Columbia University School of the Arts Film Program alumni won impressive Independent Spirit Awards at the ceremony February 26, with Lisa Cholodenko ('97SOA) winning Best Screenplay for The Kids Are All Right, which she cowrote with Stuart Blumberg.
The Spirit Awards' Robert Altman Award--given to one film's director, casting director, and its ensemble cast--was awarded to alumna Nicole Holofcener's ('88SOA) Please Give. Holofcener, who directed and wrote, also received a nomination for best screenplay.
The awards are sponsored by Film Independent, a nonprofit organization that champions independent film and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation, and uniqueness of vision.
In total, The Kids Are All Right was nominated for five awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. The film is distributed by Focus Features, headed by Film Professor James Schamus. Additional nominations included Night Catches Us for Best First Feature, directed by Tanya Hamilton, who attended the Film Program; Hossein Keshavarz ('05SOA) for the Acura Someone to Watch Award, for Dog Sweat; Nelson Walker ('08SOA) and Lynn True for the Aveenor Truer Than Fiction Award, for Summer Pasture; and School of the Arts Writing student James Franco, for Best Male Lead for 127 Hours.