‘Unfinished Spaces’ Tops Film Independent Grants

Documentary about architecture in Castro’s Cuba wins $40,000 grant at Indie Spirits Nominees Brunch

Last Updated: January 14, 2012 @ 2:18 PM

"Unfinished Spaces" won the Jameson FIND Your Audience Award from Film Independent on Saturday, receiving a $40,000 grant to help expand the film's reach.

"We're going to use this to start an outreach program with schools and museums," Benjamin Murray, director of the documentary about an architecturally significant group of art schools in Castro's Cuba, told TheWrap after receiving the award.

Unfinished Spaces"Instead of this being the end of the movie's story, it's going to be the beginning."

The award was one of four sponsored grants given out at the Film Independent Spirit Awards Grants and Nominees Brunch, a low-key brunch and mini-awards ceremony held at the BOA Steakhouse on the Sunset Strip.

Other winners included Sophia Lin, the producer of "Take Shelter"; Heather Courtney, director of the documentary "Where Soldiers Come From"; and Mark Jackson, director of the indie film "Without."

The grants are in their 19th year, and have helped 50 filmmakers over that time.

They used to be handed out as part of the Spirit Awards ceremony, but were moved to the nominees brunch last year.

Guests at the brunch included Elizabeth Olsen, Shailene Woodley, John C. Reilly, Corey Stoll, Penelope Ann Miller, Janet McTeer and directors Michel Hazanavicius and Mike Mills.

The winners:

Jameson FIND Your Audience Award ($40,000):
Benjamin Murray and Alyssa Nahmias, Unfinished Spaces 

Piaget Producers Award ($25,000)
Sophia Lin, "Take Shelter"

Nokia Truer Than Fiction Award ($25,000):
Heather Courtney, "Where Soldiers Come From"

Audi Someone to Watch Award ($20,000):
Mark Jackson, "Without"