This past weekend marked the 83rd annual Academy Awards and, though many big studio movies were nominated, the indies took home a large chunk of the major awards. In a ceremony held at Kodak Theater in Hollywood on Sunday, February 27, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored independent films with seven statuettes, according to the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA). Notably, a win by The King’s Speech, distributed in North America by The Weinstein Company, bumped the total count of indies to win the Best Picture award to 19.
In addition to taking home the big prize for Best Picture, The King’s Speech also garnered the award for Best Actor (Colin Firth). In an upset over Columbia Pictures’ The Social Network director and category favorite David Fincher, The King’s Speech director Tom Hooper took home the statuette for Best Director. The film’s screenwriter, David Seidler, rounded out the film’s winning spree with the award for Best Original Screenplay.
In addition to winning big at the Oscars, indie film The King’s Speech had the impressive uniqueness of having a total of 15 people with a “producer” credit. This is a typical characteristic of an indie film, which, according to IFTA is defined as “an independent film or television program that is financed primarily from sources outside the seven major U.S. studios.” In any case the proliferation of producer’s credits has prompted the Producers Guild to consider changing the definition of “producer.”
The Weinstein Company also scored with The Fighter, another indie under its distribution. The boxing flick earned Oscars in the Best Supporting Actor and Actress categories, which went to Christian Bale and Melissa Leo respectively.
Finally, the seventh indie Oscar of the night went to Denmark’s In a Better World, which got the nod for best Foreign Language Film. In a Better World is distributed by Nordisk Film.
Meanwhile, studio films took home one acting award — Natalie Portman, Best Actress for Fox Searchlight’s Black Swan. Toy Story 3, produced by Pixar and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, won Best Animated Feature Film and Warner Bros.’ Inception was honored with Best Cinematography (Wally Pfister). Additionally, Sony Pictures Classics’ financial crisis doc Insides Job was awarded Best Documentary Feature. However, on the whole, the indies walked away with the lion’s share of accolades.