The 2003 IFP Independent Spirit Awards were held Saturday, March 22, 2003 at a tent on the beach in Santa Monica. The IFP Independent Spirit Awards is a celebration honoring films made by filmmakers who embody independence and who dare to challenge the status quo. This annual event, which began as a small grassroots program, has grown into one of the most anticipated events of the film year.
This year's big winner was Focus Features' "Far From Heaven," which won Best Feature, Best Director, Best Female Lead (Julianne Moore), Best Male Lead (Dennis Quaid), and Best Cinematography. "Far From Heaven" was written and directed by Todd Haynes and produced by Jody Patton and Christine Vachon.
2003 IFP INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDBEST FEATURE:
NOMINEES AND WINNERS
"The Good Girl" - Producer: Matthew Greenfield
"Lovely & Amazing" - Producers: Anthony Bregman, Eric d'Arbeloff, Ted Hope
"Secretary" - Producers: Andrew Fierberg, Amy Hobby, Steven Shainberg
"Tully" - Producers: Hilary Birmingham, Annie Sundberg
WINNER: "Far From Heaven" - Producers: Jody Patton, Christine Vachon
Joe Carnahan - "Narc"
Nicole Holofcener - "Lovely & Amazing"
Bernard Rose - "ivans xtc."
Gus Van Sant - "Gerry"
WINNER: Todd Haynes - "Far From Heaven"
"Lovely & Amazing" - Nicole Holofcener
"Roger Dodger" - Dylan Kidd
"Thirteen Conversations About One Thing" - Jill Sprecher and Karen Sprecher
"Tully" - Hilary Birmingham and Matt Drake
WINNER: "The Good Girl" - Mike White
BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the Director):
"Interview with the Assassin" - Director: Neil Burger
"Manito" - Director: Eric Eason
"Paid In Full" - Director: Charles Stone III
"Roger Dodger" - Director: Dylan Kidd
WINNER: "The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys" - Director: Peter Care
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY:
"Hysterical Blindness" - Laura Cahill
"Igby Goes Down" - Burr Steers
"Interview with the Assassin" - Neil Burger
"Kissing Jessica Stein" - Heather Juergensen and Jennifer Westfeldt
WINNER: "Secretary" - Erin Cressida Wilson
JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD (Given to the best feature made for under $500,000; Award given to the Writer, Director, and Producer):
"Charlotte Sometimes" - Director/Writer: Eric Byler, Producers: Marc Ambrose, Eric Byler
"Dahmer" - Director/Writer: David Jacobson, Producer: Larry Rattner
"ivans xtc." - Director: Bernard Rose, Writers: Lisa Enos and Bernard Rose, Producer: Lisa Enos
"The Slaughter Rule" - Directors/Writers: Alex Smith and Alex Smith, Producers: Gregory O'Connor, Michael Robinson
WINNER: "Personal Velocity" - Director/Writer: Rebecca Miller, Producers: Alexis Alexanian, Lemore Syvan, Gary Winick
BEST DEBUT PERFORMANCE (Actors in their first significant role in a feature film):
Bob Burrus - "Tully"
America Ferrera - "Real Women Have Curves"
Raven Goodwin - "Lovely & Amazing"
Artel Kayaru - "Dahmer"
WINNER: Nia Vardalos - "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE:
Viola Davis - "Antwone Fisher"
Jacqueline Kim - "Charlotte Sometimes"
Juliette Lewis - "Hysterical Blindness"
Julianne Nicholson - "Tully"
WINNER: Emily Mortimer - "Lovely & Amazing"
BEST SUPPORTING MALE:
Alan Arkin - "Thirteen Conversations About One Thing"
Ray Liotta - "Narc"
John C. Reilly - "The Good Girl"
Peter Weller - "ivans xtc."
WINNER: Dennis Quaid - "Far From Heaven"
BEST FEMALE LEAD:
Jennifer Aniston - "The Good Girl"
Maggie Gyllenhaal - "Secretary"
Catherine Keener - "Lovely & Amazing"
Parker Posey - "Personal Velocity"
WINNER: Julianne Moore - "Far From Heaven"
BEST MALE LEAD:
Graham Greene - "Skins"
Danny Huston - "ivans xtc."
Jeremy Renner - "Dahmer"
Campbell Scott - "Roger Dodger"
WINNER: Derek Luke - "Antwone Fisher"
"Gerry" - Harris Savides
"Interview with the Assassin" - Richard Rutkowski
"Narc" - Alex Nepomniaschy
"Personal Velocity" - Ellen Kuras
WINNER: "Far From Heaven" - Edward Lachman
BEST FOREIGN FILM (Award given to the Director):
"Bloody Sunday" - Ireland, Director: Paul Greengrass
"The Fast Runner (Atanarjuat)" - Canada, Director: Zacharias Kunuk
"The Piano Teacher (La Pianiste)" - France, Director: Michael Haneke
"Time Out (L'Emploi du temps)" - France, Director: Laurent Cantet
WINNER: "Y Tu Mamá También" - Mexico, Director: Alfonso Cuarón
BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the Director):
"The Cockettes" - Directors: Bill Weber and David Weissman
"Devil's Playground" - Director: Lucy Walker
"How to Draw a Bunny" - Director: John Walter
WINNER: "Bowling for Columbine" - Director: Michael Moore
Turning Leaf Coastal Reserve Someone to Watch Award
The ninth annual Turning Leaf Coastal Reserve Someone to Watch Award recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $20,000 unrestricted grant, funded by Turning Leaf Coastal Reserve Vineyards, to help the winning filmmaker pursue his or her craft. Finalists for the 2003 Turning Leaf Coastal Reserve Someone to Watch Award are:
--Eric Eason, director of "Manito"
--Eitan Gorlin, director of "The Holy Land"
WINNER: Przemyslaw Reut, director of "Paradox Lake"
DIRECTV / IFC Truer Than Fiction Award
The seventh annual DIRECTV / IFC Truer Than Fiction Award is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features: a filmmaker of unique vision and talent who has not yet received significant attention. The award is accompanied by a $20,000 unrestricted grant, funded by DIRECTV and the Independent Film Channel. The Finalists for the 2003 DIRECTV / IFC Truer Than Fiction Award are:
--Jeff Blitz for "Spellbound"
--Eugene Jarecki for "The Trials of Henry Kissinger"
--Mark Moskowitz for "Stone Reader"
WINNER: Jennifer Dworkin for "Love & Diane"
Motorola Producers Award
The sixth annual Motorola Producers Award honors filmmakers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality independent films. The winner of the Motorola Producers Award will receive an unrestricted grant of $20,000 funded by Motorola. The Finalists for the 2003 Motorola Producers Award are:
--Jesse Scolaro and Allen Bain, producers of "Manito" and "Cry Funny Happy"
--Eden H. Wurmfeld, producer of "Kissing Jessica Stein" and "Fanci's Persuasion"
WINNER: Effie T. Brown, producer of "Real Women Have Curves" and "Stranger Inside"