Spirit Awards 2015: 'Birdman' Wins Best Feature
The Fox Searchlight film went into Saturday's show nominated for a leading six awards.
Birdman won the 2015 Independent Spirit Award for the best feature.
The Fox Searchlight and New Regency film beat out fellow nominees Boyhood, Love is Strange, Selma and Whiplash to take home the Spirit Awards' top honor.
The award was the third prize of the night for Birdman, which also took home best cinematography honors early in the show, with star Michael Keaton also winning the award handed out right before best feature, for best male lead. Keaton returned to the stage with co-star Emma Stone, the film's producers and director Alejandro G. Inarritu, who accepted the best feature award.
Inarritu called the award, "truly an honor," touching on the challenges of making independent films.
"I think all of us here in this room and all of these filmmakers, all of these films...as many animals in nature, we are threatened to become species of extinction," Inarritu said. "And I think all of these films differ from many others in a way...all of them borne from a need to be expressed, something to say, individual expression. And the way I see it I think cinema has these two natures, [a physical and an independent nature, with the independent coming from] the spirit and...from the only condition to be free from any sort of subordinate or objective of mak[ing] money only. I think all of these films were an act of love and I feel so proud, so emotional to be here tonight with you, really."
He added that directing involves "vibrat[ing] in consonance with souls and pick[ing] things and people that can really make with you something extraordinary and I think I was lucky enough to work with all of the people in Birdman."
Inarritu paid tribute to Keaton, in particular, along with the rest of the cast and his fellow writers and producers. He also thanked the executives at New Regency and Fox Searchlight, which distributed the film.
The Independent Spirit Awards exclusively honors independent films, bringing together top Hollywood talent and independent filmmakers. Fred Armisen and Kristen Bell co-hosted the 30th annual event, which was broadcast live on IFC on Saturday afternoon.