×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Three Film Independent Awards Unveiled at Spirit Awards Brunch

Film Independent has presented a trio of Spirit Awards with filmmaker grants to Mel Eslyn, Felix Thompson and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi.

Each received $25,000 grants from the Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday at the organization’s annual brunch at the Boa in West Hollywood.

The Piaget Producers Award, which goes to an emerging producer, went to Eslyne. Her credits include “My Sister’s Sister” and “The One I Love.”

The Truer Than Fiction Award went to Vasarhelyi for “Incorruptible” and the Someone to Watch Award — which recognizes a filmmaker “of singular vision” who has “not yet received appropriate recognition” — went to Thompson for “King Jack.”

Notable guests included Bel Powley, Michael Fassbender, “Carol” screenwriter Phyllis Nagy, Cate Blanchett, Jason Segel, Todd Haynes, “Beasts of No Nation’s” Abraham Attah and Sally Kirkland — who noted that she had won the second Best Actress award at the 1987 Spirits for “Anna.”

“Geraldine Page was the first and Jodie Foster was the third,” Kirkland said.

Film Independent chief Josh Welsh launched the ceremonies by asking nominees to avoid giving a list of thank-yous should they win at the Feb. 27 awards show.

“Last year, nobody used a piece of paper for thank-yous and it kept the show fresh and dynamic,” he added.

Rami Malek and Uzo Aduba gave out the awards.

Finalists for the Piaget award were Darren Dean, Rebecca Green and Laura D. Smith. Finalists for the Someone to Watch award were Robert Machoian & Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck directors of “God Bless the Child” and Chloé Zhao, director of “Songs My Brothers Taught Me.” Finalists for the Truer than Fiction award were Mohammed Ali Naqvi and Hemal Trivedi for “Among the Believers” and Elizabeth Giamatti and Alex Sichel for “A Woman Like Me.”

(Pictured: Felix Thompson, Josh Welsh, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Mel Eslyn, Uzo Aduba, Rami Malek at the Film Independent Spirit Awards Brunch)

Ben Mendelsohn and Rooney Mara
Chelsea Lauren/Variety/Rex Shutterstock

More Film

  • Cannes Film Review: 'Alice and the

    Cannes Film Review: 'Alice and the Mayor'

    Sophomore director Nicolas Pariser follows his politically engaged debut, “The Great Game,” with an even deeper plunge into the disconnect between political theory and the workings of government in the unmistakably French “Alice and the Mayor.” Deeply influenced by Eric Rohmer in the way it aspires to use philosophical dialogue to reveal something about the [...]

  • 'Diego Maradona' Review: The Football Legend

    Cannes Film Review: 'Diego Maradona'

    You expect the director of a biographical documentary to have a passion for whoever he’s making a movie about. But the British filmmaker Asif Kapadia spins right past passion and into obsession. He doesn’t just chronicle a personality — he does an immersive meditation on it. Kapadia plunges into the raw stuff of journalism: news [...]

  • Atlantics

    Emerging Talent From Gallic Cinema

    Variety is teaming with Unifrance, an agency that promotes French cinema around the world, to focus attention on four emerging talents in the French movie industry as part of Unifrance’s “New Faces of French Cinema” program. Here Variety profiles the rising filmmakers: Justine Triet, Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec, Hafsia Herzi and Mati Diop. Mati Diop Born to [...]

  • John Hannah Reunites With ‘The Mummy’

    John Hannah Reunites With ‘The Mummy’ Actors for Horror Pic ‘Lair’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    John Hannah, Corey Johnson and Oded Fehr will star in “Lair,” billed as a socially conscious horror movie about an LGBT family embroiled in one man’s attempt to prove the existence of the supernatural. The trio all appeared in the successful franchise “The Mummy,” and their new picture goes into production later this year. Katarina [...]

  • Loving Vincent Animation Oscars

    Adult Audience Animation: Cannes Panel Talks Big-Screen Strategy

    CANNES–A panel of leading animation industry executives gathered during the Cannes Film Market on Sunday to shed light on their strategies for the theatrical release of adult-oriented animated features. It was a timely conversation at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Five of the 28 animated projects in the Marché du Film are adult audience-focused, including [...]

  • Lea Drucker poses with the Best

    French Filmmaker Axelle Ropert Readies 'Petite Solange' With MK2 Films (EXCLUSIVE)

    French writer/director Axelle Ropert is set to direct “Petite Solange,” a film that will star Léa Drucker and Philippe Katerine, who won the best acting nods at this year’s Cesar Awards for their performances in “Custody” and “Sink or Swim,” respectively. MK2 films will handle international sales. Haut et Court has acquired rights for French [...]

  • Dutch FilmWorks Moves into International Sales

    Dutch Film Works Moves into International Sales (EXCLUSIVE)

    A major new international sales outfit is coming to market. Dutch Film Works (DFW), one of the largest movie distributors in the Benelux region, is moving into film and TV sales. DFW general manager Angela Pruijssers will spearhead the sales effort alongside Charlotte Henskens, who will join from Amsterdam-based Fortissimo Films, where she is director [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content