Spirit Awards: Watch All of the Winners' Acceptance Speeches

6:24 PM 2/27/2016

by Keely Wold

From Mya Taylor's historic win to newbie Abraham Attah's gracious speech, see what the winners had to say onstage Saturday.

Randall Michelson/WireImage

Spotlight was the big winner at the 2016 Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, winning in every category that it was nominated.

Speeches were kept short and sweet, with none of the Oscar-esque exit music brought up to usher any winners off stage.

Watch them all below.

  • Best Supporting Male: Idris Elba

    Idris Elba accepted the best supporting actor award for Netflix's Beasts of No Nation and graciously shared the honor with co-star Abraham Attah, who came to the stage with Elba. 

  • Best First Screenplay: Emma Donoghue

    Jacob Tremblay and Anthony Mackie presented the award to Room's Emma Donoghue, who wrote both the novel of the same name and the screenplay. Donoghue, who conceived of the idea after hearing about the Elisabeth Fritzl case, is up for best adapted screenplay at the 88th Academy Awards. 

  • Best Documentary: The Look of Silence

    The Look of Silence, a film based on the Indonesian massacre of 1965-66, received the award for best documentary feature. It is also nominated at the 88th Academy Awards. 

  • Best First Feature: Marielle Heller

    The Diary of a Teenage Girl director Marielle Heller accepted the award, saying, "Sometimes a project comes along that just changes your whole life, and that was this for me." The film is based on Phoebe Gloeckner's novel of the same name. 

  • Robert Altman Award: Spotlight

    Spotlight picked up the Robert Altman Award, which was awarded to the film's director, cast director and ensemble cast. Director Tom McCarthy accepted the award, dedicating it to the Boston Globe investigative reporters who the film was based on. It was Spotlight's second win of the night. 

  • Best Cinematography: Ed Lachman

    Cinematographer Ed Lachman accepted the award for his work on Carol, thanking the film's director, Todd Haynes. He won the same award in 2003 for his work on Far From Heaven with Haynes. 

  • John Cassavetes Award: Krisha

    Trey Edward Shults, writer and director of Krisha, accepted the John Cassavetes Award, which is given annually to a film budgeted at less than $500,000. In his speech, Shults explained that they filmed over the course of nine days at his mom's house and that his aunt had the starring role. He said "it was the most beautiful experience of my life and this is a beautiful way to end it."

  • Best Screenplay: Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer

    Jason Segel presented the award for best screenplay to Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer who co-wrote Spotlight. The award was the movie's third win of the night, and McCarthy and Singer asked the reporters who were present to stand to receive applause as well. 

  • Best International Film: Son of Saul

    Laszlo Nemes accepted the award for best international film for his movie Son of Saul. The heart-wrenching film also won the Golden Globe for best foreign film, the Spotlight award at the ASC Award, grand prize of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival and is expected win at Oscars on Sunday. 

     

  • Best Supporting Female: Mya Taylor

    "The first thing I thought was, 'This movie ain't going to be shit,'" Mya Taylor joked as she accepted the award for best supporting female. The actress made history as the first transgender person to win a major film award in Tangerine, a dramedy shot entirely on iPhones that follows a young prostitute in Los Angeles, and wrapped up her acceptance speech saying, "There is trangender talent. There's very beautiful transgender talent. So, you better get it out there and put it in your next movie."

  • Best Director: Tom McCarthy

    Tom McCarthy accepted the best director award for Spotlight. He also congratulated his fellow nominees, saying: "To my fellow nominees, you're all so impressive. Todd [Haynes], specifically, your movies have inspired me for a long time. Sir, I salute you. And to the rest of you: Keep making movies. It's really inspirational."

  • Best Male Lead: Abraham Attah

    Teenage Ghanaian actor, and film newbie, Abraham Attah received the best male lead award for his portrayal of a young child soldier in director Cary Fukunaga's gritty war film, Beasts of No Nation. Attah humbly accepted the prize by thanking his co-star, Idris Elba, who won the best supporting male award earlier in the evening, his director and the cast of the film.

  • Best Female Lead: Brie Larson

    Brie Larson accepted the best female lead award for Room and gushed that she's "never seen a movie through like this!" and thanked her "spirit animal" co-star Jacob Tremblay. 

  • Best Director: Tom McCarthy

    Tom McCarthy accepted the best director award for Spotlight. He also congratulated his fellow nominees, saying: "To my fellow nominees, you're all so impressive. Todd [Haynes], specifically, your movies have inspired me for a long time. Sir, I salute you. And to the rest of you: Keep making movies. It's really inspirational."

  • Best Feature: Spotlight

    Completing its sweep of all four categories it was nominated in — best screenplay, best director, best cast and best feature — Spotlight producer Michael Sugar accepted the night's big award, for which it beat out Beasts of No Nation, Carol, Anomalisa and Tangerine. Joined onstage by a bevy of castmembers and producers, Sugar said, "This is a good example of how it takes a village to make a film."

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