“Spencer” actress Kristen Stewart made a powerful plea from the podium at the 2022 Independent Spirit Awards to support the people of Ukraine amid the invasion by Russian forces.
Stewart, honorary chairman of the awards program focused on independent films, spoke before presenting the award for best male lead actor, saying Sunday’s Spirit Awards stand for freedom of expression, independence and humanity .
“Today we are compelled to stand with the people of Ukraine. They are risking their lives to fight for these same things,” Stewart said, standing in front of a video screen lit in blue and yellow, the colors of the Ukrainian flag. . “We stand up for the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing this war, whether Ukrainians or other nationalities, who are being denied safe haven.”
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Husband-and-wife award show hosts Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally previously slapped it on Russian President Vladamir Putin for the war in Ukraine, condemning him from the stage with a lewd hand gesture.
Offerman momentarily asked the crowd “to send our best wishes to those affected by the war in Ukraine and all unjust conflicts around the world.”
Mullally added, “I think we speak for everyone here when we say we hope for a quick and peaceful resolution. Specifically, (expletive) go and go home, Putin.”
Offerman urged the public to give Putin a “Spirit Awards salute”, and Mullally then pointed to the many groups raising money for Ukrainian refugees. “Please donate what you can to help the victims of this senseless act of aggression,” she added.
It wasn’t all serious for the zany co-host couple: At one point, Offerman took the stage wearing little more than fire-engine red briefs and fishnet stockings for a skit involving a stripper bar , only to find that he had been cut from the program. “Guess I should cancel nude reserve dancers,” he joked
Maggie Gyllenhaal had a stellar day with her directorial debut ‘The Lost Daughter,’ which won three major awards including Best Feature, Director and Screenplay.
During her best screenplay acceptance speech, Gyllenhaal gave emotional props to husband Peter Sarsgaard. His ‘favorite’ actor ‘read almost every draft, heard every musical cue, took our kids to the dentist, put them to bed, gave them breakfast, held my hand in Venice when we saw the movie for the first time, and most importantly, taught me the beauty and thrill of the real thing, as opposed to fantasy.”
“And that was the North Star in that movie,” Gyllenhaal said.
Troy Kotsur continued his best supporting actor winning streak for his role in ‘CODA’, after making history as the first deaf actor to win a SAG Award last month. The Oscar-nominated actor won the Best Supporting Actor award on Sunday.
Former adult film actor and MTV VJ Simon Rex won Best Male Lead for ‘Red Rocket’ and yelled at his writer-director Sean Baker for casting him in the porn star drama stranded returning to Texas.
“He shot me when I couldn’t be called back for a GEICO commercial,” Rex said. “My career was in the toilet.”
Rex praised the low-budget project “with a crew of ten”, calling it a “glorified student film”.
“We were hiding from the police. We were hiding from the neighbors. I was running down the street with my buttocks bare. If that doesn’t embody the spirit of independent film, I don’t know what is,” said Rex.
“Summer of Soul,” Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s debut film about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, beat out stiff competition to win Best Documentary. The film wowed fellow Oscar-nominated documentaries “Flee” and “Ascension.”
“I’m not going to cry now,” Questlove said. “Look at us, we’re living the dream, restoring history, bringing black joy to the world.”
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Here is the full list of winners:
Best Feature: “The Lost Girl”
Best Director: Maggie Gyllenhaal, “The Lost Girl”
Best Screenplay: Maggie Gyllenhaal, “The Lost Girl”
Best first feature: “7 days”
Best First Screenplay: Michael Sarnoski, story of Vanessa Block and Michael Sarnoski, “Pig”
John Cassavetes Award (for best feature film made under $500,000): “Shiva Baby”
Best Supporting Female: Ruth Negga, “Passing by”
Best Supporting Male: Troy Kotsur, “CODA”
Best female role: Taylor Paige, “Zola”
Best Male Lead: Simon Rex, “Red Rockets”
Robert Altman Award: “Mass”
Best Cinematography: Edu Grau, “Passing by”
Best editing: Joi McMillon, “Zola”
Best International Film: “Driving My Car”
Best Documentary: “Summer of Soul (…Or, When Revolution Couldn’t Be Televised)”
Best New Scripted Series: “Reservation Dogs”
Best New Unscripted Series or Documentary: “Black and Missing”
Best Female Performance in a New Scripted Series: Thuso Mbedu, “The Underground Railroad”
Best Male Performance in a New Scripted Series: Lee Jung-jae, “Squid Game”
Best Ensemble Cast in a New Scripted Series: “Reservation Dogs”