The film Little Miss Sunshine took home four awards at the Independent Spirit Awards ceremony earlier today, winning in every category for which it was nominated: Best Picture, Best Director, Best First Screenplay and Best Supporting Male (Alan Arkin). The indie moneymaker of 2006 beat Pan's Labyrinth, Half Nelson, American Gun and The Dead Girl for Best Picture. However, Half Nelson also won multiple times, for Best Female Lead and Best Male Lead. In addition, Film Independent announced a new award for next year, the Robert Altman award, which will honor movies with ensemble casts. Altman was posthumously given an Honorary Spirit award for lifetime achievement. Another special distinction award was presented to David Lynch and Laura Dern.

I tried to liveblog the Spirit Awards, but technology was against me. I don't have cable (someday I really ought to cave in), so I thought I'd attend the Austin Film Society viewing party downtown ... but my car was acting up. I checked online to see if IFC might broadcast the ceremony online, but the IFC webcam was frustrating. At first, you could hear the awards ceremony from the green room they were showing live, but in mid-award the camera switched to post-award press conferences with the winners. I gave up and instead followed Nikki Finke's liveblogging over on Deadline Hollywood Daily while listening to the movie my husband had on in the other room, the non-indie Blazing Saddles. In addition, the Spirit Awards blog posted photos of the winners shortly after they were announced.

For those of you who also didn't get to catch the awards ceremony, the full list of awards is after the jump. You can find a list of nominees on the Spirit Awards website. ul>
  • Best Picture: Little Miss Sunshine
  • Best Director: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, Little Miss Sunshine
  • Best Screenplay: Jason Reitman, Thank You for Smoking
  • Best Female Lead: Shareeka Epps, Half Nelson
  • Best Male Lead: Ryan Gosling, Half Nelson
  • Best Supporting Male: Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine
  • Best Supporting Female: Frances McDormand, Friends with Money
  • Best Cinematography: Guillermo Navarro, Pan's Labyrinth
  • Best Documentary: The Road to Guantanamo
  • Best Foreign Film: The Lives of Others
  • Best First Feature: Sweet Land
  • Best First Screenplay: Michael Arndt, Little Miss Sunshine
  • John Cassavetes Award (best feature made for under $500K): Quinceanera
  • Truer Than Fiction: The Tailenders
  • Producers Award: Howard Gertler and Tim Perell, Shortbus and Pizza
  • Someone to Watch: Julia Loktev, Day Night Day Night
  • If you watched the awards, let the rest of us know if we missed anything funny or memorable.
    categories Awards, Cinematical