Film Independent Spirit Awards

Film Independent Spirit Awards
The Film Independent Spirit Awards (formerly FINDIE or Friends of Independent Awards) are designed to acknowledge the accomplishments in independent filmmaking. They were created in 1984 by Jeanne Lucas and IFP/West (now Film Independent).

Film Independent is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting independent film and supporting independent filmmakers. Its mission is to champion creative independence in visual storytelling and support a community of independent artists who embody innovation, diversity and uniqueness of vision. The FINDIE Awards (renamed the Independent Spirit Awards in 1986) were created to thank individuals and organizations for their support of independent filmmakers.

The original statuette was an acrylic glass pyramid with suspended shoestrings inside alluding to tiny budgets of independent films as one of the meanings of the word “shoestring” is a small sum of money. A new trophy was introduced in 2006. The new design still features shoestrings though. The statuette depicts a bird with it wings spread that sits atop a pole wrapped with shoestrings.

The Film Independent Spirit Awards are given out in a number of categories which are mostly pretty standard. The categories include Best Feature, Best First Feature, Best Documentary, Best International Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best First Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Female Lead, Best Supporting Female, Best Male Lead, Best Supporting Male, and John Cassavetes Award. The competition is open for American productions (except for the category of Best International Film and Best Documentary) with budgets under $20 million ($500,000 for the Cassavetes Award).

The Film Independent Spirit Awards ceremony takes place in Santa Monica, California on the day before the Academy Awards. The date was chosen deliberately to emphasize the difference between the two awards. While the Academy Awards focus on big budget films made by major studios, the Film Independent Spirit Awards are dedicated to small budget projects. The ceremony is broadcast on Bravo and IFC (Independent Film Channel).

Film Independent Spirit Awards

Photo: Chris Pizzello, Invision/AP




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