Independent Spirit Awards

If Beale Street Could Talk big winner

by Amber Wilkinson

If Beale Street Could Talk
If Beale Street Could Talk
Barry Levinson's If Beale Street Could Talk won the best feature award at the Independent Spirit Awards last night. The film, which tells the story of a pregnant woman trying to prove her lover's innocence, also won the best director award and saw Regina Hall pick up the best supporting actress gong - a feat she'll be hoping to repeat at tomorrow's Oscars.

Boots Riley won the award for best first feature for his comedy Sorry To Bother You, while Bo Burnham picked up the best first screenplay for First Grade.

Richard E Grant and Melissa McCarthy in Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Richard E Grant and Melissa McCarthy in Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Ethan Hawke was named best actor for his role as a troubled priest in Paul Schrader's First Reformed, while Glenn Close took home the best actress award for her role as a woman in the shadow of her husband in The Wife. Richard E Grant, was named best supporting actor for his role in forgery comedy drama Can You Ever Forgive Me. Like Hall, all three stars will doubtless be hoping to repeat the achievement at tomorrow's Oscars.

No such anticipation for Morgan Neville's Won't You Be My Neighbor - which took home the best documentary accolade - as the film about US children's TV presenter Fred Rogers hasn't been short-listed by the Academy.

The best international film award went to Alfonso Cuaron's Roma , which is in the running for multiple Oscars, including best film and best cinematography.

The Spirit Awards, which were hosted by Aubrey Plaza, are voted on by Film Independent’s 6200 members. To be eligible, movies must be produced in the US for less than $20 million.

The full list of winners is below:

Best Feature

Best First Feature

Best Female Lead

Best Male Lead

Best Director

Best Documentary

Best Supporting Male

Best Screenplay

  • Richard Glatzer (Writer/Story By), Rebecca Lenkiewicz & Wash Westmoreland, Colette
  • WINNER: Nicole Holofcener & Jeff Whitty, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  • Tamara Jenkins, Private Life
  • Boots Riley, Sorry To Bother You
  • Paul Schrader, First Reformed

Robert Altman Award

  • WINNER: Suspiria

Best First Screenplay

  • WINNER: Bo Burnham, Eighth Grade
  • Christina Choe, Nancy
  • Cory Finley, Thoroughbreds
  • Jennifer Fox, The Tale
  • Quinn Shephard (Writer/Story By) and Laurie Shephard (Story By), Blame

Best Editing

Bonnie Award - A $50,000 (£39,000) grant given to a mid-career female director

Best International Film

John Cassavetes Award - given to the best feature made for less than ($500,000) £390,000

Best Supporting Female

Best Cinematography

Producers Award

  • Jonathan Duffy and Kelly Williams
  • Gabrielle Nadig
  • WINNER: Shrihari Sathe

Someone To Watch Award

  • WINNER: Alex Moratto, director of Sócrates
  • Ioana Uricaru. director of Lemonade
  • Jeremiah Zagar, director of We The Animals

Truer Than Fiction Award

Share this with others on...

Satellite of love Joaquín Cambre on working with young actors and making A Trip To The Moon

Beautiful and poetic Mikhaël Hers on Vincent Lacoste, Stacy Martin, Isaure Multrier, Greta Scacchi and Amanda

Space for the imagination Franz Rogowski on breath control, Transit and the Kammerspiele

Your senses are there Brinsley Forde on Franco Rosso, Babylon and present day England

Capturing a life behind the camera Kim Longinotto and Ollie Huddleston on Shooting The Mafia

2019 Tribeca Talks announced Martin Scorsese and Guillermo del Toro among participants

More news and features

We're bringing you news, reviews and interviews from New Directors/New Films.

We're looking forward to Viva and BFI Flare.

We still have reviews coming in from the Glasgow Film Festival, the Berlinale, the New York Rendez-Vous With French Cinema, the Glasgow Short Film Festival and SXSW.

Read our full for recent coverage.

Visit our festivals section.


We've got a great pack of goodies to celebrate the release of Alita: Battle Angel, plus a copy of Bad Times At The El Royale up for grabs in our latest competitions.