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'Past Lives,' 'Holdovers,' 'American Fiction' win big at the Spirit Awards

Da'Vine Joy Randolph arrives for the 2024 Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, Calif., on Sunday. She won Best Supporting Performance for "The Holdovers" at the event. Photo by Chris Chew/UPI
Da'Vine Joy Randolph arrives for the 2024 Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, Calif., on Sunday. She won Best Supporting Performance for "The Holdovers" at the event. Photo by Chris Chew/UPI

Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Past Lives, The Holdovers, American Fiction, The Last of Us and Beef each won multiple Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, Calif., on Sunday.

Celine Song won the Best Director Award for helming Past Lives, which also won for Best Feature.

"Thank you so much for letting me share what it feels like to be human," she said. "To love and be loved and thank you for loving our film."

Co-stars Da'Vine Joy Randolph and Dominic Sessa earned the honors for Best Supporting Performance and Best Breakthrough Performance in a Film for The Holdovers. The project also picked up the prize for Best Cinematography.

"This movie, The Holdovers, changed my life," Sessa said.

Director Celine Song arrives for the 2024 Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, Calif., on Sunday. She won the Best Director Award for "Past Lives," which also won for Best Feature. Photo by Chris Chew/UPI
Director Celine Song arrives for the 2024 Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, Calif., on Sunday. She won the Best Director Award for "Past Lives," which also won for Best Feature. Photo by Chris Chew/UPI
Jeffrey Wright arrives for the 2024 Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, California on Sunday, February 25, 2024. Photo by Chris Chew/UPI
Jeffrey Wright arrives for the 2024 Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, California on Sunday, February 25, 2024. Photo by Chris Chew/UPI

"Alexander Payne changed my life. Working on this everyday was an absolute master class," he added, recognizing Randolph and their cast-mate Paul Giamatti, as well.

"It was easy. You guys heard me, you saw me, you trusted me. You gave me patience every single day and that means everything to me. You are unbelievable."

James Marsden arrives for the 2024 Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, Calif., on Sunday. His show, "Jury Duty," won Best Ensemble in a New Series. Photo by Chris Chew/UPI
James Marsden arrives for the 2024 Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, Calif., on Sunday. His show, "Jury Duty," won Best Ensemble in a New Series. Photo by Chris Chew/UPI

American Fiction won for Best Screenplay and for Best Lead Performance in a Film for Jeffrey Wright.

Wright paid tribute to the film's "smart, scrappy crew," who got their jobs done using little time and money.

Aidy Bryant arrives for the 2024 Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, Calif., on Sunday. She was the host of the show. Photo by Chris Chew/UPI
Aidy Bryant arrives for the 2024 Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, Calif., on Sunday. She was the host of the show. Photo by Chris Chew/UPI

"One day, when we were filming on a beach, someone, one of them raised a pirate flag above the grip truck. If that doesn't tell you what independent film-making is, nothing will," he said.

Wright also told his loved ones how important they are to him.

"Our family is the sun around which I orbit. I am nowhere without you," he said, before giving a shout out to the movie's writer-director Cord Jefferson for giving him a character to play who is facing "personal challenges and cultural challenges, some of which are as old as our country."

A Thousand and One was selected Best First Feature, while May December earned the Best First Screenplay accolade, Four Daughters was voted Best Documentary, Fremont won for Best Film with a budget under $1 million and Anatomy of a Fall was named Best International Film.

On the TV side, the Best Ensemble in a New Series prize went to the cast of Jury Duty, including Alan Barinholtz, Susan Berger, Cassandra Blair, David Brown, Kirk Fox, Ross Kimball, Pramode Kumar, Trisha LaFache, Mekki Leeper, James Marsden, Edy Modica, Kerry O'Neill, Rashida Olayiwola, Whitney Rice, Maria Russell, Ishmel Sahid, Ben Seaward, Ron Song and Evan Williams.

Ali Wong accepted the Best Lead Performance in a New Scripted Series trophy for her work in Beef, which also won for Best New Scripted Series.

Nick Offerman scored the statuette for Best Supporting Performance in a New Scripted Series for The Last of Us, and his cast-mate, Keivonn Montreal Woodard, went home with the prize for Best Breakthrough Performance in a New Scripted Series.

Offerman thanked his show's network HBO for telling stories "with guts."

"When homophobic hate comes my way and says, 'Why did you have to make it a gay story?' We say: 'Because you have to ask questions like that. It's not a gay story, it's a love story.'"

Actress and comedian Aidy Bryant hosted the event.

Many of the winners and presenters had to speak loudly to be heard over a protester with a megaphone outside the venue shouting, "Free, free Palestine!" and "Ceasefire now!"

Presenters who handed out awards throughout the event include Joel Kim Booster, Adam Brody, Danielle Brooks, Sterling K. Brown, Quinta Brunson, Emma Corrin, Colman Domingo, Hannah Einbinder, Jim Gaffigan, Ronald Gladden and Stephanie Hsu.

Also taking part were Anna Kendrick, Jude Law, Greta Lee, Zoe Lister-Jones, Trace Lysette, James Marsden, Thomasin McKenzie, Natalie Morales, Rashida "Sheedz" Olayiwola, Emma Roberts, Andrew Scott, Milo Ventimiglia, Jessica Williams and Jimmy O. Yang.