Barry Jenkins’ adaptation of the James Baldwin novel, If Beale Street Could Talk, dominated the 34th Film Independent Spirit Awards Saturday, winning best film, best director and best supporting female for Regina King.
Jenkins, who took home the best director and best screenplay Spirit Awards two years earlier for Moonlight, used his acceptance speech to call on Hollywood to hire more female directors.
“I’m not gonna lie, man. I didn’t want to win this damn award,” he said after beating three female directors. “Women only make up 4 percent of studio directors and yet they make up 44 percent of the directors of the competition at Sundance, and make up 60 percent of the directors nominated for this award.”
Among the other awards handed out, Glenn Close won best female lead for her performance in The Wife. Ethan Hawke picked up the best male lead for First Reformed. Roma was named best international film, and Boots Riley won the best first feature award for his social satire Sorry to Bother You.
Riley, an outspoken rapper-turned-filmmaker, got political in his acceptance speech, by denouncing U.S. involvement in Venezuela. He also noted that more directors are making socially conscious films.
“There are real movements out there happening on the streets,” said Riley. “Rightly so, film is responding to that.”
Held on the eve of the Oscars in Santa Monica, the Spirit Awards are dedicated to independent movies with budgets under $20 million, making blockbusters like Black Panther ineligible.
Below is the full list of winners.
If Beale Street Could Talk
BEST FEMALE LEAD
Glenn Close, The Wife
BEST MALE LEAD
Ethan Hawke, First Reformed
Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk
Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, Suspiria
Nicole Holofcener & Jeff Whitty, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD
BEST FIRST FEATURE
Sorry to Bother You
Joe Bini, You Were Never Really Here
TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD
Bing Liu, Director of Minding the Gap
BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM
JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD
En El Septimo Dia
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Bo Burnham, Eighth Grade
BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD
Alex Moratto, Director of Sócrates