SANTA MONICA, Calif., March 23 (UPI) -- "Far from Heaven" was the big winner with five awards -- including best picture -- at the 2003 IFP Independent Spirit Awards.
Writer-director Todd Haynes' story of a 1950s housewife coping with issues of sexuality and race also won for Best Director, Female Lead (Julianne Moore), Supporting Male (Dennis Quaid) and for Edward Lachman's cinematography. The honors were announced Saturday.
Moore is nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for her performance in "Far From Heaven." Lachman is up for a cinematography Oscar.
Derek Luke -- in his screen debut -- won Best Male Lead for his performance in the title role of "Antwone Fisher."
Mike White won for Best Screenplay for "The Good Girl," the story of a retail clerk's affair with a stock boy who thinks he is Holden Caulfield -- the central character in J.D. Salinger's classic novel "The Catcher in the Rye."
Director Peter Care's "The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys" -- about a group of Catholic schoolboys intent on pulling off an outrageous prank -- won for Best First Feature.
"Secretary" -- Erin Cressida Wilson's screenplay about a former mental patient-turned-legal secretary who undertakes a dangerous sexual relationship with her demanding boss -- won for Best First Screenplay.
The John Cassavetes Award -- given for the best feature made for under $500,000 -- went to "Personal Velocity" director-writer Rebecca Miller and producers Alexis Alexanian, Lemore Syvan and Gary Winick.
Nia Vardalos won for Best Debut Performance for her star-making role in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."
Emily Mortimer won for Best Supporting Female for "Lovely & Amazing" -- the only award out of a leading six nominations for the comedy about the relationship between a mother and her three daughters.
Alfonso Cuaron's "Y Tu Mamá También" won for Best Foreign Film and Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine" was named Best Documentary.