IFC, ELLE, Netflix, Piaget, Acura, Jameson Irish Whiskey®, LG Cinema 3D & HTC™ to Serve as Premier Sponsors of the 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards PRINCIPAL SPONSORS INCLUDE STELLA ARTOIS & AVEENO®

CEREMONY TO AIR EXCLUSIVELY ON IFC - SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 26 AT 10:00 PM ET/PT

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, announced its sponsors for the 2011 Spirit Awards, which will be held on the beach in Santa Monica on Saturday, February 26, 2011.  The ceremony airs exclusively that night on IFC at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.  Returning sponsors at the Premier level include IFC, ELLE, Netflix, Piaget, Acura, Jameson Irish Whiskey®, and LG Cinema 3D, with new sponsor HTC™ joining the event.  Stella Artois and new sponsor AVEENO® serve at the Principal level.  The Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows is the Official Host Hotel.  Santa Monica Place is the Official Venue for the Member Viewing Party.  WireImage is the Official Photographer, American Airlines is the Official Airline Partner, and PR Newswire is the Official Breaking News Service of Film Independent.  On 3 Productions, the leader in customized gifting experiences backstage at the entertainment industry's most prestigious events, returns to produce the Official Presenter Gift Lounge and Official Ceremony Gift Bags.  The Official Water of the Spirit Awards is smartwater.

As previously announced actor, comedian and pop culture guru Joel McHale will serve as this year's host.  In addition to being the exclusive broadcaster of the 26th Spirit Awards, IFC is also a Premier Sponsor of the event.  All Spirit Award attendees are invited to the network's on-site hospitality tent, created by designer David Stark.  The IFC Tent will open at 11:30 a.m. for a pre-awards reception featuring specialty cocktails and hors d'oeuvres as well as a live DJ.

Additionally, IFC.com will feature a live watch and chat with IFC News host Matt Singer, photo galleries of winners and nominees past and present, and an in-depth guide to the Spirit Awards innovators and trends. SpiritAwards.com, in partnership with LG Electronics, will be streaming a live red carpet show at 11:30 a.m., and will also deliver winner updates and photos throughout the course of the ceremony, followed by red carpet and thank you cam interviews immediately following the broadcast.  

Premier Sponsor ELLE magazine will host celebrity presenters, winners, and industry notables in the ELLE Green Room, a chic Art Deco-inspired backstage lounge where VIPs can socialize in an exclusive, stylish atmosphere. This year ELLE celebrates the Spirit Awards with exclusive giveaways from partners Acura, the AVEENO® Brand, and BCBGMAXAZRIA.

In 2010, Premier Sponsor Netflix and Film Independent joined forces to create the "Netflix FIND Your Voice Film Competition," which awarded an aspiring filmmaker the means to make a full length, narrative film. The winning film, "The Wheeler Boys" by Philip Flores, premiered at the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival and is now available to watch instantly on a TV, PC or Mac streamed from Netflix.

For the fourth year now, Premier Sponsor Piaget is proud to lend its support to independence, and to bring sparkle to the event by offering a sneak preview of its newest diamond jewelry and timepiece collections, themed "Limelight Garden Party."  To further demonstrate its backing, Piaget is also establishing the Piaget Producers Award in recognition of outstanding creative vision and achievement.

Acura is proud to announce that we are once again a Premier Partner of the Film Independent Spirit Awards.  Acura's commitment to innovation has resulted in transformative technologies as well category-defying vehicles such as the head turning ZDX four-door sports coupe.  Acura offers a full line of technologically advanced performance luxury vehicles through a network of 270 dealers within the United States.  The 2011 Acura lineup features six distinctive models including the RL luxury performance sedan, the TL performance luxury sedan, the TSX sports sedan and all-new Sports Wagon, the turbocharged RDX luxury crossover SUV, the MDX luxury sport utility vehicle and the ZDX four-door sports coupe.  Acura also supports innovation in non-automotive form, as exemplified by our sponsorship of the 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards.  For media information and high-resolution photos of all Acura vehicles, please visit www.acuranews.com.  For consumer information, please visit www.acura.com.

