Parasite named best international film at 35th Independent Spirit Awards

By Keiran Southern, PA Los Angeles Correspondent

South Korean dark comedy Parasite has been named international film of the year at the 35th Independent Spirit Awards.

The ceremony takes place in a tent on the windswept Santa Monica beach on the eve of the Oscars each year and celebrates the best in independent film.

To qualify, a movie must have been made within a budget of $22.5 million (£17.5 million).

During Saturday’s ceremony, director Bong Joon-Ho added another prize to his collection when Parasite – a serious contender for best picture at the Oscars – was named the best international film.

It won in a category also containing the UK’s entry The Souvenir.

Elsewhere, Jennifer Lopez missed out on the supporting female prize to Zhao Shuzhen, who played a dying grandmother in Lulu Wang’s poignant drama The Farewell.

Wang accepted the prize on Shuzhen’s behalf as the 85-year-old remained in China because of the corona virus.

Best supporting male was won by Willem Dafoe for his role in Robert Eggers’s gripping black-and-white drama The Lighthouse.

Defoe said he shared the award with his co-star Robert Pattinson, adding “it takes two to tango”.

Noah Baumbach was on stage twice, first collecting the best screenplay prize for the Netflix family drama Marriage Story and then again with the film’s cast and crew as they collected the Robert Altman Award.

Best documentary went to American Factory, which won ahead of Bafta-winning For Sama.

The cast of coming-of-age comedy Booksmart – including stars Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever – shared an on-stage group hug with director Olivia Wilde after the film won best first feature.

The John Cassavetes Award, presented to the creative team of a film made on a budget of less than $500,000 (£387,000), was awarded to comedy-drama Give Me Liberty.

Best first screenplay went to Fredrica Bailey and Stefon Bristol for See You Yesterday.

Parks And Recreation star Aubrey Plaza returned as host for the Spirit Awards and opened the show by poking fun at the Oscars for once again ignoring female filmmakers in the best director category.