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Indie Spirit Awards 2011: Chilly Day at the Beach

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There's a classic Saturday Night Live sketch featuring Tom Hanks and Jon Lovitz as losers who hit on women, strike out, and comment about why they pass them by out loud. The "Girl Watchers'" famous lines are typically "hello" as they stroll along, and "gooooodbye" as they walk right passed them. That was the vibe -- well, sort of -- at the Film Independent Spirit Awards red carpet on an unseasonably brisk, windy Saturday afternoon on Santa Monica beach. Some stars braved the cold, but most arrived on the red carpet and made a bee-line through passed the press line for warmer pastures inside. (Some didn't even walk the walk.)

Inside the always fun schmooze and booze-flowing event tent, Black Swan took home top prizes (Picture, Director, and Actress to name a few) while Oscar host James Franco nabbed the Firth-free Best Actor prize. Indie darling Winter's Bone swept the supporting races with Dale Dickey and Oscar nominee John Hawkes taking home prizes respectively for actress and actor. Oscar frontrunner The King's Speech didn't go home empty handed either. That British film won the Best Foreign Film prize. Joel McHale -- the snarky wonder of NBC's Community hosted the soiree with biting jokes about everything from Charlie Sheen to the year in cinema: cunninglingus style.

Prior to the show (on that cold red carpet) and during (at the Official Presenter Gift Lounge), I caught up with some of the nominees and attendees (Danny Boyle, Aaron Eckhart, Diego Luna, and Hawkes) and chatted about the awards and their respective projects. Speaking of the gift lounge, there was some pretty nifty swag from LG Cinema 3D HDTV (they made a contribution on behalf of some stars totaling $125,000 for Film Independent's Project Involve) to Vera Bradley totes, AMC yearly passes, and Marchon Inc. custom fitting sunglasses. Another highlight? Ultra soft Little Giraffe/Giraffe At Home cover-ups and throw blankets which -- no doubt -- were needed in chilly Santa Monica this afternoon. In any event, enough about the free stuff... watch my interviews below (some in not-so-intentional Blair Witch style!)