IFC Celebrates the 2008 Film Independent Spirit Awards With Multi-Platform Initiative

IFC.com Offers Unprecedented Pre-Ceremony Red Carpet Coverage, Sponsored by Piaget

Network Sponsors Include Acura, M&M, L'Oréal Paris & Heineken

Awards Ceremony Airs Live Exclusively and Uncut On IFC Saturday, February 23rd at 5pm ET

New York, NY – January 30, 2008 – IFC announced today that it will celebrate the 2008 Film Independent Spirit Awards with a multiplatform initiative that includes unprecedented pre-ceremony coverage at IFC.com. Exclusively sponsored by Piaget, the network's website will begin streaming special footage of the event's live red carpet festivities at 11:30am PT. For the 13th straight consecutive year, the network will exclusively broadcast the Film Independent Spirit Awards live and uncut. The 2008 Spirit Awards show will air on Saturday, February 23 at 5pm ET and 2pm PT with an edited re-broadcast later that evening on AMC at 10pm ET. As the vanguard event in independent film, the Spirit Awards show attracts major sponsors, and this year's broadcast includes Acura, M&M, L'Oré®al Paris and Heineken. Sponsors will receive cross-platform opportunities including on-air presence through tagged tune-ins, in-show "pop-ups," post-award show vignettes, and more.

As the first event to honor independent film exclusively, the Spirit Awards is the premier awards event for the independent film community. Hosted annually on the Saturday before the Oscars® and held in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica, the Spirit Awards is a celebration of independent filmmakers who bring a unique vision and a spirit of independence to filmmaking. This year, the 23rd Annual ceremony will be hosted by actor and comedian Rainn Wilson ("The Office"). Film Independent, producers of the ceremony, was granted a special waiver by the Writer's Guild of America (WGA) in order to hire WGA writers for the 2008 awards. As a member of the WGA, Wilson will also serve as a writer for the show, in addition to his hosting duties.

"IFC is honored to broadcast one of the few award show ceremonies of 2008 and we hope to significantly expand the audience for this important film event that continues to grow in prominence," stated Evan Shapiro, IFC's Executive Vice President and General Manager. "The Spirits is the only uncut and uncensored award show on television, and we are thrilled each year to air such an exciting industry event that recognizes and supports the independent film community."

Following is a breakdown of IFC's coverage and sponsorship:

  • For the 13th year, IFC exclusively airs the 2008 Spirit Awards ceremony live from Santa Monica on Saturday, February 23 at 5pm ET/ 2pm PT.
  • Exclusive red carpet footage, sponsored by Piaget, will stream live on IFC.com beginning at 11:30am PT.
  • IFC is a premier sponsor of the 2008 ceremony.
  • New in 2008, IFC will present the in-show Truer Than Fiction Award, which recognizes an emerging documentary filmmaker.
  • Also new this year, Heineken has signed on as a Principal sponsor.
  • Acura has signed on as a sponsor for a fourth year, and will present an in-show award, the Acura Someone To Watch Award. Acura joins other returning sponsors: M&M and L'Oréal Paris.
  • Acura, M&M's, L'Oréal Paris and Heineken will receive on-air presence through tune-ins, sponsored "pop-ups" that will run throughout the show, as well as significant exposure in post-award show vignettes.

In 2007, IFC renewed its long-standing commitment to the Spirit Awards, giving the network the exclusive broadcast right to air the annual awards ceremony live, uncut and without commercial interruption.

About IFC
IFC is the only brand to operate in every area of independent film to include television, production, financing, distribution, digital, On Demand and exhibition. IFC uses its unique cross-platform position to broaden the audience of independent film and to provide independent filmmakers with a strong voice. IFC is comprised of: The Independent Film Channel, the first and most widely distributed network dedicated to independent culture, 24 hours a day, uncut, and uncensored; and IFC Entertainment, a division that owns and manages IFC Films, a leading theatrical film distribution company bringing the best of independent films to theaters and to the on-demand platform, day and date, reaching over 45 million subscribers. The company's brick and mortar home, The IFC Center, features state-of-the-art cinemas with luxurious seating and high-definition digital and 35mm projection, located in the heart of
New York City's West Village.

About Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC). Rainbow Media is a leading producer of targeted, multi-platform content for global distribution, creating and managing some of the world's most compelling and dynamic entertainment brands, including AMC, IFC, WE tv, LIFESKOOL, SPORTSKOOL, and VOOM HD Networks. Through its IFC Entertainment division, Rainbow Media also owns and manages the following: IFC Films, a theatrical feature film distribution company; IFC First Take/IFC in Theaters, a day and date theatrical feature film/VOD initiative; the IFC Center in New York City; IFC Productions, a feature film production company; and IFC Entertainment, which owns and operates a film library. Rainbow Media also operates Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation, its advertising sales company, and Rainbow Network Communications, its full service network programming origination and distribution company.

About Film Independent
Film Independent is a non-profit membership organization of filmmakers, film leaders and film lovers that champions independent film and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation, and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds the audience for their projects, and works to diversify the film industry. Anyone passionate about film can become a member, whether you are a filmmaker, film industry leader, or a film lover.

With over 250 annual screenings and events, Film Independent provides access to a network of like-minded film-lovers and artists who are driving creativity in the film industry. Film Independent also offers free Filmmaker Labs for selected writers, directors, and producers; provides cut-rate services for filmmakers; and presents year-round networking opportunities. Film Independent's mentorship and job placement program, Project:Involve, pairs emerging culturally-diverse filmmakers with film industry professionals.

Film Independent produces the Los Angeles Film Festival, celebrating the best of American and international cinema, and the Spirit Awards, a celebration honoring films and filmmakers that embody independence and dare to challenge the status quo.

For more information or to become a member, visit FilmIndependent.org.

Press Contacts

  • Olivia Dupuis for IFC

    Julie Siegel for Film Independent