As a second year Premier Sponsor, Jameson Irish Whiskey® will serve the signature Jameson & Ginger specialty cocktail on the red carpet as guests arrive, as well as create one signature bar inside the main tent.  Additionally, Jameson will be the featured spirit in all backstage tents at the Spirit Awards and a bottle of Jameson will be placed on each table for attendees to enjoy during the show. 

Stars will come together to help raise big money for Film Independent's signature diversity program, Project:Involve, at the 26th Film Independent Spirit Awards, thanks to LG Cinema 3D HDTVs.  As a Premier Sponsor, LG Electronics will host a variety of activities including the opening of the arrivals carpet (led by a celebrity guest, to be announced), and will make a donation to Project:Involve on behalf of each celebrity who experiences LG's Cinema 3D technology on the arrivals platform.  The donation will support a special LG Cinema 3D/Film Independent Fellowship to help provide independent filmmakers the necessary tools to develop their craft.  In the Official Presenter Gift Lounge backstage, presenters will continue to help Film Independent raise important funds, and will be among the first to experience LG's next-generation 3D technology, Cinema 3D, which is preferred 3-to-1 over existing home 3D screen technology.  LG Cinema 3D allows consumers to enjoy movies and sports, as in the theater, from virtually anywhere in the room, using lightweight, highly affordable 3D glasses.  What's more, LG will be the exclusive provider of HDTV screens throughout the event venue and for production purposes. LG. Life's Good. www.lg.com 

As a new Premier Sponsor, through a partnership with IFC, HTC Corporation, a global leader in smartphone design, is excited to help unveil the must-see independent films of the year.  HTC will welcome attendees to the Spirit Awards with a dynamic entryway compiled of larger-than-life HTC devices featuring film content and messages to the nominees.  HTC shares an indie sensibility with Film Independent and IFC, and is proud to offer innovative mobile solutions that bring creativity and independence to people around the world.

Stella Artois is proud to be the official beer sponsor of the Film Independent Spirit Awards for the second year.  Stella Artois is a long-time supporter of independent film and film festivals across the country. Guests on the red carpet and inside the Spirit Awards will have the opportunity to enjoy a Stella Artois, the best-selling Belgian beer in the world.  With origins dating back to 1366, Stella Artois originally was brewed as a special holiday beer and named "Stella," Latin for "star."  Stella Artois should always be poured into its signature Chalice and served using the cherished Belgian Pouring Ritual to accentuate the lager's golden color, crisp flavor and refreshing finish. 

Principal Sponsor AVEENO®, who has partnered with ELLE magazine, will provide VIP guests with the opportunity to try the latest products with ACTIVE NATURALS® technology in the AVEENO® ACTIVE NATURALS® Lounge hosted by eco-model Summer Rayne Oakes.  Guests will receive beach totes with products from the NEW AVEENO® SMART ESSENTIALS™ skincare line, an innovative and unique line of facial products shown to transform the look and feel of stressed skin, along with the NEW AVEENO® LIVING COLOR™ hair care collection that is specially formulated to gently seal in color and reveal vibrancy wash after wash, and NEW AVEENO® HYDROSPORT™, a revolutionary sun-care collection that can be applied directly to wet skin for full-strength sun protection.  Additionally, AVEENO® joined forces with Film Independent to present the 16th annual AVEENO® Truer Than Fiction Award.  This prestigious award was presented to the emerging director of Marwencol, Jeff Malmberg, who is one-to-watch and deserves significant recognition.  AVEENO® presented Jeff with a $25,000 unrestricted grant to further develop his career.  For more information about the AVEENO® Brand and its product offerings, visit www.aveeno.com or 'Like' us at www.facebook.com/aveeno.

Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, voted among the Top 500 Hotels in Travel + Leisure, is proud to be the official host hotel for the Film Independent Spirit Awards.  Located just a stone's throw away from the Santa Monica Pier, Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place -- famous for its shopping, local artists' scene and a weekly farmer's market, Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows has an array of unique services to offer their guests.  Film Independent Spirit Award attendees can dine at Chef Ray Garcia's seasonal bistro, FIG Restaurant, located within the Fairmont Miramar.  Said to be a "raging success" by the Los Angeles Times, FIG's approachable, market-driven cuisine and casual ambience is the perfect meeting place for attendees.  Just steps away from the surf, sand and sites of Santa Monica, Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows offer the perfect paparazzi-proof getaway.

HauteLook, a leading online private sale site for women's and men's fashion, beauty, travel and home decor, in partnership with California Modern Classics, are pleased to exclusively provide the furnishings for the Press Cantina and Presenter Holding Area of the Film Independent Spirit Awards.  Guests will be welcomed into a relaxed, casual chic haven featuring California Modern Classics' sleek and sophisticated couches, lighting, and tables.  For more than four million members in the US and Canada, HauteLook is bringing the thrill back to shopping, featuring 48-hour sale events with top fashion, lifestyle and home brands, all at 50 – 75% off retail.  Visit www.hautelook.com or facebook.com/hautelook to learn more.

ABOUT THE FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS

The Film Independent Spirit Awards is a celebration honoring films made by filmmakers who embody independence and originality.  Televised in millions of homes and covered internationally by the press, the Spirit Awards has become the vanguard event in independent film, recognizing the achievements of independent filmmakers and promoting independent film to a wider audience.

Awards are given in the following categories: Best Feature, Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay, Best Director, Best Screenplay, John Cassavetes Award (given to the best feature made for a budget under $500,000), Best Male Lead, Best Female Lead, Best Supporting Male, Best Supporting Female, Best Cinematography, Best Foreign Film, Best Documentary, and the Robert Altman Award.  The Filmmaker Grants include the Acura Someone to Watch Award, Piaget Producers Award, AVEENO® Truer Than Fiction Award, and the Jameson FIND Your Audience Award.

This year's ceremony is sponsored by Premier Sponsors IFC, ELLE, Netflix, Piaget, Acura, Jameson Irish Whiskey®, LG Cinema 3D, HTC™ and Principal Sponsors Stella Artois and AVEENO®.  WireImage is the Official Photographer of Film Independent, American Airlines is the Official Airline of Film Independent, The Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows is the Official Host Hotel, and PR Newswire is the Official Breaking News Service of Film Independent.  On 3 Productions is the producer of the Official Presenter Gift Lounge and Official Ceremony Gift Bags.  The Official Water of the Spirit Awards is smartwater.

For more information on submission guidelines, voting, photo and video galleries, and the history of the Spirit Awards, please visit SpiritAwards.com.

ABOUT FILM INDEPENDENT

Film Independent is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit arts organization that champions independent film and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation, and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds an audience for their projects, and works to diversify the film industry. Film Independent's Board of Directors, filmmakers, staff, and constituents, are comprised of an inclusive community of individuals across ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation. Anyone passionate about film can become a member, whether you are a filmmaker, industry leader, or a film lover.

With over 250 annual screenings and events, Film Independent provides access to a network of like-minded artists who are driving creativity in the film industry. Film Independent offers free Filmmaker Labs for selected writers, directors, and producers; provides cut-rate services for filmmakers; and presents year-round networking opportunities. Film Independent's mentorship and job placement program, Project:Involve, pairs emerging culturally diverse filmmakers with film industry professionals.

Film Independent produces the Los Angeles Film Festival, celebrating the best of American and international cinema and the Spirit Awards, a celebration honoring films and filmmakers that embody independence and originality.

For more information or to become a member, visit FilmIndependent.org.

SOURCE Film Independent



RELATED LINKS
http://www.filmindependent.org
http://www.SpiritAwards.com

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