Kate McKinnon, Kumail Nanjiani to host Film Independent Spirit Awards
IFC announced this year’s host for the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards this week. Film Independent President Josh Welsh confirmed that Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live, Ghostbusters, Sisters) and Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley, The Big Sick, My Name is Doris) will co-host this year’s event together, which will air later next month.
The nonprofit, which also produces the LA Film Festival and Film Independent at LACMA, will hold the 31st annual awards ceremony as a daytime luncheon in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica on Saturday, February 27 with the premiere broadcast airing live exclusively on IFC at 2:00 pm PT / 5:00 pm ET.
“We are ridiculously excited to have Kate McKinnon and Kumail Nanjiani hosting the Spirit Awards this year,” said Josh Welsh, Film Independent’s President. “They are two of the smartest, funniest human beings on the planet and I can’t wait to see what creative mayhem they bring to the show in February,” added Welsh.
“Kate and Kumail embody the wildly smart – yet slightly twisted – comic sensibility that IFC is known for,” said IFC President Jennifer Caserta. “I anticipate that their fresh and unexpected take on hosting the Spirit Awards will set a new bar and have everyone talking.”
The multiple Emmy nominee Kate McKinnon currently stars on the 41st season of Saturday Night Live, having joined the cast in April 2012. McKinnon received 2014 and 2015 Emmy nominations for ‘Outstanding Supporting Actress’ in a Comedy Series for her work on SNL. She has entertained viewers with her critically acclaimed impression of Hillary Rodham Clinton, as well as other notable impressions including Justin Bieber and Ellen DeGeneres. She is also known for her standout “Weekend Update” turns as artist Cecilia Giminez and Russian meteor witness Olga Povlatsky. McKinnon can be been seen in the upcoming films Ghostbusters and Masterminds. In addition, she has lent her voice to the upcoming feature film Angry Birds and animated series including The Simpsons and Family Guy.
Kumail Nanjiani is an actor, writer and comedian currently starring as ‘Dinesh’ on the critically acclaimed HBO comedy series Silicon Valley, which won the TV Critics Choice Award for ‘Best Comedy Series’ last year and has received several Emmy and Golden Globes nominations. Soon he will be playing the lead role in The Big Sick, a film he co-wrote with his wife Emily V. Gordon, produced by Judd Apatow and Barry Mendel and directed by Michael Showalter. Nanjiani’s many memorable comedic roles include the films The Five-Year Engagement (also produced by Apatow), Sex Tape and Hot Tub Time Machine 2. He will next be seen in the upcoming films Hello, My Name Is Doris, Central Intelligence, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates and Fist Fight. Nanjiani is also a writer, executive producer and co-host of Comedy Central’s The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail. He’s also recurring on IFC’s Portlandia, and will have a guest role on the upcoming return of The X-Files on Fox.
In addition to celebrating the broad spectrum of independent filmmaking, the Spirit Awards is also the primary fundraiser for Film Independent’s year-round programs, which cultivate the careers of emerging filmmakers and promote diversity in the industry.