2018 Independent Spirit Awards: ‘Get Out’ and ‘Mudbound’ Win Big

Despite the rainy weather, the best and brightest in the world of indie cinema gathered in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica on the afternoon of March 3 for the 2018 Independent Spirit Awards, an awards show exclusively honoring films that were made for $20 million or under. Jordan Peele’s “Get Out,” a horror film with comedic elements that was a big hit this past year among audiences and critics alike, took home Best Feature, beating out “Call Me by Your Name,” “The Florida Project,” “Lady Bird” and “The Rider.” Peele also won Best Director.

“I think it’s clear to everybody in this room and across the country and across the world that we are in the beginning of a renaissance right now where stories from the outsider, stories from the people in this room — the same stories that independent filmmakers have been telling for years — are being honored and recognized and celebrated,” said first-time director Peele accepting Best Feature. “I’m so proud to be here with this group of people receiving this.”

The Independent Spirit Awards have long been known for honoring rising filmmakers, and this year Matt Spicer’s “Ingrid Goes West,” the dark comedy about a social media stalker played by Aubrey Plaza, took Best First Feature. The John Cassavetes Award, a honor given to a film that was produced for under $500,000, went to “Life and Nothing More,” while husband and wife screenwriting team Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani won Best First Screenplay. In a post on Instagram, Gordon revealed that the floor inside the tent was soaking wet and she had to borrow a hair dryer to dry the hem of dress.

Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell (“Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri), along with Allison Janney (“I, Tonya), continued their winning streaks this season, taking home Best Female Lead, Best Supporting Male and Best Supporting Female, respectively. Timothée Chalamet (“Call Me by Your Name”), won Best Male Lead, nearly slipping on his way to the podium.

“Mudbound,” the stirring Netflix drama about race relations in post-WWII Mississippi, won the Robert Altman Award, an award that honors a film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast.

Said writer/director Dee Rees in her inspiring acceptance speech, “I know that as independent filmmakers, as the so-called rebels, as the outsiders creating without respect to means or access — I know that we of all makers are far, far beyond any tokenism.”

2018 Independent Spirit Awards took place March 3 in Santa Monica, CA and aired live on IFC.