Three alumni of NYU's Kanbar Institute of Film and Television at the Tisch School of the Arts—Joel Coen ‘78 (BFA, F&TV), Geoffrey Fletcher ‘99 (MFA, Film), and Juan José Campanella ‘78 (MFA, Film)—were big winners over the weekend in Los Angeles at the 82nd Academy Awards on Sunday (Mar. 7) and at the 25th Independent Spirit Awards the night before.
Fletcher won the Oscar for Adapted Screenplay for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire having already won the Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay for Precious the night before. He is the first African American screenwriter to win an Academy Award. Campanella walked away with the Oscar for Foreign Language Film for El Secreto de Sus Ojos. And Coen grabbed the Spirit Awards’ Robert Altman Award (given to one film’s director, casting director, and its ensemble cast) for A Serious Man.
The Spirit Awards is a celebration honoring films made by filmmakers who embody independence and who dare to challenge the status quo. This annual event, which began as a small grassroots program, has grown into one of the most anticipated events of the indie film year. This year, Precious dominated the Spirit Awards when it also earned nods for Best Feature, Best Director, Best Female Lead, and Best Supporting Female.