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Spirit Awards 2015: Birdman wins top prize one day before Oscars

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Birdman has won the top prize at this year’s Film Independent Spirit Awards – one day before the Oscars.

Alejandro G. Inarritu’s movie won the best feature, best actor for Michael Keaton and for cinematography.

The awards, which honor low budget film-making, were made in a giant tent on Santa Monica beach on Saturday.

Birdman‘s triple win adds to the film’s momentum ahead of Sunday’s Academy Awards.

Alejandro G. Inarritu said he felt “so proud and emotional” to win and praised Michael Keaton and his cast that includes Edward Norton and Emma Stone.Birdman Michael Keaton Independent Spirit Awards 2015

Boyhood – a family drama filmed with the same actors over 12 years – won best director for Richard Linklater while Patricia Arquette was named best actress.

Patricia Arquette, who is strongly tipped to win an Oscar, spoke of the film’s long lifespan.

“People buried their parents, got married, divorced and had babies,” the actress said.

“It was an enormous commitment of time.”

Two other Oscar front runners also walked off with acting prizes. Julianne Moore won best actress for Still Alice in which she plays a woman with early onset Alzheimer’s.

The actress, who undertook extensive research into her role, highlighted the low budget spirit of the film.

“We made the movie in 23 days for $4 million,” Julianne Moore said.

“I brought my own bras and food.”


JK Simmons won best supporting actor for his role as a tyrannical teacher in jazz drama Whiplash.

The role, which he described as “a good fit”, has already drummed up a lot of trophies for Simmons.

Polish drama Ida won best international film.

“We did everything to make a film nobody watches – black and white, the camera doesn’t move,” said director Pawel Pawlikowski as he picked up his prize.

“But miracles happen.”