'Spotlight' & Tom McCarthy Win Top Prizes at 2016 Indie Spirit Awards

The Independent Spirit Awards are an annual award given in the name of independent film, featuring plenty of those little indies which deserve the honor and recognition that they usually don't receive - celebrating their 31st year. The 2016 winners of the Spirit Awards were announced Saturday before the Oscars at a ceremony out in Santa Monica. The big winner this year was Spotlight, awarded Best Feature, but that's not all - there were plenty of interesting, surprising, exciting wins during the night. Carol finally won something this season - Ed Lachman picked up Best Cinematography. Tangerine's Mya Taylor won Best Supporting Female, and Beasts of No Nation took both Best Male performance awards. You have to love it when the Spirit Awards shake things up like this! Read on for the list of Indie Spirit Awards results.

You'll notice an [IMDb] link next to each film. This is so you can discover great new films, because there is guaranteed to be at least one film you've never heard of in here. Read on for a complete list of nominees and winners from the 31st Independent Spirit Awards. Winners from each category are designated in BOLD.

BEST FEATURE
Anomalisa [IMDb]
Beasts of No Nation [IMDb]
Carol [IMDb]
Spotlight [IMDb]
Tangerine [IMDb]

Winner: Spotlight

BEST FIRST FEATURE
The Diary of a Teenage Girl [IMDb]
James White [IMDb]
Manos Sucias [IMDb]
Mediterranea [IMDb]
Songs My Brothers Taught Me [IMDb]

Winner: Marielle Heller

BEST DIRECTOR
Sean Baker - Tangerine [IMDb]
Cary Joji Fukunaga - Beasts of No Nation [IMDb]
Todd Haynes - Carol [IMDb]
Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson - Anomalisa [IMDb]
Tom McCarthy - Spotlight [IMDb]
David Robert Mitchell - It Follows [IMDb]

BEST MALE LEAD
Christopher Abbott - James White [IMDb]
Abraham Attah - Beasts of No Nation [IMDb]
Ben Mendelsohn - Mississippi Grind [IMDb]
Jason Segel - The End of the Tour [IMDb]
Koudous Seihon - Mediterranea [IMDb]

Winner: Abraham Attah - Beasts of No Nation

BEST FEMALE LEAD
Cate Blanchett - Carol [IMDb]
Brie Larson - Room [IMDb]
Rooney Mara - Carol [IMDb]
Bel Powley - The Diary of a Teenage Girl [IMDb]
Kitana Kiki Rodriguez - Tangerine [IMDb]

BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Kevin Corrigan - Results [IMDb]
Paul Dano - Love & Mercy [IMDb]
Idris Elba - Beasts of No Nation [IMDb]
Richard Jenkins - Bone Tomahawk [IMDb]
Michael Shannon - 99 Homes [IMDb]

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Robin Bartlett - H. [IMDb]
Marin Ireland - Glass Chin [IMDb]
Jennifer Jason Leigh - Anomalisa [IMDb]
Cynthia Nixon - James White [IMDb]
Mya Taylor - Tangerine [IMDb]

Winner: Mya Taylor - Tangerine

BEST SCREENPLAY
Charlie Kaufman - Anomalisa [IMDb]
Donald Margulies - The End of the Tour [IMDb]
Phyllis Nagy - Carol [IMDb]
Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer - Spotlight [IMDb]
S. Craig Zahler - Bone Tomahawk [IMDb]

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Jesse Andrews - Me and Earl and the Dying Girl [IMDb]
Jonas Carpignano - Mediterranea [IMDb]
Emma Donoghue - Room [IMDb]
Marielle Heller - The Diary of a Teenage Girl [IMDb]
John Magary, Russell Harbaugh, Myna Joseph - The Mend [IMDb]

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Cary Joji Fukunaga - Beasts of No Nation [IMDb]
Ed Lachman - Carol [IMDb]
Mike Gioulakis - It Follows [IMDb]
Reed Morano - Meadlowland [IMDb]
Joshua James Richards - Songs My Brothers Taught Me [IMDb]

Winner: Ed Lachman

BEST EDITING
Ronald Bronstein & Ben Safdie - Heaven Knows What [IMDb]
Julio Perez IV - It Follows [IMDb]
Kristan Sprague - Manos Sucias [IMDb]
Nathan Nugent - Room [IMDb]
Tom McArdle - Spotlight [IMDb]

BEST DOCUMENTARY
(T)error [IMDb]
Best of Enemies [IMDb]
Heart of a Dog [IMDb]
The Look of Silence [IMDb]
Meru [IMDb]
The Russian Woodpecker [IMDb]

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence [IMDb]
Embrace of the Serpent [IMDb]
Girlhood [IMDb]
Mustang [IMDb]
Son of Saul [IMDb]

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD
Best feature made for less than $500,000.
Advantageous [IMDb]
Christmas, Again [IMDb]
Heaven Knows What [IMDb]
Krisha [IMDb]
Out of My Hand [IMDb]

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD
Spotlight - Tom McCarthy [IMDb]
For Best Ensemble: Billy Crudup, Brian d'Arcy James, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci

TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD
Incorruptible - Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi [IMDb]

For last year's list of nominees and winners, which featured a repeat of the Oscars - Birdman winning Best Film, except that Richard Linklater won Best Director for Boyhood - click here. This year's set of nominees for the Indie Spirits have a few Oscar crossovers, but still includes quite a few true independents that barely got mentioned by The Academy. I'm happy to see Beasts of No Nation taking so many big wins, I really love that movie (it was featured on The 19 Best Movies That You Didn't See in 2015 list - with a few others from these nominees). This is very diverse set of winners, featuring a young African boy, a trans woman, plus wins for Marielle Heller and The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Joshua Oppenheimer's The Look of Silence, and a nice change of pace with Best Cinematography going to Ed Lachman of Todd Haynes' Carol, a critic favorite.

For more: SpiritAwards.com. A big indie congratulations to all of 2016's winners & nominees!