‘Uncut Gems’ & ‘The Farewell’ Lead 2020 Independent Spirit Awards Winners

     February 9, 2020


Like some kind of glorious Oscars pre-game, the 2020 Independent Spirit Awards took place on Saturday, February 8. Hosted by Aubrey Plaza, the historically vivacious, cheeky awards show puts its focus on honoring the best in independent film from the previous year. After a very fun opening monologue from Plaza, the winners were announced in traditional categories (Best Director, Best Male Lead, Best Female Lead, etc.) and categories unique to the Spirit Awards (Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay, and the Robert Altman Award).


Image via A24

A24 walked away the big winner of the night thanks to a few of the studio’s releases: The Farewell,  Uncut Gems, and The Lighthouse. Director Lulu Wang‘s semi-autobiographical film The Farewell walked away with the evening’s top honor, Best Feature, as well as Best Supporting Female for breakout star Zhao Shuzhen, who unfortunately couldn’t travel to the award show from her home country of China due to issues around the coronavirus. Uncut Gems was also a big winner, scooping up the Best Director for Josh and Benny Safdie‘s work, Best Male Lead for Adam Sandler‘s performance, and Best Editing awards. As for The LighthouseWillem Dafoe won the Best Supporting Male award and Jarin Blaschke won for Best Cinematography.

Check out the complete 2020 Independent Spirit Awards winners list below. For more, get caught up on all of our 2020 Oscars coverage here.

Best Feature


Image via Sundance

The Farewell (WINNER)
Producers: Anita Gou, Daniele Melia, Andrew Miano, Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub, Lulu Wang, Chris Weitz, Jane Zheng

A Hidden Life
Producers: Elisabeth Bentley, Dario Bergesio, Grant Hill, Josh Jeter

Producers: Timur Bekbosunov, Julian Cautherley, Bronwyn Cornelius, Peter Wong

Marriage Story
Producers: Noah Baumbach, David Heyman

Uncut Gems
Producers: Eli Bush, Sebastian Bear-McClard, Scott Rudin

Best First Feature

Booksmart (WINNER)
Director: Olivia Wilde
Producers: Chelsea Barnard, David Distenfeld, Jessica Elbaum, Megan Ellison, Katie Silberman

The Climb
Director/Producer: Michael Angelo Covino
Producers: Noah Lang, Kyle Marvin

Director: Kent Jones
Producers: Luca Borghese, Ben Howe, Caroline Kaplan, Oren Moverman

The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Director/Producer: Joe Talbot
Producers: Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Khaliah Neal, Christina Oh

The Mustang
Director: Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre
Producer: Ilan Goldman

See You Yesterday
Director: Stefon Bristol
Producer: Spike Lee

Best Director

  • Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie, Uncut Gems (WINNER)
  • Alma Har’el, Honey Boy
  • Lorene Scafaria, Hustlers
  • Julius Onah, Luce
  • Robert Eggers, The Lighthouse

Image via LD Entertainment and Roadside Attractions

Best Female Lead

  • Renée Zellweger, Judy (WINNER)
  • Karen Allen, Colewell
  • Hong Chau, Driveways
  • Elisabeth Moss, Her Smell
  • Mary Kay Place, Diane
  • Alfre Woodard, Clemency

Best Male Lead

  • Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems (WINNER)
  • Chris Galust, Give Me Liberty
  • Kelvin Harrison Jr., Luce
  • Robert Pattinson, The Lighthouse
  • Matthias Schoenaerts, The Mustang

Best Supporting Female

  • Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell (WINNER)
  • Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers
  • Taylor Russell, Waves
  • Lauren “LoLo” Spencer, Give Me Liberty
  • Octavia Spencer, Luce

Best Supporting Male

  • Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse (WINNER)
  • Noah Jupe, Honey Boy
  • Shia LaBeouf, Honey Boy
  • Jonathan Majors, The Last Black Man in San Francisco
  • Wendell Pierce, Burning Cane

marriage-story-scarlett-johansson-adam-driverBest Screenplay

  • Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story (WINNER)
  • Jason Begue & Shawn Snyder, To Dust
  • Ronald Bronstein & Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie, Uncut Gems
  • Chinonye Chukwu, Clemency
  • Tarell Alvin McCraney, High Flying Bird

