Jordan Peele also won best director on Saturday.
“This means so much,” Peele said. “It’s clear to everybody in this room, and across the country and across the world, that we are in the beginning of a renaissance right now — where stories from the outsider, stories from the people in this room — the same stories that independent filmmakers have been telling for years — are being honored and recognized and celebrated and I’m so proud to be here with this group of people receiving this.”
The film’s producers Sean McKittrick and Jason Blum also took the mic with brief statements — McKittrick giving a shout-out to his family and Blum cheerfully saying, “Long live the independent spirit. Hooray!”
Get Out won over Call Me by Your Name, The Florida Project, Lady Bird and The Rider. It’s the second horror film to win the award, following Black Swan in 2011, which isn’t a traditional horror film but is a psychological thriller.
For the past four years, the Spirit Awards’ pick for best feature — the equivalent to the Academy Award for Best Picture — has also gone on to win the Oscar.
However, despite being eligible, two of this year’s biggest Oscar frontrunners — The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri — weren’t nominated in the category. Other strong Oscar contenders Phantom Thread and Darkest Hour were also shut out, but only as a result of their budgets, which both exceeded the $20 million limit.
The correlation of votes between the members of the Film Independent and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hasn’t always existed, though — likely due to the combination of the financial limit and the Spirit Awards’ specific celebration of “independent” movies — defined by the rules committee as meaning “uniqueness of vision” and “original/provocative subject matter.”
Nick Kroll and John Mulaney hosted the 33rd Film Independent Spirit Awards, which took place in Santa Monica and aired on IFC on Saturday.