Exclusive: Interviews At The 37th Annual Film Independent Spirit Awards [video]

On Sunday, March 6th the 37th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards took place near the windy but sunny Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, California. Celebrating indie filmmaking along with a few select television shows, the awards seeks to recognize the creative storytelling done throughout this past year on screen. All attendees were required to provide a negative COVID test as well as a proof of vaccination. This year guests ate boxed lunches to reduce the risk of exposure. The awards, which typically are held the Saturday before the Oscars, were pushed up three weeks this year in hopes of having more of an impact on the Oscars outcome. Hosts Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman kept the audience laughing as Hollywood’s independent directors, writers, producers and actors enjoyed the ceremony with fingers crossed their projects would be announced.

  “If you don’t win, you can walk straight into the ocean, right there,” Offerman told the audience at the beginning of the show.

Netflix seemed to reign as it took home most of the awards. Maggie Gyllenhaal’s film ‘The Lost Daughter’ (Netflix) featuring Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson and Jesse Buckley made headlines as it took home the award for ‘best feature.’ Netflix also was praised for the black and white movie ‘Passing’ which Eduard Grau won for best cinematography. The Knockturnal talked to Grau about the honor and his use of shadows and light within the film. (See video)

Honorary chair and Oscar nominee Kristen Stewart were among the presenters along with Dianna Agron, Javier Bardem, Murray Bartlett, Jennifer Beals, Rosario Dawson, Daveed Diggs, Zola’s Colman Domingo, Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass, Daisy Edgar-Jones, Hannah Einbinder, Bridget Everett, and Andrew Garfield. In addition, upcoming Oscar co-host Regina Hall, Lily James, Marlee Matlin, Bob Odenkirk, Sam Richardson, Rhea Seehorn, Sebastian Stan, Sydney Sweeney, Taika Waititi, Michelle Yeoh and Nomandland and Eternals herlmer Chloé Zhao were among those taking the stage.


One of the most special awards of the night is called the Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award. This award is presented to the creative team of a film budgeted at less than $500,000 by the Film Independent, a non-profit organization dedicated to independent film and independent filmmakers. It is named after actor, screenwriter and director John Cassavetes, a pioneer of American independent film. This year, ‘Shiva Baby,’ written and directed by Emma Seligman won the award. 


As the night winded down, Offerman beamed, “Movies are back!” Mullally joked the crowd didn’t need to clap for Offerman saying “They’re not going to see your movies.”


“They’re going to see the eighth Spider-Man for the sixth time,” Offerman joked.


See all of the winners here:

Best Feature

“The Lost Daughter”

“A Chiara”

“C’mon C’mon”

“The Novice”


Best Male Lead

Simon Rex, “Red Rocket”

Clifton Collins Jr., “Jockey”

Frankie Faison, “Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain”

Michael Greyeyes, “Wild Indian”

Udo Kier, “Swan Song”

Best International Film

“Drive My Car”

“Compartment No. 6”

“Parallel Mothers”


“Petite Maman”

“Prayers for the Stolen”

Best Female Lead

Taylour Paige, “Zola”

Isabelle Fuhrman, “The Novice”

Brittany S. Hall, “Test Pattern”

Patti Harrison, “Together Together”

Kali Reis, “Catch the Fair One”

Best Director

Maggie Gyllenhaal, “The Lost Daughter”

Janicza Bravo, “Zola”

Lauren Hadaway, “The Novice”

Mike Mills, “C’mon C’mon”

Ninja Thyberg, “Pleasure”

Best Cinematography

Passing (Eduard Grau)

“A Chiara” (Tim Curtin)

“Blue Bayou” (Matthew Chuang and Ante Cheng)

“The Humans” (Lol Crawley)

“Zola” (Ari Wegner)

Best Ensemble Cast in a New Scripted Series

Reservation Dogs — Paulina Alexis, Funny Bone, Lane Factor, Devery Jacobs, Zahn McClarnon, Lil Mike, Sarah Podemski and D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai

Best Female Performance in a New Scripted Series

Thuso Mbedu, “The Underground Railroad”

Anjana Vasan, “We Are Lady Parts”

Jana Schmieding, “Rutherford Falls”

Jasmine Cephas Jones, “Blindspotting”

Deborah Ayorinde, “THEM: Covenant”

Best Male Performance in a New Scripted Series

Lee Jung-jae, “Squid Game”

Olly Alexander, “It’s a Sin”

Michael Greyeyes, “Rutherford Falls”

Murray Bartlett, “The White Lotus”

Ashley Thomas, “THEM: Covenant”

Best New Non-Scripted or Documentary Series

“Black and Missing”

“The Choe Show”

“The Lady and The Dale”

“Nuclear Family”

“Philly D.A.”

Best New Scripted Series

“Reservation Dogs”


“It’s a Sin”

“The Underground Railroad”

“We Are Lady Parts”

Best Supporting Female

Ruth Negga, “Passing”

Jessie Buckley, “The Lost Daughter”

Amy Forsyth, “The Novice”

Revika Reustle, “Pleasure”

Suzanna Son, “Red Rocket”

Best Screenplay

Maggie Gyllenhaal, “The Lost Daughter”

Nikole Beckwith, “Together Together”

Janicza Bravo, Jeremy O. Harris, “Zola”

Mike Mills, “C’mon C’mon”

Todd Stephens, “Swan Song”

Best Editing

“Zola” (Joi McMillon)

“A Chiara” (Affonso Gonçalves)

“The Nowhere Inn” (Ali Greer)

“The Novice” (Nathan Nugent and Lauren Hadaway)

“The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain” (Enrico Natale)

Best First Feature

“7 Days”


“Queen of Glory”

“Test Pattern”

“Wild Indian”

Best First Screenplay

Michael Sarnoski; Story by Vanessa Block, Michael Sarnoski, “Pig”

Lyle Mitchell Corbine, Jr., “Wild Indian ”

Matt Fifer; Story by Sheldon D. Brown, “Cicada”

Shatara Michelle Ford, “Test Pattern ”

Fran Kranz, “Mass”

Best Documentary

“Summer of Soul”



“In The Same Breath”


John Cassavetes Award (Given to the best feature made for under $500,000)

“Shiva Baby”



“Sweet Thing”

“This is Not a War Story”

Best Supporting Male

Troy Kotsur, “CODA”

Colman Domingo, “Zola”

Meeko Gattuso, “Queen of Glory”

Will Patton, “Sweet Thing”

Chaske Spencer, “Wild Indian”

Producers Award

Lizzie Shapiro

Brad Becker-Parton

Pin-Chun Liu

Someone to Watch Award

Alex Camilleri, “Luzzu”

Michael Sarnoski, “Pig”

Gillian Wallace Horvat, “I Blame Society”

“The Truer Than Fiction Award”

Jessica Beshir, “Faya Dayi”

Angelo Madsen Minax, “North By Current”

Jessica Beshir, “Faya Dayi”

Debbie Lum, “Try Harder!”

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