Spirit Awards 2017 Winners: ‘Moonlight’ Takes Top Honors

Spirit Award Winners Moonlight Cast
Cast and crew of ‘Moonlight’ accept the Robert Altman Award onstage during the 2017 Film Independent Spirit Awards (Photo by Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images for Film Independent)

The independent film community celebrated the best in feature films of 2016 during the 32nd Film Independent Spirit Awards held in a tent on the Santa Monica beach. The annual indie awards show is always held the day before the Oscars, with the nominees representing “artist-driven films made with an economy of means by filmmakers whose films embody independence and originality.”

Writer/director Barry Jenkins and Moonlight were the 2017 Spirit Awards big winners, picking up six wins including Best Director and Best Feature. Other winners included The Witch, Other People, Manchester by the Sea, Elle, Hell or High Water, Spa Night, O.J.: Made in America, and Toni Erdmann.

Spirit Awards Winners:

Best Feature:
Moonlight (A24)
Producers: Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Adele Romanski

Best Director:
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight (A24)

Best Screenplay:
Barry Jenkins, Tarell Alvin McCraney (Story By), Moonlight (A24)

Best First Feature:
The Witch (A24)
Director: Robert Eggers
Producers: Daniel Bekerman, Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, Jodi Redmond,
Rodrigo Teixeira

Best First Screenplay:
Robert Eggers, The Witch (A24)

John Cassavetes Award (For best feature made under $500,000):
Spa Night (Strand Releasing)
Writer/Director: Andrew Ahn
Producers: David Ariniello, Giulia Caruso, Ki Jin Kim, Kelly Thomas

Best Supporting Female:
Molly Shannon, Other People (Vertical Entertainment)

Best Supporting Male:
Ben Foster, Hell or High Water (CBS Films/Lionsgate)

Best Female Lead:
Isabelle Huppert, Elle (Sony Pictures Classics)

Best Male Lead:
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea (Amazon Studios)

Robert Altman Award:
Moonlight (A24)
Director: Barry Jenkins
Casting Director: Yesi Ramirez
Ensemble Cast: Mahershala Ali, Patrick Decile, Naomie Harris, Alex Hibbert, André Holland, Jharrel Jerome, Janelle Monáe, Jaden Piner, Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders

Best Cinematography:
James Laxton, Moonlight (A24)

Best Editing:
Joi McMillon, Nat Sanders, Moonlight (A24)

Best International Film:
Toni Erdmann (Germany and Romania– Sony Pictures Classics)
Director: Maren Ade

Best Documentary:
O.J.: Made in America (ESPN Films)
Director/Producer: Ezra Edelman
Producers: Deirdre Fenton, Libby Geist, Nina Krstic, Erin Leyden, Tamara Rosenberg, Connor Schell, Caroline Waterlow

Complete list of 2017 Spirit Awards nominees