16th Annual Independent Spirit Awards Hosted By John Waters To Air Live Exclusively On The Independent Film Channel Saturday, March 24

Nominees Include IFC Entertainment’s
“Girlfight”, “Our Song” and “Songcatcher”

IFC to Feature Spirit Awards “Best Fest”
March 19 – March 24

Every year, you talk about who should have won the awards. You’ve been watching the wrong show. Leave your black tie at home and check out The Independent Film Channel (IFC) for exclusive coverage of the hippest, hottest awards show on the West Coast. Beginning at 5:00PM/ET on Saturday, March 24 (rebroadcast at 9:45PM/ET), IFC will broadcast live from the beach in Santa Monica, CA bringing film fans to the 16th Annual IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards hosted by indie-God John Waters. Previous hosts have included Jennifer Tilly, John Turturro and Samuel L. Jackson.

“Hosting theIndependent Spirit Awards makes me feel like a combination of Buddy Hackett and Satyajit Ray,” said Waters of the honor. The irreverent director earned Spirit Award nominations back in 1989 for Best Director and Best Screenplay for his cult-hit Hairspray, starring Ricki Lake and John Waters staple, Divine. He also delivered a most memorable, sidesplitting key note speech at the 1999 ceremony.

For the fifth consecutive year, the ceremony will air live on IFC and will rebroadcast on IFC’s sister network, Bravo, The Film and Arts Network at 10:00PM/ET. For the second year in a row, IFC will present the IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards Pre-Show, hosted by Roger Ebert. Airing several times throughout March, the all-access preview features the legendary film critic giving viewers the lowdown on the contenders in the major categories.

This year’s nominees include five films from IFC Entertainment. Karyn Kusama’s Girlfight
(IFC Productions) received nominations for Best First Feature and Best Debut Performance by Michelle Rodriguez. Jim McKay’s Our Song (IFC Films release of an IFC Production) garnered a nod for Best Feature under $500,000 while Songcatcher (IFC Productions) was recognized for Best Female Lead and Best Debut Performance. Keep the River on Your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale (IFC Films release of a Next Wave Film) is a finalist for the DirectTV/IFC Truer Than Fiction Award and Sound & Fury (Next Wave Films) is an entry in the Documentary category. In addition, Our Song producers Jim McKay and Diana E. Williams, and Spring Forward (IFC Films release of an IFC Production) producer Paul S. Mezey are finalists for the Motorola Producers Award. (A complete list of nominees is attached.)

The IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards is an annual event honoring the hard-fought victories of independent filmmakers. The event has grown from a small grassroots program into one of the film community’s most anticipated annual events. An alternative to the high-glitz of the Oscars, Independent Spirit Awards are given for excellence in such categories as Best Feature, Best Feature under $500,000, Best Director, Best Male/Female Lead, Best Supporting Male/Female, Best Cinematographer, Best Foreign Film and Best Documentary. The Spirit Awards also honor fresh talent with awards such as Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay and Best Debut Performance.

To get you in the mood for the awards show weekend, IFC will present a “Best Fest” of past Spirit Award favorites, beginning Monday, March 19and continuing each night leading up to the live awards presentation on Saturday, March 24. The complete line-up of films are scheduled to air as follows:


Monday, March 19th at 8:00pm ET


Monday, March 19th at 9:45pm ET


Monday, March 19th at 11:30pm ET


Tuesday, March 20th at 8:00pm ET


Tuesday, March 20th at 9:45pm ET


Tuesday, March 20th at 11:30pm ET


Wednesday, March 21st at 8:00pm ET


Wednesday, March 21st at 9:45pm ET


Thursday, March 22nd at 8:00pm ET


Thursday, March 22nd at 9:45pm ET


Friday, March 23rd at 8:00pm ET


Friday, March 23rd at 9:45pm ET


Saturday, March 24th at 8:00pm ET


Saturday, March 24th at 9:30pm ET

To complement IFC’s coverage of the awards show, ifctv.com will feature a live online chat with host John Waters (date/time TBA), as well exclusive video interviews and ifcRANT articles on this year’s indie talent and a special focus on the nominees of the DirecTV/IFC Truer Than Fiction Award. ifctv.com’s event wrap-up will include information on and photos of all the winners at the awards ceremony.

A native of Baltimore, MD, John Waters was drawn to movies at an early age, particularly exploitation movies with lurid ad campaigns. Influenced by the likes of Jean-Luc Godard, Walt Disney and Andy Warhol, the teenaged Waters began making 8-mm underground movies using Baltimore — which he fondly dubbed the “Hairdo Capitol of the World”– as the setting for all his films. Waters assembled a cast of ensemble players and key production people, helping to give his films that trademark John Waters “look.” In 1972, he created the most notorious film in American independent cinema of the 70s, Pink Flamingos, which turned Waters into a cult celebrity. He continued writing and directing such films as Female Trouble, Polyester, Cry-Baby, Serial MomPecker, and working with such actors as Johnny Depp, Divine, Ricki Lake, Christina Ricci, Mink Stole, Lili Taylor and Kathleen Turner. His most recent film, Cecil B. Demented, starring Melanie Griffith and Stephen Dorff, is an insane action-comedy about a young lunatic director and his devoted cult of cinema terrorists, who kidnap a Hollywood movie goddess and force her to star in their radical underground movie.

The Independent Film Channel (IFC), managed and operated by Bravo Networks, is the first and most widely distributed channel dedicated to independent film presented 24 hours a day, uncut and commercial-free. IFC Entertainment, a division of IFC, consists of IFC Productions, a feature film production company; IFC Films, a theatrical film distribution company; Next Wave Films, established to provide finishing funds and other vital support to emerging filmmakers; and
IFC Originals, which produces cutting-edge original programming for the network. In addition, IFC Productions recently launched InDigEnt, an initiative that helps established filmmakers shoot productions on digital video for the big screen.

Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation and NBC, is at the forefront of innovation in cable programming. Rainbow manages American Movie Classics, We: Women’s Entertainment, Bravo, The Independent Film Channel, MuchMusic USA, Rainbow Sports, News 12 Networks and MetroChannels as well as the Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation and Rainbow Network Communications. Rainbow also holds a majority stake in Madison Square Garden Properties. In addition, Rainbow is a fifty-percent partner in FOX Sports Net.


Elektra Gray