One of the few major awards ceremonies that doesn’t take itself too seriously, the Film Independent Spirit Awards happened on Thursday night, and we have some Black-ass winners to celebrate.
HBO’s acclaimed series (which has mostly been neglected this awards season, save for GLAAD and NAACP, to the frustration of many fans, including me), I May Destroy You received some major love by becoming the first-ever winner of a Spirit Award in the Best Ensemble In A New Scripted Series category.
The cast members who took home the award are Michaela Coel (who also created the series), Paapa Essiedu, Weruche Opia and Stephen Wight—three of those cast members were interviewed by The Root, in case you missed it! The series also won Best New Scripted Series.
“I felt nothing but encouragement and support from my wonderful humble cast who brought these characters to life in a way that I never imagined possible,” Coel said in the acceptance speech.
Merawi Gerima’s Residue (acquired by ARRAY) was awarded the John Cassavetes honor. Regina King’s directorial debut, One Night In Miami, was honored with the Robert Altman Award, which is presented to one film’s director, casting director and the ensemble cast. Don Cheadle presented the award on Thursday.
“I feel like this is a love letter to Black men. It’s so honest,” King noted in her acceptance speech. “It’s an actor’s piece and I am an actor.”
Other notable winners of the night include Ekwa Msangi, who won the Someone To Watch Award for her performance in Farewell Amor and Elegance Bratton, who won the Truer Than Fiction Award for his feature documentary Pier Kids.
Like many awards ceremonies held in the pandemic-era, stars didn’t frolic on the blue carpet in Santa Monica, Ca., but the quirky “spirit” of the show remained. “This year we aren’t in a big tent on the beach but are in a place familiar to people in independent film: A completely empty theater,” show host Melissa Villaseñor (Saturday Night Live) joked in her opening monologue.
For the full list of winners at the 2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards, head on over to filmindependent.org.