By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood February 22, 2009 at 6:39AM
On a bright Saturday afternoon at the Santa Monica Beach, I mingled with the presenters, nominees, media and guests at the Independent Spirit Awards. On the way in, I photographed waiters with free booze and Michael Barker, co-president of Sony Pictures Classics, which won best actress (Frozen River's Melissa Leo), best foreign film (The Class) and best first feature and ensemble cast (Synecdoche, New York). On the blue carpet, I grabbed a shot of Mad Men star Jon Hamm; Dana Delany; At the Movies co-host Ben Mankiewicz; Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi; Film Independent's Dawn Hudson; and IFC's Matt Singer; and then spent a good hour hobnobbing outdoors, the highlight of the event.
UPDATE: Here's Mickey Rourke's acceptance speech:
Photo gallery on the jump:
The Hurt Locker nominees Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal; Sidney Kimmel's Bingham Ray with Variety's Sharon Swart and Tribeca's Geoffrey Gilmore; SPC's Tom Bernard with his brother and son; Landmark's Ted Mundorff; Searchlight's Peter Rice with NYT Carpetbagger David Carr; Senator's Mark Urman with wife, author Debra Davis; presenter Kerry Washington; attorney Linda Lichter, Groundswell's Michael London, producer Rebecca Yeldham.
Inside the tent, I shot Wendy and Lucy's Michelle Williams, Rachel Getting Married star Debra Winger, and Focus Features' James Schamus, who released Milk.
At the IFC party at Shutters, I shot indie producer Ron Yerxa (Little Children), Frozen River star Misty Upham, and Hurt Locker nominee Jeremy Renner, who has a TV show coming up, The Unusuals.
[Originally appeared on Variety.com]