Pictures, earns a record nine noms and wins four trophies, but misses out on the best picture kudo (it goes to Steven Soderbergh’s “sex, lies, and videotape”).

1991: The ceremony moves to the Beverly Hills Hotel. Kevin Costner is the keynote speaker. Oliver Stone serves as the first honorary chairman; subsequent years include Jodie Foster, Danny Glover, Tom Cruise, Holly Hunter and Halle Berry.

1992: Honorary chair Jodie Foster delivers a speech about the less-than-honorable business practices among the studios. The title? “The Scum-Sucking Vampire Pig Theory of Hollywood.” Portions of the ceremony, held at Raleigh Studios, are aired tape-delayed on cable web Bravo.

1993: The first Spirits ceremony held under a tent on the beach in Santa Monica. After returning inland to the Hollywood Palladium in 1994, the kudos are back on the beach the following year and remain there.

1995: Two years after Disney absorbs indie vanguard Miramax Films, IFP changes eligibility requirements to allow studio-financed films that still meet other criteria of “independence” to be submitted for Spirit consideration. “Pulp Fiction” wins four awards, including best feature.

1997: The Independent Film Channel, a Bravo spinoff, begins its annual telecast of the Spirits ceremony.

1999: In a bit performed during the ceremony, Ileana Douglas and Alec Baldwin list a few “new” Spirit kudos, including The Shelf, awarded to Miramax for possessing the most films picked up for distribution and then put on ice.

2001: “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” budgeted at $14 million, wins the top Spirit (previously there was a $6 million limit on production budgets). IFP debuts of a category for features made for under $500,000 (“Chuck & Buck” is the inaugural winner). John Waters begins a four-year run as Spirit Awards host.

2003: An annual tradition of celeb-led spoofy sing-alongs for each best feature nominee is launched; among the songs is “Cheat on Your Man” (to the tune of “Stand by Your Man”), belted out by Lesley Ann Warren, to introduce “The Good Girl.” Actor winner Derek Luke (“Antwone Fisher”) discloses that four years earlier he worked the Spirit Awards as a waiter.

2004: Bill Murray wins his second Independent Spirit award for “Lost in Translation”; he claims not to have prepared a speech because to do so wouldn’t have been very “independent” of him. Murray wasn’t present for his first win in 1999; at the time helmer Wes Anderson noted Murray was “busy courting the Academy.”

More Film

  • 'The Dirt' Review: A Mötley Crüe

    Film Review: 'The Dirt'

    A long time ago, the words sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll carried a hint of danger. The lifestyle did, too, but I’m talking about the phrase. It used to sound cool (back around the time the word “cool” sounded cool). But sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll has long since passed into the realm [...]

  • James Newton Howard Danny Elfman

    New Trend in Concert Halls: Original Music by Movie Composers — No Film Required

    Movie and TV composers are in greater demand than ever for, surprisingly, new music for the concert hall. For decades, concert commissions for film composers were few and far between. The increasing popularity of John Williams’ film music, and his visibility as conductor of the Boston Pops in the 1980s and ’90s, led to his [...]

  • Idris Elba Netflix 'Turn Up Charlie'

    Idris Elba in Talks to Join Andy Serkis in 'Mouse Guard'

    Idris Elba is in negotiations to join Andy Serkis and Thomas Brodie-Sangster in Fox’s fantasy-action movie “Mouse Guard” with “Maze Runner’s” Wes Ball directing. Fox is planning a live-action movie through performance capture technology employed in the “Planet of the Apes” films, in which Serkis starred as the ape leader Caesar. David Peterson created, wrote, [...]

  • Zac Efron Amanda Seyfried

    Zac Efron, Amanda Seyfried Join Animated Scooby-Doo Film as Fred and Daphne

    Zac Efron has signed on to voice Fred Jones while Amanda Seyfried will voice Daphne Blake in Warner Bros.’ animated Scooby-Doo feature film “Scoob.” It was revealed earlier this month that Will Forte had been set to voice Norville “Shaggy” Rogers, while Gina Rodriguez would be voicing Velma Dinkley. The mystery-solving teens and their talking [...]

  • 'Staff Only' Review: Cultures And Values

    Film Review: 'Staff Only'

    Marta (Elena Andrada) is 17, from Barcelona and alternately bored and mortified to be on a Christmas vacation to Senegal with her estranged dad, Manel (Sergi López), and annoying little brother, Bruno (Ian Samsó). For her, the freedoms of imminent adulthood, such as the occasional poolside mojito, are tantalizing close but still technically forbidden, rather [...]

  • Rocketman

    Candid 'Rocketman' Dares to Show Elton John as 'Vulnerable,' 'Damaged,' 'Ugly'

    Elton John movie “Rocketman” dares to portray the singer’s personality early in his career to have been, at times, “ugly,” Taron Egerton – who plays the pop star – told an audience at London’s Abbey Road Studios Friday, following a screening of 15 minutes of footage from the film. It is a candid portrayal, showing [...]

  • Ben Affleck

    Ben Affleck's Addiction Drama Set for Awards-Season Release

    Warner Bros. has given Ben Affleck’s untitled addiction drama an awards-season-friendly release date of Oct. 18. The film, which has been known previously as “The Has-Been” and “Torrance,” is directed by Gavin O’Connor and stars Affleck as a former basketball player struggling with addiction, which has led to him losing his wife. As part of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content