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Photo Gallery: 25th Annual Independent Spirit Awards

When it first started 25 years ago, the Spirit Awards honored the then-blossoming independent film community, but these days, the annual event is starting to feel more like the Academy Awards in a tent. Jeff Bridges picked up the Spirit Award and the Oscar for his role in Crazy Heart, while Mo’Nique also won both awards for Precious. Film Independent says the Spirit Awards recognizes the best films made below $20 million, but that’s still a lot of money. With such an overlap between the indie and mainstream, maybe it’s time to redefine what “independent” means. How about limiting the budget to $10 million next year? Or better yet, just include movies shot with a mini digital HD camcorder — just one of the many luxury items included in this year’s official presenter gift bag.

We peeked. View our “blue” carpet slideshow here>>

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