Monday, July 22, 2024

Indie Spirit Awards Double Down on Insignificance, Move Away from Oscars Weekend in 2022


No one watches the Indie Spirit Awards on the IFC Channel. The annual event takes place, usually, the afternoon before the Oscars and tries to mix indie films with quasi-studio pictures. The result is a lot of the same people win or are nominated for both awards.

On IFC, the total audience clocks in at less than 100,000 or fewer viewers. This past April, they taped their show during the week, then broadcast it at 10pm on IFC. The audience was down to 73,000.

So what to do now? Why not move the show away from Oscars weekend to an island in March when no one’s in town or around? That’s the plan, anyway. The Spirit Awards will now be given on March 6th, three weeks before the Academy Awards and before voting for them is over, as well.

Film Independent, the group that runs the Spirits, think this will make them Oscar influencers. I doubt it. They’ve drained whatever buzz there is for the Spirits by cutting them loose from the main stem. Now they’ll take place over the weekend before the Oscars nominees lunch.

The real era of independent filmmaking is over. This year’s Spirit winners were Searchlight’s “Nomadland,” funded by 20th Century Fox, now Disney. And in a year when all the talk was about Black Lives Matter, no Black actors won anything at the Spirit Awards. To get them off the hook, they handed off their Robert Altman Award ensemble to Regina King’s “One Night in Miami.” (The National Board of Review does the same thing now, bestow a largesse on a Black movie to avoid giving them a real award.)

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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