The LA Times had a less-than-flattering piece up over the weekend about Film Independent, the organization that runs the Independent Spirit Awards. The biggest difference between Independent Spirit Awards and its more bigger-sibling counterpart, the Oscars, though, isn't just in the more casual attire of the former, or the more mainstream content of the films lauded at the latter; it's in the fact that Film Independent, a charitable organization, is able to claim part of the expenses of its bash as a "charitable service." This, as the LAT article notes, puts the A-List attended indie bash in the same tax category as a soup kitchen for the homeless.

The main gist of the article is that Charity Navigator, a watchdog org, gave Film Independent zero stars out of four for both 2004 and 2005, due to its low ratio of program spending -- just 50% and 49% in 2004 and 2005, compared to similar non-profits. The Sundance Institute, for instance, had ratios of 74% and 72% for the same years, while American Cinematheque had ratios of 90% and 87%. The article also called into question the salary of Dawn Hudson (pictured above), Film Independent's exec director, earned a base salary of $265,000 in 2005, more than the heads of the Academy-affiliated Academy Foundation or the American Film Institute.
categories Awards, Cinematical