Film Independent Honours 2024 Spirit Awards Winners At 39th Annual Ceremony

Past Lives, The Holdovers and Beef Lead the Way in an Unpredictable and Varied Celebration of the Best of Independent Storytelling

Film Independent, the nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering independence and inclusivity in visual storytelling, handed out top honors today at the 2024 Film Independent Spirit Awards. Hosted by beloved comedian Aidy Bryant, the awards ceremony was broadcast live on IMDb’s YouTube channel, as well as Film Independent’s YouTube and Twitter accounts. The Spirit Awards are Film Independent’s largest annual celebration, making year-round programming for filmmakers and film loving audiences possible while amplifying the voices of independent storytellers and celebrating their diversity, originality and uniqueness of vision.

This year’s ceremony, the 39th in Film Independent’s history, celebrated a wide variety of films, television shows and artists, with no individual film or show walking away with more than three awards.

In the film awards categories, Past Lives won for Best Feature and Best Director for Celine Song, while The Holdovers came away with the most awards of the night with three, including Best Supporting Performance for Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Best Breakthrough Performance for Dominic Sessa and Best Cinematography for Eigil Bryld. Among the other films and artists honored, American Fiction won Best Actor for Jeffrey Wright and Best Screenplay for Cord Jefferson; A Thousand and One won Best First Feature; Best First Screenplay went to May December, written by Samy Birch with story by Samy Birch and Alex Mechanik; Anatomy of a Fall won Best International Film; Four Daughters won Best Documentary; and Daniel Garber won Best Editing for How to Blow Up a Pipeline.

For the fourth time in its history, this year’s Spirit Awards also honored exceptional content in television. This year’s major winners in the TV categories were Beef which won Best New Scripted Series and Best Lead Performance in a New Scripted Series for Ali Wong; Dear Mama, which won Best New Non-Scripted or Documentary Series; Nick Offerman of The Last of Us, who won Best Supporting Performance in a New Scripted Series; Jury Duty, which won Best Ensemble Cast in a New Scripted Series; and Keivonn Montreal Woodard of The Last of Us who won the new this year Best Breakthrough in a New Scripted Series award.

The 16th annual Robert Altman Award, which was created in 2008 in honor of legendary film director Robert Altman, who was known for creating extraordinary ensemble casts, was awarded to Showing Up director Kelly Reichardt, alongside casting director Gayle Keller, as well as ensemble cast members André Benjamin, Hong Chau, Judd Hirsch, Heather Lawless, James Le Gros, John Magaro, Matt Malloy,
Amanda Plummer, Maryann Plunkett, Denzel Rodriguez, Michelle Williams.

Also celebrated were Fremont, with the John Cassavetes Award, given to the best feature made for under $1,000,000; Monica Sorelle of Mountains with the Someone to Watch Award, recognizing a filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition; Set Hernandez of unseen with the Truer Than Fiction Award, presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has yet to receive significant recognition; and Monique Walton with the Producers Award, honoring emerging producers who demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality independent films with limited resources.

The winners of the Film Independent Spirit Awards are voted on by Film Independent Members. Membership is open to the public.

Film Independent Spirit Awards are supported by Premier Sponsor Lavazza Coffee, Principal Sponsor IMDbPro and Official Partners Bulleit Frontier Whiskey, FIJI Water, Petite Fleur Champagne and Stella Artois. Easterseals Disability Services is the accessibility partner. Hotel Casa del Mar, Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows and The Georgian are the Official Hotels. Pentagram is the Visual Branding Partner. Getty Images is the Official Photographer. Vision Media is the exclusive screening partner. Caffeine Post, eTech Rentals, Illuminar and Town and Country Event Rentals are Official Providers.

