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Birdman flies highest at Spirit bash

Alejandro G. Inarritu’s Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance led the way into the awards, with six nominations, and left with the Best Film, Actor. And Cinematography awards.



Nightcrawler and Whiplash became multiple awardees early on, even if the “major” awards were widely predicted to be a two-horse race between Birdman and Boyhood. Indeed, the so-called indie event stuck to a script rehearsed elsewhere, rewarding Boyhood with Best Director and Birdman with Best Film.

Acting gongs headed in the same directions they’ve headed at many other events this year: the support acting awards to JK Simmons and Patricia Arquette, for Whiplash and Boyhood respectively; the lead acting awards to Michael Keaton (Birdman) and Julianne Moore (Still Alice).

IndieWire’s Eric Kphn argued against the diminishing independence of the films nominated.

NZIFF-screened titles Boyhood; Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter; Leviathan; Love is Strange; Norte, The End of History and Only Lovers Left Alive all received nominations. Kumiko and Boyhood converted those nods into win.

The winners were:

Best Feature
(Award given to the Producer, Executive Producers are not awarded.)

Best First Feature
(Award Given To The Director And Producer)
Nightcrawler, dir. Dan Gilroy

John Cassavetes Award
(Award Given To The Best Feature Made For Under $500,000; Award Given To The Writer, Director And Producer)
Land Ho!, Aaron Katz & Martha Stephens

Best Director
Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Best Screenplay
Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler

Best First Screenplay
Justin Simien, Dear White People

Best Cinematography
Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman

Best Editing
Tom Cross, Whiplash

Best Male Lead
Michael Keaton, Birdman

Best Female Lead
Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Best Supporting Male
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Best Supporting Female
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Best International Film
Ida, Pawel Pawlikowski (Poland)

Best Documentary
(Award Given To The Director And Producer)
Citizenfour, Laura Poitras

Robert Altman Award
(Award Given To One Film’s Director, Casting Director And Ensemble Cast)
Inherent Vice

Special Distinction Award

Piaget Producers Award

Honors emerging producers who demonstrate creativity, tenacity, and vision. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.
Chris Ohlson, Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter

Lenscrafters Truer Than Fiction Award
Presented to an emerging director of non-union features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by LensCrafters.
Dan Krauss, The Kill Team

Kiehl’s Someone To Watch Award
Recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Kiehl’s.
Rania Attieh & Daniel Garcia, H

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