IFC to Broadcast 2009 Film Independent Spirit Awards Live and Uncut

Awards Show Hosted by Award-Winning Actor/Comedian Steve Coogan

Coverage Begins Live and Uncut on IFC Saturday, February 21st at 5pm ET/2pm PT

Tourism Australia Joins Roster of Returning Sponsors Including Acura, M&Ms, L’Oreal and Heineken

New York, NY – February 3, 2009 – IFC will broadcast live and uncut coverage of the 2009 Film Independent Spirit Awards Saturday, February 21 at 5pm ET/2pm PT. One of the network’s most anticipated events of the year, The Independent Spirit Awards will air live on both coasts, with an edited re-broadcast later that evening on AMC at 10pm ET. Award winning actor/comedian Steve Coogan will host the telecast. IFC is the exclusive live broadcaster of this event, a status the network has held for more than ten years.

Film Independent’s Spirit Awards is a celebration honoring films made by filmmakers who embody independence and who dare to challenge the status quo. Televised in millions of homes and covered internationally by the press, Film Independent’s Spirit Awards recognize the achievements of independent filmmakers and promotes independent film to a wider audience.

Sponsors for IFC’s coverage of this year’s Spirit Awards include Acura, Tourism Australia, M&Ms, L’Oreal and Heineken. As the vanguard event in independent film, the Film Independent Spirit Awards attract some of the biggest names in film.

This year’s nominees include Best Feature contenders Ballast, Frozen River, Rachel Getting Married, Wendy and Lucy, and The Wrestler for Best Feature; with acting nods going to Anne Hathaway for Rachel Getting Married, Michelle Williams for Wendy and Lucy, Javier Bardem for Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Sean Penn for Milk, Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler, Penelope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Rosie Perez for The Take, Debra Winger for Rachel Getting Married, and James Franco for Milk, among others.

"The IFC brand was built on independent films, which remain an essential component of our programming line-up and attract a loyal following for our network," said Jennifer Caserta, executive vice president and general manager of IFC. "As a champion of independent content, IFC is proud to celebrate and broadcast these awards that honor the best in independent film."

Following are sponsorship highlights of IFC’s Spirit Awards presentation.

  • Acura has signed on as a sponsor for a fifth year, and will present an in-show award, the Acura Someone To Watch Award. Acura joins other returning sponsors Heineken, Mars and L’Oreal. Tourism Australia is a first-time sponsor on the IFC broadcast.
  • Tourism Australia, Heineken, M&Ms, Acura and L’Oreal will receive on-air presence through pre show tune-ins and post show vignettes.

About Steve Coogan
Steve Coogan played a British film director in Tropic Thunder, which has earned over $100 million domestically. He also starred in the 2008 Sundance Film Festival break-out hit comedy Hamlet 2. Born and raised in Manchester, he began as a stand up comedian and segued into television, including the award winning series "I’m Alan Partridge" and the 2007 season finale of Curb Your Enthusiasm, where he played Larry David’s psychologist who ends up in jail. His film credits include Resurrected, Indian in the Cupboard, Revengers Comedies, The Fix Wind in the Willows, Coffee & Cigarettes, 24 Hour Party People, Around the World in Eighty Days, A Cock And Bull Story, Happy Endings, Marie Antoinette, Night at the Museum, The Private Life of Samuel Pepys, Finding Amanda. Coogan will next be reunited with co-stars Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson for the much anticipated sequel Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian and will appear opposite of Hilary Duff and Molly Shannon in Safety Glass.

About IFC
Operating under the mantra "always uncut," IFC (The Independent Film Channel) uncovers and champions alternative content and makes it available to audiences across multiple platforms: on-air, online and On Demand. In pursuit of what’s new, next and relevant, IFC presents clever, offbeat original series like "The Whitest Kids U’ Know" and "Z Rock" alongside thought-provoking original documentaries such as At the Death House Door. The network also offers exclusive web series, shorts, animation, and a comprehensive independent film library of award-winning titles and cult classics. IFC broadens the audience for independent culture through its exclusive live coverage of notable film and music events like the Independent Spirit Awards and South by Southwest. The network’s on demand offering, IFC Free, gives audiences the opportunity to watch premieres of all of IFC’s original series before they air on the linear network. IFC Media Lab offers financing, professional development and distribution opportunities for aspiring film makers. IFC is a subsidiary of Rainbow Media Holdings LLC.