Spirit Awards: 'The Big Sick' Wins Best First Screenplay

The 33rd annual ceremony that honors independent films took place in Santa Monica on Saturday.

Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani won best first screenplay at the Independent Spirit Awards for The Big Sick.

In his speech, Nanjiani thanked producers Judd Apatow and Barry Mendel and director Michael Showalter.

"We want to thank Judd, Barry and Michael, who were never shy about telling us that what happened to us needed to be rewritten and made better," said Nanjiani, whose screenplay tells the story of how he and Gordon met and fell in love. "Which happened a lot," added Gordon.

Nanjiani also thanked both his and Gordon's parents, who heavily inspired the film. "We want to thank our families. My parents, your parents, who really supported us through all this and who we've forgotten to thank before," said Nanjiani. "My dad never cheated on my mom. That was something we made up for the movie," added Gordon. "That we know of," quipped Nanjiani.

The first-time screenwriters beat out Kris Avedisian (Donald Cried), Ingrid Jungermann (Women Who Kill), Kogonada (Columbus) and writing duo David Branson Smith and Matt Spicer (Ingrid Goes West) to take home the award.

John Mulaney and Nick Kroll returned to host the 33rd annual Independent Spirit Awards for a second time, which took place on Saturday afternoon in Santa Monica.