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FESTIVALS / AWARDS USA / Europe

The Lost Daughter and Passing triumph at the Spirit Awards

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- The US-European co-productions have won in the main categories of the US prizes for independent cinema, with Malta's Alex Camilleri receiving the Someone to Watch Award

The Lost Daughter and Passing triumph at the Spirit Awards
The producers of The Lost Daughter, with director Maggie Gyllenhaal, accepting the Best Feature Award (© Film Independent)

The 37th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards took place on Sunday 6 March in Los Angeles. After having announced their nominees (which not only included the usual US-European co-productions in the English language, but also a number of 100% European productions - see the news), the awards highlighted some European talent.

Despite the fact that European productions like Jonas Carpignano’s A Chiara [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jonas Carpignano
film profile
]
 and Ninja Thyberg's Pleasure [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ninja Thyberg
film profile
]
, which had been nominated in some of the main categories, came back home empty-handed, other titles hailing from the continent were indeed awarded, such as the Maltese-US co-production Luzzu [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Alex Camilleri
film profile
]
, for which director Alex Camilleri won in the Someone to Watch Award category. Camilleri, a Maltese-US filmmaker now based in New York City, is an alumnus of both the Sundance and Film Independent labs. His social drama, in which he shows a side of Malta that is a world apart from its traditional, tourist-orientated vistas, was world-premiered in the 2021 Sundance World Cinema Competition, where it won a Special Jury Award for Acting for its lead, Jesmark Scicluna.

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On top of this, the main victor of the night was the US-European co-production The Lost Daughter [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, the directorial debut by US actress Maggie Gyllenhaal. The film, produced by the USA, the UK, Israel and Greece, went home with the Awards for Best Feature, Best Director and Best Screenplay (a prize it previously received at the most recent Venice Film Festival). Another directorial debut by an actress, this time a British one, Rebecca Hall's Passing [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, won awards in two categories: Best Cinematography for Eduard Grau's work, and Best Supporting Female for Ruth Negga's turn. Coincidentally, both films are Netflix titles. CODA, Sian Heder's remake of the 2014 French hit The Bélier Family [+see also:
trailer
making of
film profile
]
, co-produced by France, won one award, for Best Supporting Male (Troy Kotsur). Michael Sarnoski's Pig, which has British involvement, won the award for Best First Screenplay.

As for the Best International Film category, the juggernaut Drive My Car by Japan’s Ryusuke Hamaguchi ended up taking home the crown, beating a number of European contenders: Pedro Almodóvar’s Parallel Mothers [+see also:
film review
trailer
making of
film profile
]
, Juho Kuosmanen's Compartment No. 6 [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Juho Kuosmanen
film profile
]
, Céline Sciamma's Petite Maman [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and Tatiana Huezo’s Mexican-European co-production Prayers for the Stolen [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
. Lastly, Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s sensation Flee [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jonas Poher Rasmussen
film profile
]
(which won the Best Feature Award at the International Documentary Association’s annual awards ceremony on Friday) lost out to Questlove's Summer of Soul.

Here is the list of winners:

Film

Best Feature
The Lost Daughter [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Maggie Gyllenhaal (USA/UK/Israel/Greece)

Best Director
Maggie Gyllenhaal - The Lost Daughter

Best First Feature
7 Days - Roshan Sethi

Best Female Lead
Taylour Paige - Zola

Best Male Lead
Simon Rex - Red Rocket

Best Supporting Female
Ruth Negga - Passing [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(USA/UK/Canada)

Best Supporting Male
Troy Kotsur - CODA (USA/France)

Best Screenplay
Maggie Gyllenhaal - The Lost Daughter

Best First Screenplay
Vanessa Block, Michael Sarnoski - Pig (USA/UK)

Best Cinematography
Eduard Grau - Passing

Best Editing
Joi McMillon - Zola

Best International Film
Drive My Car – Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Japan)

Best Documentary
Summer of Soul – Questlove

Robert Altman Award
The director, cast, and casting director of Mass

Someone to Watch Award
Alex Camilleri - Luzzu [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Alex Camilleri
film profile
]
(Malta/USA)

Truer Than Fiction Award
Faya Dayi - Jessica Beshir (Ethiopia/USA/Qatar/Mexico)

John Cassavetes Award
Shiva Baby - Emma Seligman

Producers Award
Lizzie Shapiro

Series

Best New Scripted Series
Reservation Dogs

Best New Non-Scripted or Documentary Series
Black and Missing

Best Female Performance in a Scripted Series
Thuso Mbedu - The Underground Railroad

Best Male Performance in a Scripted Series
Lee Jung-jae - Squid Game

Best Ensemble Cast in a New Scripted Series
Reservation Dogs

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