Spirit Awards: 'A Fantastic Woman' Wins Best International Film

Spirit Awards: 'A Fantastic Woman' Wins Best International Film

Spirit Awards: 'A Fantastic Woman' Wins Best International Film

Meanwhile, this year Russia was represented in an Oscar win of sorts: the Academy Award for best Documentary Feature went to "Icarus", a film directed by Bryan Fogel in which Grigory Rodchenkov blows the whistle on doping in Russian sports.

The Upcoming was delighted to interview writer-director Sebastián Lelio about A Fantastic Woman.

"Thank you so much, this is an unbelievable gift", director Sebastián Lelio said, adding, "I want to thank the cast of the film, especially the brilliant actor Francisco Reyes and the inspiration for this movie, Daniela Vega".

"A Fantastic Woman" follows Marina, a transgender waitress and nightclub singer, whose long-term and loving older boyfriend suddenly dies. It had been considered a favourite to win the award. A Fantastic Woman is the latest in the progressive canon, exploring the prejudice towards transgender people.

Some had hoped Vega would become the first transgender actor nominated for an Oscar.

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'I want to thank the cast of the film, ' said Lelio, 'especially the brilliant actor Francisco Reyes and the inspiration for the film, Daniela Vega'.

Marina rushes him to the emergency room, but he passes away just after arriving at the hospital. Before long, police are questioning her about whether she had any part in his death.

In the film, Orlando's family bars Marina from the funeral, kicks her out of the apartment she and Orlando meant to share, and even takes away her beloved German shepherd, Diabla.

Russian director Andrei Zvyagintsev's film had been the year's favorite foreign language movie competing with motion pictures from Chile, Lebanon, Hungary and Sweden.

Actress Rita Moreno, 86, presented the award and had the audience cheering for her as she danced toward the microphone, wearing the same dress she wore when she won an Oscar in 1962 for "West Side Story".

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