There was a theme at this year’s Independent Spirit Awards: We! Recognize! Women! The phrases “female filmmakers” and “women directors” were used throughout the ceremony on Saturday afternoon, and considering how the compressed awards season schedule set the Indie Spirits just one day before the Oscars — where absolutely no women were recognized with Best Director nominations — it felt like both a celebration and a sustained subtweet of Hollywood’s most glamorous night. (Which, fair!) And the Spirits followed through on their mantra when the biggest award of the day did indeed go to a female filmmaker, with Lulu Wang taking home the honor of Best Feature for The Farewell. Earlier in the ceremony she also accepted the trophy for Best Supporting Female on behalf of Zhao Shuzhen, who played the fictional version of her real grandmother.
Wang’s speech, too, centered on a call for women to actually get hired for more jobs in Hollywood, saying in her speech that rallying women to make movies is missing the point. “We don’t have to encourage women. There are lots of women making films and who want to make films,” Wang told the audience. “Really what women need is just the job! Give them the freakin’ job! Give them the money!” Give them the jobs. Then give them the awards.