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2024 Independent Spirit Award Winners: ‘Past Lives’ Wins Best Feature & Best Director (Full List)

Celine Song's PAST LIVES

The blue carpet rolled out on Saturday and many of the year’s best independent films were recognized at the 39th Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Barbara, California.

A24’s Past Lives took home Best Feature just moments after its writer-director Celine Song won Best Director. The film is also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, as well as Song for Best Original Screenplay.

Other Oscar contenders won big as American Fiction won Best Lead Performance for Jeffrey Wright and Best Screenplay for Cord Jefferson. The Holdovers won triple for Best Supporting Performance for Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Best Breakthrough Performance for Dominic Sessa, and Best Cinematography for Eigil Bryld. Todd Haynes’ May December won Best First Screenplay by Samy Burch (story by Burch and Alex Mechanik). Kaouther Ben Hania’s Oscar-nominated documentary Four Daughters took home Best Documentary Feature, and Justine Triet’s Anatomy of a Fall unsurprisingly picked up Best International Film.

Other winners include A.V. Rockwell’s A Thousand and One for Best First Feature, Babak Jalali’s Fremont for the John Cassavetes Award, and Daniel Garber for Best Editing for How To Blow Up A Pipeline. The Robert Altman Award was presented to Kelly Reichardt’s Showing Up, while Monica Sorelle won the Someone To Watch award for her feature debut Mountains and Set Hernandez taking home the Truer Than Fiction Award for his documentary Unseen.

See the full list of winners below, and watch the full ceremony on YouTube.

Best Feature

“All of Us Strangers”
“American Fiction”
“May December”
“Past Lives” (WINNER)
“We Grown Now”

Best Director

Andrew Haigh – “All of Us Strangers”
Todd Haynes – “May December”
William Oldroyd – “Eileen”
Celine Song – “Past Lives” (WINNER)
Ira Sachs – “Passages”

Best First Feature

“All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt”
“Chronicles of a Wandering Saint”
“Earth Mama”
“A Thousand and One” (WINNER)
“Upon Entry”

Best Lead Performance

Jessica Chastain, “Memory”
Greta Lee, “Past Lives”
Trace Lysette, “Monica”
Natalie Portman, “May December”
Judy Reyes, “Birth/Rebirth”
Franz Rogowski, “Passages”
Andrew Scott, “All of Us Strangers”
Teyana Taylor, “A Thousand and One”
Jeffrey Wright, “American Fiction” (WINNER)
Teo Yoo, “Past Lives”

Best Supporting Performance

Erika Alexander, “American Fiction”
Sterling K. Brown, “American Fiction”
Noah Galvin, “Theater Camp”
Anne Hathaway, “Eileen”
Glenn Howerton, “BlackBerry”
Marin Ireland, “Eileen”
Charles Melton, “May December”
Da’Vine Joy Randolph, “The Holdovers” (WINNER)
Catalina Saavedra, “Rotting in the Sun”
Ben Whishaw, “Passages”

Breakthrough Performance

Marshawn Lynch – “Bottoms”
Atibon Nazaire – “Mountains”
Tia Nomore – “Earth Mama”
Dominic Sessa – “The Holdovers” (WINNER)
Anaita Wali Zada – “Fremont”

Best Screenplay

Cord Jefferson – “American Fiction” (WINNER)
Laura Moss – “Birth/Rebirth”
Rachel Sennott and Emma Seligman – “Bottoms”
Celine Song – “Past Lives”
David Hemingson – “The Holdovers”

Best First Screenplay

Tomás Gómez Bustillo – “Chronicles of a Wandering Saint”
Samy Burch; (Story by Samy Burch, Alex Mechanik) – “May December” (WINNER)
Laurel Parmet – “The Starling Girl”
Noah Galvin, Molly Gordon, Nick Lieberman, Ben Platt – “Theater Camp”
Alejandro Rojas, Juan Sebastián Vásquez – “Upon Entry”

Best Cinematography

Jomo Fray – “All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt”
Pablo Lozano – “Chronicles of a Wandering Saint”
Eigil Bryld – “The Holdovers” (WINNER)
Katelin Arizmendi – “Monica”
Pat Scola – “We Grown Now”

Best Editing

Daniel Garber – “How to Blow Up a Pipeline” (WINNER)
Santiago Cendejas, Gabriel Díaz and Sofía Subercaseaux – “Rotting in the Sun”
Jon Philpot – “Theater Camp”
Emanuele Tiziani – “Upon Entry”
Stephanie Filo – “We Grown Now”

Robert Altman Award

“Showing Up” (WINNER)

Best Documentary

“Bye Bye Tiberias”
“Four Daughters” (WINNER)
“Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project”
“Kokomo City”
“The Mother of All Lies”

Best International Film

“Anatomy of a Fall” (WINNER)
“Mami Wata”
“The Zone of Interest”

Someone to Watch Award

Joanna Arnow – “The Feeling That The Time For Doing Something Has Passed”
Laura Moss – “birth/rebirth”
Monica Sorrelle – “Mountains” (WINNER)

Truer Than Fiction Award

Jesse Short Bull and Laura Tomaselli – “Lakota Nation vs. United States”
Set Hernandez – “Unseen” (WINNER)
Sierra Urich – “Joonam”

John Cassavetes Award

“The Artifice Girl”
“Cadejo Blanco”
“Fremont” (WINNER)
“Rotting in the Sun”
“The Unknown Country”

Producers Award

Racheael Fung
Graham Swon
Monique Walton (WINNER)

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M.J. O'Toole began writing for HtN in early 2021 during the Sundance Film Festival. An NYC native and lifelong cinephile, his favorite films include Chungking Express, The Three Colors Trilogy, Hiroshima Mon Amour, Lovers on the Bridge, and Midnight Cowboy. He is the Digital Marketing Manager for the agency 3rd Impression - working alongside Editor-at-large Matt Delman - that specializes in digital marketing for independent film. He holds a BA from Adelphi University and a Masters in Digital Photography from the School of Visual Arts. You can check out his portrait and street photography on Instagram.

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