The black and white silent movie collected four prizes at the 2012 Independent Spirit Awards.
27 Feb 2012 - 1:54 PM  UPDATED 27 Feb 2012 - 1:54 PM

To almost no one's surprise, The Artist dominated the 2012 Independent Spirit Awards, winning the prizes for best feature, director Michel Hazanavicius, actor Jean Dujardin and cinematographer Guillaume Schiffman.

Take Shelter, which equalled the French film's five nominations, had to be content with just one gong, the Piaget Producers award for emerging producers to producer Sophia Lin.

The Spirit Awards also honoured Christopher Plummer as best supporting actor for Beginners, The Descendants for best screenplay and Iran's A Separation as best international film.

Michelle Williams took home the best actress trophy for My Week with Marilyn and Shailene Woodley was named best supporting actress for playing George Clooney's daughter in The Descendants.

Writer-director Dee Reeds' coming-out/coming-of-age drama Pariah got the John Cassavetes award for best feature made for under $500,000.

Best documentary went to Steve James' The Interrupters, which chronicles ex-convicts who go daily into the streets of Chicago to try to talk gang members out of shooting one another.

J. C. Chandor's Wall Street drama Margin Call collected two prizes: best first feature and the Robert Altman Award presented to the director, ensemble cast and casting directors.

The ceremony held in a big white tent on the beach in Santa Monica was hosted by Seth Rogen, who embraced the Indie Spirits' irreverent reputation by quipping that winning an award means that “if anything, it proves you'll work for nothing.”

Williams recalled that when she first attended the awards 10 years ago, it was “a room full of misfits, outcasts, loners, dreamers, mumblers, delinquents, dropouts, just like me.”

The awards are a popularity contest voted on by members of Film Independent, the organisation that produces the Los Angeles Film Festival.