The Film Independent Spirit Awards (abbreviated "Spirit Awards" and originally known as the FINDIE or Friends of Independents Awards), founded in 1984, are awards dedicated to independent filmmakers. Winners were typically presented with acrylic glass pyramids containing suspended shoestrings representing the paltry budgets of independent films. Since 2006, winners have received a trophy depicting a bird with its wings spread sitting atop of a pole with the shoestrings from the previous design wrapped around the pole.
In 1986, the event was renamed the Independent Spirit Awards. Now called the Film Independent Spirit Awards, the show is produced by Film Independent, a non-profit arts organization that also produces the Los Angeles Film Festival and whose mission is to champion creative independence in visual storytelling and support a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent Members vote to determine the winners of the Spirit Awards. 
The awards show is held inside a tent in a parking lot at the beach in Santa Monica, California, usually on the day before the Academy Awards (since 1999; originally the Saturday before). The show is broadcast live on the IFC network, as well as Hollywood Suite in Canada and A&E Latin America.
The 32nd Independent Spirit Awards, produced by Film Independent, a nonprofit arts organization, was hosted by Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, and broadcast live on IFC on Saturday, February 25, 2017 at 2:00 pm PT. Online streaming service Sundance Now live-streamed the Spirit Awards concurrently with the telecast, with an on-demand version available on Sundance Now.
The Independent Features Project/West was founded by Gregory Nava and Anna Thomas.
In 1984 the FINDIE Awards (Friends of Independents) were conceived by Independent Features Project/West board member Jeanne Lucas and Independent Features Project/West President Anne Kimmel and director/writer Sam O'Brien was an event producer. The awards are voted on by a nominating committee.
In 1985, Peter Coyote and Jamie Lee Curtis present winners with a Plexiglas pyramid designed by Carol Bosselman, which contain a suspended shoestring, printed with sprocket holes, representing the shoestring budgets of independent films. The Reel Gold Award, also designed by Carol Bosselman, was given to Steve Wachtel for allowing Independent Features Project/West continuing free use of his screening room. It was associated with Filmex. In 1986, Carol Bosselman designed and sculpted the Independent Spirit Award statue that is still given out today, using a lost wax bronze casting method.
Independent Features Project/West became Film Independent
Dawn Hudson was director of the "Independent Feature Project (I.F.P.)/West" in 1995.
Barbara Boyle was Independent Features Project/West president 1994-99.
Independent Feature Project became Independent Filmmaker Project
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provides alternative start date as 1986, not 1984
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