Oscar Favorite ‘Spotlight’ Big Winner at Independent Spirit Awards

VOA News

Spotlight, the story of the Boston Globe newspaper’s investigation of the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests, won the best picture award at the Independent Spirit Awards in California Saturday.

The annual awards show recognizes the best films made for under $20 million by independent producers and studios unaffiliated with bigger, more established – and wealthier – Hollywood studios.

Spotlight, which won best picture at the Academy Awards ceremony, also won Spirit awards for best director, best screenplay, best editing and a special prize for best ensemble cast.

The acting winners at Saturday’s Spirit awards provided a stark contrast to the Academy Award’s all-white list of acting nominees.

Ghanaian newcomer Abraham Attah won the best actor award as a child soldier for Beasts of No Nation, while co-star Idris Elba, a British-born actor of Ghanaian descent, was named best supporting actor as an army commander.

The biggest cheers went to actress Mya Taylor, who became the first transgender actress to win a Spirit award for her supporting role as a sex worker in Tangerine.

“There’s very beautiful transgender talent,” Taylor told the audience in her acceptance speech. “You better get out there and put them in your movie.”

Brie Lawson, the only Spirit acting nominee also nominated for an Oscar this year, won the best picture trophy for her performance as a kidnap victim in Room.

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