'Moonlight' sweeps the Independent Spirit Awards, 'Spa Night' wins John Cassavetes Award

The Film Independent Spirit Awards aired live this afternoon on IFC, hosted by Nick Kroll and John Mulaney. The Spirit Awards honor the best of films made with a budget of under $20 million.

Moonlight was nominated for six awards total tonight, co-leading the pack, and took home all six including the prestigious Best Feature award. The film now holds the record for the most Spirit Award wins of any film in this decade. Director and screenwriter Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney, who wrote the short play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue which inspired the film, picked up the win in Best Screenplay. Watch McCraney's speech below where he thanked Jenkins for "thinking this story was a story worth telling and sharing."

GLAAD Media Award nominee Moonlight also picked up the Spirit Award in Best Directing for Jenkins, in Best Editing for Joi McMillon and Nat Sanders, and Best Cinematography for James Laxton. The cast was also honored with the Robert Altman Award given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast. The award was presented by previous GLAAD Vanguard Award honoree Kerry Washington.

GLAAD Media Award nominee Spa Night picked up the John Cassavetes Award, given to the best feature made for under $500,000. "This is so meaningful that this award is going to a film about a Korean American immigrant family, about queer Korean American people. Now more than ever it's so important we support stories told by and about communities that are marginalized. That we tell stories about immigrants, about Muslims, women, people of color, trans and queer folk. Film is such a powerful tool and humanizing these communities, so that we can't be pushed aside, labeled as 'other.' We are part of this great country and we are undeniable," said director Andrew Ahn.

Members of the Moonlight cast - including story writer Tarell Alvin McCraney, Jaden Piner (young Kevin) and director/screenwriter Barry Jenkins - sported '&' lapel pins to show solidarity for those most vulnerable to discrimination in the current political climate. The ‘&’ pins, courtesy of GLAAD, represent the Together movement that seeks to unite marginalized communities to resist, persist and prevail against hateful and non-inclusive legislation, policy and rhetoric. Click through the slideshow below to see the Moonlight team and learn more about the ‘&’ at glaad.org/together now.

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