SANTA MONICA—Saturday was the Screen Actors Guild Awards and Sunday was the Film Independent Spirit Awards. The awards were handed out in Santa Monica with “Saturday Night Live” alum Aidy Bryant serving as the host to the ceremony paying tribute to independent movies in the cinematic universe. Hate to say it, but they tend to be some of the best films of the year.

Bryant made sure to give shout outs to the Writers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild for enduring during a strike that impacted the entertainment industry in a way never before, that brought some well-deserved applause. I love that the event is no longer defined by gender specific acting categories anymore. It makes this so much more competitive and interesting. I would love to see the Oscars do such a thing, but I doubt that would ever transpire.

Da’Vine Joy Randolph won the Independent Spirit Award for Supporting Performance in a movie for her role in “The Holdovers” besting some stiff competition from the likes of Sterling K. Brown, Charles Melton and Ben Winshaw. Best International film went to “Anatomy of a Fall,” while Best Documentary was a win for “Four Daughters.”

Cord Jefferson took home the prize for Best Screenplay besting “Past Lives” and “The Holdovers.” Jefferson is truly building some momentum as we head towards Oscar, but I feel like the script for “The Holdovers” was near perfection. Best First Screenplay was a victory for Samy Burch for “May December.” Must admit that movie was indeed a mind-bender.

I truly don’t understand the meshing between film and TV at this ceremony because for years it has always been cinema that was the focus not TV. It was hard watching the ceremony for the 2 hours, as a protest was unfolding outside (with screaming and music) playing VERY LOUD MUSIC to the point that host Bryant was distracted while introducing presenters and you could barely hear her. It was obvious she was getting frazzled. Was it awkward? Without a doubt, but if you’re hosting a ceremony in a tent, on a beach in Santa Monica, what do you expect?!

The John Cassavetes Award was given to “Freemont.” The Best Breakthrough Performance was an accolade given to Dominic Sessa for “The Holdovers” So thrilled to finally see Sessa get a bit of love this awards season because he was fantastic in the movie and should have landed an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The Robert Altman prize was given to director Kelly Reichardt for “Showing Up.” Producer and director Elizabeth Banks presented the Spirit Award for Best First Feature to “A Thousand And One.”

Oscar nominee Colman Domingo presented the prize for Best Lead Performance to Jeffrey Wright for “American Fiction.” Wright joked during his speech that it was nice to finally receive some recognition for his performance in the movie and chatted about how now one wanted to finance the movie that has become a buzzworthy hit.

The Spirit Award for Best Director went to Celine Song for “Past Lives,” which also claimed the prize for Best Feature before the night culminated. While “Past Lives” hasn’t seen much love this awards season, the critical acclaim is top tier and I wonder, I wonder if Celine Song could be a dark horse for an upset in the Best Original Screenplay category. The only hiccup would be “Anatomy of a Fall” which has a script unlike anything I have ever seen in years.