“Thank you to the Spirit Awards for this incredible honor,” said the actor. He said it was a shame not to be there in person.
Ahmed talked about how the independent film community has allowed him to grow his craft, learn and take risks. “I share this with a lot of people, most of all [director] Darius Marder. Thank you for your daring and your genius.”
He went on to thank the “incredible” crew, who went the extra mile on the film, along with his family.
“Sound of Metal is about how a health crisis can throw your life off track,” Ahmed said as he closed out his speech, wishing peace to those who have experienced discomfort this year.
Earlier in the evening, Paul Raci won best supporting actor for his role in Sound of Metal, while Marder accepted the award for best first feature. The film is a contender for best picture at the 93rd Academy Awards on Sunday.
The 36th annual Independent Spirit Awards took place in a virtual format instead of its traditional location on the beach in Santa Monica, and aired in a primetime ceremony on IFC and AMC+ three days before the Oscars.
The event was hosted by Saturday Night Live castmember Melissa Villaseñor, while Judas and the Black Messiah director Shaka King served as honorary chair.