'Nomadland,' Riz Ahmed Win at Independent Spirit Awards - Rolling Stone
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‘Nomadland,’ Riz Ahmed Win at Independent Spirit Awards

Awards show was held virtually this year

Host Melissa Villaseñor speaks during the 2021 Film Independent Spirit AwardsHost Melissa Villaseñor speaks during the 2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards

Getty Images for Film Independent

The 36th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards honored Nomadland, Riz Ahmed, and Carey Mulligan, among others. The awards show, held virtually this year, also celebrated television for the first time, with I May Destroy You and Unorthodox earning top honors.

The Independent Spirits Awards, which recognize the best work in the independent filmmaking space, are the last stop before the Oscars on Sunday, previewing some of the potential winners at the Academy Awards. The ceremony was hosted by Saturday Night Live cast member Melissa Villaseñor and featured presenters Adam Sandler, Renee Zellweger, Daveed Diggs, and Lulu Wang.

Nomadland was awarded Best Feature, with the film’s director Chloé Zhao winning Best Director and its DP Joshua James Richards winning Best Cinematography. Mulligan won Best Female Lead for Promising Young Woman, which also won Best Screenplay. Ahmed beat the late Chadwick Boseman for Best Male Lead for Sound of Metal. A complete list of the winners is available here.

In her speech, Mulligan dedicated her award to late actress Helen McCrory, who died earlier this month. “She was a true independent spirit and actress that I have looked up to, and will continue to look up to for the rest of my career, Helen McCrory,” the actress said. “So thank you to her for everything she gave us.”

Last year, Sandler made headlines at the Independent Spirit Awards for his rambling, hilarious speech when he won Best Male Lead for Uncut Gems.


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