Adam Sandler Wins Best Actor at the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards

Uncut Gems and The Farewell dominate a ceremony that corrected the Oscars' biggest snubs. See the full list of Indie Spirit Awards winners for 2020.

by | February 8, 2020 | Comments

(Photo by © A24)

Just one day before the Academy Awards, Hollywood’s brightest stars toasted the best in indie at the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards – and it was two films completely snubbed by the Oscars that dominated.

The awards, given out at a beachside ceremony in Santa Monica, California, and broadcast live on IFC, usually have little overlap with the Oscars and this year was no exception. Renee Zellweger was the lone acting nominee at the Spirits also up for a statuette at tomorrow night’s Oscars – and she won – and Robert Altman honoree Marriage Story was the sole film competing for Best Feature here and Best Picture tomorrow.

Uncut Gems, which was left out of the Oscars altogether, earned three awards, including Best Director for Benny and Josh Safdie, Best Editing, and – finally, justice for Sandman! – Best Male Lead for Adam Sandler. But it was The Farewell, also ignored by the Academy, which won Best Feature, and Best Supporting Female for Shuzhen Zhao, who plays Nai Nai in the film.

The Lighthouse co-star Willem Dafoe, whose grizzled wickie was one of RT fans’ favorite performances of the year, won for Best Supporting Male.

Did they get it right? See the full list of winners and nominees below and let us know what you think of the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Award results in the comments. 

Best Feature

Best Director

Robert Eggers

The Lighthouse

Alma Har’el

Honey Boy

Julius Onah


Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie

Uncut Gems

Lorene Scafaria


Best Screenplay

Noah Baumbach

Marriage Story

Jason Begue, Shawn Snyder

To Dust

Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie

Uncut Gems

Chinonye Chukwu


Tarell Alvin McCraney

High Flying Bird

Best First Feature

Best First Screenplay

Fredrica Bailey, Stefon Bristol

See You Yesterday

Hannah Bos, Paul Thureen


Bridget Savage Cole, Danielle Krudy

Blow the Man Down

Jocelyn Deboer, Dawn Luebbe

Greener Grass

James Montague, Craig W. Sanger

The Vast of Night

Best Male Lead

Best Female Lead

Best Supporting Male

Willem Dafoe

The Lighthouse

Noah Jupe

Honey Boy

Shia LaBeouf

Honey Boy

Jonathan Majors

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Wendell Pierce

Burning Cane

Best Supporting Female

Best Cinematography

Todd Banhazl


Jarin Blaschke

The Lighthouse

Natasha Braier

Honey Boy

Chananun Chotrungroj

The Third Wife

Pawel Pogorzelski


Best International Film

Best Documentary

Best Editing

Julie Béziau

The Third Wife

Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie

Uncut Gems

Tyler L. Cook

Sword of Trust

Louise Ford

The Lighthouse

Kirill Mikhanovsky

Give Me Liberty

John Cassavetes Award (Best Feature under $500,000)

Robert Altman Award (Best Ensemble)

Truer Than Fiction Award

Davy Rothbart

17 Blocks

Erick Stoll, Chase Whiteside


Khalik Allah

Black Mother

Nadia Shihab


Someone to Watch Award

Joe Talbot

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Ash Mayfair

The Third Wife

Bonnie Award

  • Kelly Reichardt

Producers Award

  • Mollye Asher

Are you as obsessed with awards as we are? Check out our Awards Leaderboard for 2019/2020.

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