2017 Independent Spirit Award Winners: 'Moonlight' Shines With A Sweep

Tonight brings us the 89th Academy Awards, when Hollywood's finest get together to hand out trophies to each other, attempting to reward the highest achievements in cinema. Even though there are plenty of arguments to be made that trying to name the best film of any given year is foolhardy, not to mention the fact that the voting process makes it easier for the less bold, innovative films to win, it's still a fun night of entertainment, and it just might get some general audiences to take an interest in movies they haven't seen or heard of.

There are even more of those movies that were nominated for the 2017 Independent Spirit Awards, which were handed out last night in Los Angeles. Film Independent annually honors the best independent films, which are lower budget films that weren't financed by a major studio. La La Land has been cleaning up on the awards circuit otherwise, but since it's not an indie, that left its closest competition, Barry Jenkins' outstanding, moving film Moonlight, to sweep every award it was nominated for.

Get the full list of 2017 Independent Spirit Award winners after the jump.

The question is whether Moonlight has the power to pull off an upset. It's undoubtedly the second favorite to win Best Picture, and there just might have been enough La La Land backlash (even if most of it is getting ridiculous and out of hand) for Moonlight to garner enough votes to win Best Picture. It's still a long shot, but there's always hope. Since La La Land and Moonlight were my two favorite films of last year, I'd be fine with either one winning.

In addition to Moonlight sweeping their awards, The Witch got some love with the film winning Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay for Robert Eggers, who has a bright future in film for sure.

Meanwhile, it was nice to see supporting talents Molly Shannon and Ben Foster get some recognition for their wholly award worthy performances in Other People and Hell or High Water respectively.

You can find the rest of the winners bolded in the list of nominees below.

BEST FEATURE

Moonlight

Jackie

Manchester by the Sea

American Honey

Chronic

BEST DIRECTOR

Andrea Arnold – American Honey

Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

Pablo Larrain – Jackie

Jeff Nichols – Loving

Kelly Reichardt – Certain Women

BEST FEMALE LEAD

Annette Bening – 20th Century Women

Isabelle Huppert – Elle

Sasha Lane – American Honey

Ruth Negga – Loving

Natalie Portman – Jackie

BEST MALE LEAD

Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea

David Harewood – Free In Deed

Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic

Jesse Plemons – Other People

Tim Roth – Chronic

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE

Edwina Findley – Free In Deed

Paulina Garcia – Little Men

Lily Gladstone – Certain Women

Riley Keough – American Honey

Molly Shannon – Other People

BEST SUPPORTING MALE

Ralph Fiennes – A Bigger Splash

Ben Foster – Hell or High Water

Lucas Hedges – Manchester by the Sea

Shia LaBeouf – American Honey

Craig Robinson – Morris from America

BEST FIRST FEATURE

Swiss Army Man

The Childhood of a Leader

The Fits

Other People

The Witch

BEST SCREENPLAY

Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea

Mike Mills – 20th Century Women

Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias – Little Men

Taylor Sheridan – Hell or High Water

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY

Robert Eggers – The Witch

Chris Kelly – Other People

Adam Mansbach – Barry

Stella Meghie – Jean of the Joneses

Craig Shilowich – Christine

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Ava Berkofsky – Free In Deed

Lol Crawley – The Childhood of a Leader

Zach Kuperstein – The Eyes of My Mother

James Laxton – Moonlight

Robbie Ryan – American Honey

BEST EDITING

Matthew Hannam – Swiss Army Man

Jennifer Lame – Manchester by the Sea

Joi McMillon & Nat Sanders – Moonlight

Jake Roberts – Hell or High Water

Sebastián Sepúlveda – Jackie

BEST DOCUMENTARY

The 13th

Cameraperson

I Am Not Your Negro

O.J.: Made in America

Sonita

Under the Sun

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM

Aquarius (Brazil)

Chevalier (Greece)

My Golden Days (France)

Toni Erdmann (Germany and Romania)

Under the Shadow (Iran and U.K.)

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD (Best Ensemble)

Moonlight

JOHN CASSAVETTES AWARD (Best Feature Made For Under $5,000)

Free In Deed

Hunter Gatherer

Lovesong

Nakom

Spa Night

KIEHL'S SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD

Andrew Ahn – Spa Night

Claire Carré – Embers

Anna Rose Holmer – The Fits

Ingrid Jungermann – Women Who Kill

See if Moonlight can pull off an upset and triumph over La La Land when the 89th Academy Awards air tonight at 8:30pm ET/5:30pm PT on ABC.