Best First Screenplay

  • Fredrica Bailey & Stefon Bristol, See You Yesterday (WINNER)
  • Hannah Bos & Paul Thureen, Driveways
  • Bridget Savage Cole & Danielle Krudy, Blow the Man Down
  • Jocelyn DeBoer & Dawn Luebbe, Greener Grass
  • James Montague & Craig W. Sanger, The Vast of Night

Best International Film

  • Parasite (South Korea), Director: Bong Joon Ho (WINNER)
  • Invisible Life (Brazil), Director: Karim Aïnouz
  • Les Misérables (France), Director: Ladj Ly
  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire (France), Director: Céline Sciamma
  • Retablo (Peru), Director: Álvaro Delgado-Aparicio L.
  • The Souvenir (United Kingdom), Director: Joanna Hogg

Image via Netflix

Best Documentary

American Factory (WINNER)
Director/Producer: Steven Bognar & Julia Reichert
Producers: Julie Parker Benello, Jeff Reichert

Apollo 11
Director/Producer: Todd Douglas Miller
Producers: Evan Krauss, Thomas Baxley Petersen

For Sama
Director: Edward Watts
Director/Producer: Waad al-Kateab

Director: Tamara Kotevska
Director/Producer: Ljubo Stefanov
Producer: Atanas Georgiev

Island of the Hungry Ghosts
Director/Producer: Gabrielle Brady
Producers: Gizem Acarla, Samm Haillay, Alex Kelly, Alexander Wadouh

Best Cinematography

  • Jarin Blaschke, The Lighthouse (WINNER)
  • Todd Banhazl, Hustlers
  • Natasha Braier, Honey Boy
  • Chananun Chotrungroj, The Third Wife
  • Pawel Pogorzelski, Midsommar

Best Editing

  • Ronald Bronstein & Benny Safdie, Uncut Gems (WINNER)
  • Julie Béziau, The Third Wife
  • Tyler L. Cook, Sword of Trust
  • Louise Ford, The Lighthouse
  • Kirill Mikhanovsky, Give Me Liberty

Robert Altman Award

Marriage Story
Director: Noah Baumbach
Casting Directors: Douglas Aibel, Francine Maisler
Ensemble Cast: Alan Alda, Laura Dern, Adam Driver, Julie Hagerty, Scarlett Johansson, Ray Liotta, Azhy Robertson, Merritt Wever


Image via Music Box Films

John Cassavetes Award

Give Me Liberty (WINNER)
Writer/Director/Producer: Kirill Mikhanovsky
Writer/Producer: Alice Austen
Producers: Val Abel, Wally Hall, Michael Manasseri, George Rush, Sergey Shtern

Burning Cane
Writer/Director/Producer: Phillip Youmans
Producers: Ojo Akinlana, Jakob Johnson, Karen Kaia Livers, Mose Mayer, Wendell Pierce, Isaac Webb, Cassandra Youmans

Writer/Director: Tom Quinn
Producers: Joshua Blum, Alexandra Byer, Craig Shilowich, Matthew Thurm

Writer/Director/Producer: Rashaad Ernesto Green
Writer: Zora Howard
Producer: Darren Dean, Joy Ganes

Wild Nights With Emily
Writer/Director/Producer: Madeleine Olnek
Producers: Anna Margarita Albelo, Casper Andreas, Max Rifkind-Barron

Bonnie Award

  • Kelly Reichardt (WINNER)
  • Marielle Heller
  • Lulu Wang

Producers Award

  • Mollye Asher (WINNER)
  • Krista Parris
  • Ryan Zacarias

Someone to Watch Award

  • Rashaad Ernesto Green, Director of Premature (WINNER)
  • Ash Mayfair, Director of The Third Wife
  • Joe Talbot, Director of The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Truer Than Fiction Award

  • Nadia Shihab, Director of Jaddoland (WINNER)
  • Khalik Allah, Director of Black Mother
  • Davy Rothbart, Director of 17 Blocks
  • Erick Stoll & Chase Whiteside, Director of América

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