LONDON, Feb 26: Barry Jenkins’ powerful coming-of-age tale “Moonlight” has swept the 32nd annual Film Independent Spirit Awards, winning six major trophies, including best picture.
Jenkins’ incisive gay drama which tied Andrea Arnold’s “American Honey” with six nominations at the ceremony also won best director, editing, cinematography and screenplay for the 37-year-old filmmaker and Tarell Alvin McCraney, whose play ‘In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue’ was the inspiration for the project, reported The Guardian.
“There are a lot of people who pushed that script away from their desks,” a tearful McCraney said.
He went on to thank those who made the decision to sign onto the film without worrying about the potentially damaging effect a gay film would have on their careers.
In addition, the “Moonlight” cast was honoured with the Robert Altman Award for best acting ensemble.
Casey Affleck was named best actor for playing Lee Chandler, a Massachusetts man forced to return to his hometown when the untimely death of his brother turns him into the legal guardian of his nephew, in “Manchester by the Sea”.
While receiving the prize on stage, Affleck made reference to President Donald Trump’s government as he said, “The policies of this administration are abhorrent and they will not last. They’re really un-American.”
Isabelle Huppert won best female lead for her role in darkly comic thriller “Elle”, winning out over Natalie Portman and Annette Bening.
“I think good cinema is always independent. I want to thank (Elle director) Paul Verhoeven for being so independent,” she said.
Other winners included Molly Shannon (best supporting actress for ‘Other People’) and Ben Foster (best supporting actor for ‘Hell or High Water’).
The award for best documentary went to “O J: Made in America”, the critically acclaimed seven-hour film, while German comedy “Toni Erdmann” picked up best international film trophy.
The Spirit Awards ceremony, hosted by Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, took place in a beachfront tent next to the world famous Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles. (PTI)