Samuel L. Jackson will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the 20th Independent Spirit Awards, Dawn Hudson, Executive Director of IFP/Los Angeles, announced Monday. Jackson who previously hosted the ceremony in 1996 and 1997, returns to host the awards which celebrate its 20th anniversary this year.
"I'm glad to be back for the third time as host of the Independent Spirit Awards, especially to commemorate their 20th anniversary. The Spirit Awards have always been a cool, laid-back celebration and a great way of getting actors together who embrace the independent film genre." said Jackson.
"We are thrilled to have Sam return as host, particularly for the 20th Anniversary of the Independent Spirit Awards," said Diana Zahn-Storey, the producer of the event. "He is a fantastic actor, with an impressive, eclectic body of work which constantly surprises us. But above all he is truly the embodiment of cool and we are looking forward to him putting his personal stamp on this landmark year."
Alexander Payne's wine-soaked Sideways, which recently won the Golden Globe for best picture, musical or comedy, and Joshua Marston's intense drug drama Maria Full of Grace lead the 20th IFP Independent Spirit Awards nominations with six apiece.
The IFP Independent Spirit Awards is a celebration honoring films made by filmmakers who embody independence and who dare to challenge the status quo. The winners will be announced at the IFP Independent Spirit Awards ceremony on Feb. 26 and will air live on the cable network IFC at 5 p.m. EST, as well as be rebroadcast that night on Bravo at 10 p.m. EST.