Spirit Awards honor 'The Artist'
Michel Hazanavicius' "The Artist," a love letter to Hollywood, won best picture at the Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, beating out a list of films that included Austinite Jeff Nichols' "Take Shelter." Nichols took backseat to Hazanavicius in the directing category, as well.
"Take Shelter" stars Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain lost to Jean Dujardin ("The Artist") and Shailene Woodley ("The Descendants"), respectively. Producer Sophia Lin represented the sole victory for "Take Shelter," taking home the Independent Spirit's Piaget Producer Award.
Austin filmmaker Heather Courtney won the Independent Spirit's Truer Than Fiction Award for her documentary "Where Soldiers Come From." The moving film follows the stories of a group of high school friends from Courtney's hometown in the rural Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The Truer Than Fiction Award was given out in January, but Courtney was acknowledged and in attendance Saturday.
— Matthew Odam