16th Annual Independent Spirit Awards Hosted By John Waters To Air On Bravo Saturday, March 24 At 10:00 PM/ET

For the fifth consecutive year, the 16th Annual IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards will air on Bravo, The Film and Arts Network on Saturday, March 24 at 10:00PM/ET. This year’s ceremony will be hosted by indie-God John Waters. Past hosts have included Jennifer Tilly, John Turturro and Samuel L. Jackson.

“Hosting the Independent 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, side-splitting key note speech at the 1999 ceremony.

The IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards is an annual event honoring the hard-fought victories of independent filmmaking. The event has grown from a small grass-roots program into one of the most anticipated events of the film community. 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.

A native of Baltimore, John Waters was drawn to movies at an early age, particularly exploitation movies with lurid ad campaigns. As a teenager, Waters began making 8-mm underground movies influenced by the likes of Jean-Luc Godard, Walt Disney and Andy Warhol 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 Mom and Pecker, 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.

In addition to live on-air coverage of The Independent Spirit Awards and a live cybercast of the event, Bravo’s sister network IFC’s official website www.ifctv.com will feature a pre-awards show live chat with host John Waters, an exclusive live webcast of the entire ceremony, stills from the red carpet, an online sweepstakes and more pre-show surprises!

Bravo offers critically acclaimed American and international films as well as performing arts, including dance, theater, classical music and jazz.


Tara McGuire

Jennifer Peterson