Spirit Awards: 'Spotlight' Producer Says Best Feature Win Means "More Lives Can be Spared From Abuse"

The win completed the film's sweep of Saturday's ceremony, where it won all four awards for which it was nominated and received the Robert Altman Award for its ensemble cast.

Spotlight was named best feature at the 31st Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday.

The win completed a sweep of the awards by the movie about The Boston Globe's investigation into years of child sex abuse by Catholic priests and the subsequent cover-up, which won all four Spirit prizes for which it was nominated and received the Robert Altman Award for its ensemble cast.

In addition to the top prize of best feature, Spotlight won best director (Tom McCarthy), best screenplay (McCarthy and Josh Singer) and best editing (Tom McArdle).

During his acceptance speech, producer Michael Sugar talked about the movie's larger message.

"I've personally been blessed to be involved with so many films that have been honored in one way or another by this group and others, and it's very rare to be able to make a film that impacts the world as significantly as this one has," Sugar said. "By honoring it, you're making more people aware of it, and the more people that are aware of it, the more lives can be spared from abuse."

Sugar also praised the film's cast, writers, director, "our personal inspirations and heroes, the reporters and editors of the Boston Globe Spotlight team" and financier Participant Media, who Sugar said "was with us from the beginning."

"Participant is all over these awards tonight, so they deserve to be congratulated for their courage and their tenacity in making quality independent film — and some good studio ones, too," Sugar said of the company that was also involved with two-time Spirit Award winner Beasts of No Nation and best documentary winner The Look of Silence, among other films.

Spotlight beat Anomalisa, Beasts of No Nation, Carol and Tangerine in the category of best feature.

The acclaimed film — which has already won a number of other awards this season including the SAG Award for best cast, three Critics' Choice awards, three Gotham awards and the WGA and BAFTA awards for best original screenplay — is also up for six Oscars, including best picture.

The awards were handed out in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica at a ceremony hosted by Silicon Valley's Kumail Nanjiani and Saturday Night Live's Kate McKinnon. The awards were exclusively broadcast live on IFC.

Visit THR.com/awards for complete coverage of awards season.