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A big night for “12 Years a Slave” at Independent Spirit Awards

The crowd at the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards
The crowd at the 2014 Independent Spirit AwardsPhoto by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Independent Spirit Awards is always an interesting and fun awards show. It’s always held the night before the Oscars, always in a big tent right on the beach, it nominates movies that don’t get noticed anywhere else and it’s almost casual. No big gowns or fancy dress and it’s very loose. They always get a comedian to host the thing and sometimes they are edgy (Sarah Silverman did it in the past). The whole point is to focus on independently produced movies. In theory these should be the smaller movies, but sometimes many of the same films that get Oscar nods end up here, too.

The awards were held last night as California gets pounded by a huge storm. The televised presentation on the IFC channel showed huge waves crashing into the beach outside the tent and gray skies. Inside, however, things were warm and loose, as always. This year the host was comedian Patton Oswalt.

Ultimately many of the awards went to the same people who have already won Golden Globes and BAFTAs and the various other awards. However, that’s because 2013 was a good year for independent films and a lot of those movies are being recognized come awards season. However, big studio productions like The Wolf of Wall Street and Gravity were noticeably absent here.

Still, it ended up being a big night for 12 Years a Slave, as it ended up claiming some of the biggest awards of the night. Now it remains to be seen if that translates to Oscar gold tonight.

Here were the winners at 2014’s Independent Spirit Awards:

Best Feature - 12 Years a Slave

Best Director - Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave

Best Female Lead - Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Best Male Lead - Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Supporting Female - Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave

Best Supporting Male - Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club