“The Big Sick” writers Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon took home top honors at the 2018 Indie Spirit Awards for Best First Screenplay. The married writing team beat out fellow nominees Ingrid Jungermann (“Women Who Kill”), Kogonada (“Columbus”), David Branson Smith and Matt Spicer (“Ingrid Goes West”), and Kris Avedisian with story by Kyle Espeleta and Jesse Wakeman (“Donald Cried”).
This marks the first Indie Spirit Award for both Nanjiani and Gordon. “The Big Sick” won Best Comedy at the Critics’ Choice Awards, and was named one of the American Film Institute’s Top Ten Films of the Year. The duo is nominated for Best Screenplay at the Academy Awards Sunday night. Loosely based on the real-life romance between Nanjiani and Gordon, the film follows a couple who must deal with cultural differences after one of them becomes ill.
Different from the Oscars, the Independent Spirit Awards exclusively celebrates the best of independent cinema. Films must be made for less than $20 million in order to be eligible for the Indie Spirit Awards. The winners are voted on by Film Independent and IFP Members.
The 33rd Annual Spirit Awards were held in a beachfront tent next to the Santa Monica Pier on Saturday, March 3rd. Comedians Nick Kroll and John Mulaney hosted the show for the second year in a row.