A day after the silent black and white movie picked up six trophies at France's Oscars, the Cesars, on Friday (24Feb12), it claimed the Best Feature honour at the annual Academy Awards eve celebration of indie movies in Santa Monica, California.
Filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius added to his trophy cabinet by picking up another Best Director award, making him the clear favourite to claim gold at the Oscars on Sunday, and his leading man Jean Dujardin was also a winner on Saturday afternoon (25Feb12) as he picked up Best Male Lead for his role as silent movie star George Valentin.
The Artists' four-trophy haul was completed by Guillaume Schiffman, who claimed the Best Cinematography prize at the Spirits.
The event's first award went to Christopher Plummer, who was named Best Supporting Actor for his role in Beginners. He too is now a clear favourite to take home an Oscar on Sunday night.
George Clooney's film The Descendants landed his movie daughter Shailene Woodley a Best Supporting Actress honour, while the movie's writer and director Alexander Payne scored the Independent Spirits' Best Screenplay prize.
Other major winners included Michelle Williams, who claimed the Best Female Lead award for her stunning turn as Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn, A Separation (Best International Film), The Interrupters (Best Documentary) and cancer survivor Will Reiser, whose 50/50 film about his health battle won him the night's Best First Screenplay award.
Reiser's leading man and best friend Seth Rogen hosted the Spirits.
The full list of winners is:
Best Feature - The Artist
Best Director - Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)
Best Screenplay - Alexander Payne (The Descendants)
Best First Feature - J.C. Chandor (Margin Call)
Best First Screenplay - Will Reiser (50/50)
Best Female Lead - Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn)
Best Male Lead - Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
Best Supporting Female - Shailene Woodley (The Descendants)
Best Supporting Male - Christopher Plummer (Beginners)
Best Cinematography - Guillaume Schiffman (The Artist)
Best Documentary - The Interrupters
Best International Film: A Separation
John Cassavetes Award - Dee Rees (writer/director of Pariah)
Producers Award - Sophia Lin (Take Shelter)
Someone to Watch Award - Mark Jackson (Without)
Truer Than Fiction Award - Heather Courtney (Where Soldiers Come From)
Robert Altman Award - cast of Margin Call