Spirit Award Winners


Best Feature

Past Lives (A24)
Producers: David Hinojosa, Pamela Koffler, Christine Vachon

Best Director

Celine Song, Past Lives (A24)

Best Screenplay

Cord Jefferson, American Fiction (Orion Pictures / Amazon MGM Studios)

Best First Feature

A Thousand and One (Focus Features)
Director: A.V. Rockwell
Producers: Julia Lebedev, Rishi Rajani, Eddie Vaisman, Lena Waithe, Brad Weston

Best First Screenplay

Samy Burch, Story by Samy Burch, Alex Mechanik, May December (Netflix)

John Cassavetes Award

(for best feature made under $1,000,000)
Fremont (Music Box Films)
Writer/Director: Babak Jalal
Writer: Carolina Cavalli
Producers: Rachael Fung, Chris Martin, Marjaneh Moghimi, George Rush, Sudnya
Shroff, Laura Wagner

Best Breakthrough Performance

Dominic Sessa, The Holdovers (Focus Features)

Best Supporting Performance

Da’Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers (Focus Features)

Best Lead Performance

Jeffrey Wright, American Fiction (Orion Pictures / Amazon MGM Studios)

Robert Altman Award

Showing Up (A24)
Director: Kelly Reichardt
Casting Director: Gayle Keller
Ensemble Cast: André Benjamin, Hong Chau, Judd Hirsch, Heather Lawless, James Le
Gros, John Magaro, Matt Malloy, Amanda Plummer, Maryann Plunkett, Denzel
Rodriguez, Michelle Williams

Best Cinematography

Eigil Bryld, The Holdovers (Focus Features)

Best Editing

Daniel Garber, How to Blow Up a Pipeline (NEON)

Best International Film

Anatomy of a Fall (NEON)
Director: Justine Triet

Best Documentary

Four Daughters (Kino Lorber)
Director: Kaouther Ben Hania
Producer: Nadim Cheikhrouha

Someone to Watch

Monica Sorelle, Mountains

Truer Than Fiction

Set Hernandez, unseen (POV, American Documentary)

Producers Award

Monique Walton


Best New Scripted Series

Beef (Netflix)
Creator/Executive Producer: Lee Sung Jin
Executive Producers: Steven Yeun, Ali Wong, Jake Schreier, Ravi Nandan, Alli Reich
Co-Executive Producers: Alice Ju, Carrie Kemper

Best New Non-Scripted or Documentary Series

Dear Mama (FX)
Executive Producers: Lasse Järvi, Quincy ‘QD3’ Jones III, Staci Robinson, Nelson George, Charles D. King, Peter Nelson, Adel ‘Future’ Nur, Jamal Joseph, Ted Skillman, Allen Hughes, Steve Berman, Marc Cimino, Jody Gerson, John Janick, Nicholas Ferrall, Nigel Sinclair

Best Supporting Performance in a New Scripted Series

Nick Offerman, The Last of Us (HBO/Max)

Best Lead Performance in a New Scripted Series

Ali Wong, Beef (Netflix)

Best Breakthrough Performance in a New Scripted Series

Keivonn Montreal Woodard, The Last of Us (HBO/Max)

Best Ensemble Cast in a New Scripted Series

Jury Duty (Amazon Freevee)
Ensemble Cast: Alan Barinholtz, Susan Berger, Cassandra Blair, David Brown, Kirk Fox, Ross Kimball, Pramode Kumar, Trisha LaFache, Mekki Leeper, James Marsden, Edy Modica, Kerry O’Neill, Rashida Olayiwola, Whitney Rice, Maria Russell, Ishmel Sahid, Ben Seaward, Ron Song, Evan Williams

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Categorised as Awards

By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB | Actor | Armourer | Tech Enthusiast With over two decades in the film industry, I'm a seasoned actor and skilled armourer. I hold numerous certifications in acting and filmmaking, complemented by degrees and diplomas in IT and technology, giving me a unique blend of creative and technical expertise. When I'm not on set or in the workshop, you'll find me immersed in the world of gaming and VR, fuelling my passion for cutting-edge technology. Connect with me: X / Twitter Facebook Instagram Mastodon Threads Explore my work on SAMDB IMDb