Spirit Awards 2021: ‘Minari,’ ‘Palm Springs’ Nab Early Wins

The 2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards are underway in a virtual ceremony, celebrating the best in indie filmmaking — and, for the first time, television.

Continuing her roll in the best supporting actress category was Yuh-Jung Youn of “Minari.” In the first speech of the evening, the actor credited the very independent spirit of the Lee Isaac Chung production — specifically its lean budget and tight schedule.

“This is amazing and i’m very grateful. Even though without money, without time, we survived all right. Somehow we got together very closely … in the trailer, and became really family. Because of that, we made it this far,” she said.

Emerald Fennell took the prize for best screenplay for “Promising Young Woman.” Best first screenplay went to Andy Siara for “Palm Springs,” the Sundance sales record-setter released by Hulu. Siara thanked his fellow nominees, saying “your movies make me want to be a better writer.” The Netflix original “Crip Camp” took the prize for best documentary.

The inaugural award for best new scripted series went to “I May Destroy You,” the acclaimed HBO Max original created by and starring Michaela Coel. In brief remarks, Coel spoke of editing and delivering the show during a global pandemic lockdown and worldwide civil unrest, thanking her creative team for a space to express love. “Unorthodox” star Shira Haas took best female performance in TV.

The annual Robert Altman Award, which celebrated ensemble casts, went to Regina King’s “One Night in Miami.” Recipients included Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, and Leslie Odom Jr. The award is also shared annually with a film’s director and casting director.

The Independent Spirit Awards are easily the most casual affair of the annual awards cycle, a day-drinking reprieve in a freezing tent on the beach in Santa Monica, Ca. The ceremony is typically held on the Saturday afternoon before Oscar Sunday, this year moved to the Thursday before.

The ceremony was virtual, of course, with plenty of sentimental gags about missing the sand. Film Independent President Josh Welsh did a melancholy skit prior to the broadcast, moping around the sand. Organizers paired with the platform Looped to create several interactive “venues” online, including a cocktail class, movie chatter and virtual tables for guests. Online karaoke was set as an after-party celebration. The virtual backstage was hosted by Carla Renata and and Variety‘s Angelique Jackson.

Updating live. View the full list of winners here.



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