Spirit Awards 2015: 'Nightcrawler' Wins Best Screenplay

Dan Gilroy's Declaration

"Independent film, the foundation and everybody here today, I think are holdouts against a tsunami of superhero movies that have swept over this industry," said Nightcrawler's Dan Gilroy when accepting his second award of the night. "We have survived and we have thrived and I think that's true spirit."

The film, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and written and directed by Dan Gilroy, also won best first feature.

Nightcrawler won the 2015 Independent Spirit Award for best screenplay.

The award was the second one of the day for the Jake Gyllenhaal-starrer, written and directed by Dan Gilroy. After his earlier acceptance of the award for best first feature, Gilroy returned to the stage to accept the best screenplay award.

In this speech, in addition to thanking his parents, whom he noted he hadn't thanked earlier, Gilroy reflected on how far he's come.

"We work in careers where these moments are rare. I will share with you that 10 years ago, at a low point in my career, I was not far from here and I actually thought that what I did was the equivalent of writing in sand, because the ocean would come up and wipe it away," he said. "Things were not getting made. It's very sort of symbolic for me to be accepting an award where I had a revelation that what I do I do because I love, and I think that's why we all do what we do. So the award means a lot."

Gilroy's screenplay beat out fellow nominees Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski for Big Eyes, J.C. Chandor for A Most Violent Year, Jim Jarmusch for Only Lovers Left Alive and Ira Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias for Love is Strange to take home the honor.

In his acceptance speech, Gilroy thanked his fellow nominees and joked that Nightcrawler could have been called "Big Eyes."

The Independent Spirit Awards honors exclusively 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.