The 2011 Independent Spirit Awards were presented Saturday at Santa Monica Beach, Calif., and paid homage to the year’s best independent films. “Black Swan” walked away the big winner with four awards, taking the Best Feature, Best Director, Best Female Lead and Best Cinematography trophies.
The Best Feature award went to the dark psychological thriller “Black Swan.” Natalie Portman, who has already won the Golden Globe and the Screen Actors Guild award for her lead role in the movie (and is also nominated for an Oscar), continued her win streak by winning the Best Female Lead category at the 2011 incarnation of the Spirit Awards, which are presented by Film Independent. “Black Swan” took in two more important awards as well. Darren Aronofsky won for Best Director. Matthew Libatique won for Best Cinematography.
James Franco was a winner for Best Male Lead for his role in “127 Hours.” Franco is not only nominated for a Best Actor Oscar at the 2011 Academy Awards, which follow a day behind the Spirit Awards, but also co-hosts the event with actress Anne Hathaway.
The 26th annual Independent Spirit Awards also made winners of “The Kids Are All Right” (Best Screenplay), “Winter’s Bone” (Best Supporting Male, John Hawkes and Best Supporting Female, Dale Dickey).
“The King’s Speech,” which is leading just about every prediction list there is to win Best Picture at the Oscars, won the 2011 Independent Spirit Award for Best Foreign Film.
“Grey’s Anatomy” star Sandra Oh got the ceremony started with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, opening the red carpet. Comedic actor Joel McHale (“The Soup,” “Community”) hosted the event.
2011 Independent Spirit Awards Winners
Best Feature: Black Swan
Best Director: Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
Best Screenplay: Stuart Blumberg, Lisa Cholodenko, The Kids Are All Right
Best Male Lead: James Franco, 127 Hours
Best Supporting Male: John Hawkes, Winter’s Bone
Best Female Lead: Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Best Supporting Female: Dale Dickey, Winter’s Bone
Best Cinematography: Matthew Libatique, Black Swan
Robert Altman Award: Please Give (given to director Nicole Holofcener, casting director Jeanne McCarthy and the ensemble cast)
Best First Screenplay: Lena Dunham, Tiny Furniture
Best First Feature: Get Low (award given to the director, Aaron Schneider, and producers David Gundlach and Dean Zanuck)
Best Documentary: Exit Through The Gift Shop (the award goes to the director, but reclusive street artist Banksy reportedly sent “Mr. Brainwash” to accept the honor in his stead)
Best Foreign Film: The King’s Speech (award given to the director, Tom Hooper)
John Cassavetes Award (best feature made for under $500,000): Daddy Longlegs (written and directed by Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie and produced by Casey Neistat and Tom Scott)
Piaget Producers Award: Anish Savjani, Meek’s Cutoff
Someone To Watch Award: Mike Ott, Littlerock
Truer Than Fiction Award: Jeff Maimberg, Marwencol
“Winners Announced For The 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards,” FilmIndependent.org