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D.C. Film Critics Shine a 'Spotlight' on Award Winners.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- When the dust settled and the votes were counted, two very different films led the way as the Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA) announced their honorees for 2015 this morning. Dazzling dystopian adventure "Mad Max: Fury Road" was the big winner, taking home three awards, including Best Director (George Miller). The organization's choice for Best Film, however, went to a picture a little more realistic but no less furious, the hard-hitting investigative journalist drama "Spotlight."

"Spotlight," about The Boston Globe's discovery of a cover-up involving child molestation within the local Catholic Archdiocese, also won for Best Ensemble. The film's top-notch cast includes Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery and Stanley Tucci.

"Mad Max: Fury Road," the long-awaited and much-acclaimed fourth installment in Miller's post-apocalyptic action franchise, saw Tom Hardy taking over the iconic title role previously inhabited by Mel Gibson. In addition to Best Director, the film also earned accolades for Best Production Design and Best Editing.

WAFCA awarded Best Actor to Leonardo DiCaprio for his grueling, transformative work in epic survival western "The Revenant," as an injured 1820s fur trapper left for dead and seeking retribution across the perilous American wilderness. Best Actress went to Saoirse Ronan for "Brooklyn," about a young Irish woman's experiences immigrating to the U.S. in the 1950s. Supporting nods were awarded to Idris Elba, as the tough leader of a West African child army in "Beasts of No Nation," and Alicia Vikander, as a highly advanced android in provocative sci-fi thriller "Ex Machina."

The many facets of human emotions portrayed in Pixar's universally praised "Inside Out" were difficult to resist for voters, who awarded the film Best Animated Feature. Its writing team of Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley (from an original story by Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen) also won the Best Original Screenplay prize, an unprecedented win for the writing of an animated film. "Amy," about the whirlwind rise and untimely fall of late musician Amy Winehouse, won for Best Documentary. Hungarian Holocaust drama "Son of Saul" took top honors for Best Foreign Language Film.

Best Adapted Screenplay went to Emma Donoghue, the author and screenwriter of emotionally stirring mother-and-son abduction drama "Room." For his heartbreaking turn in the film, 9-year-old Jacob Tremblay won Best Youth Performance. Emmanuel Lubezki's masterful lensing of "The Revenant" earned the Best Cinematography award. The film was shot under challenging, sometimes brutally cold weather conditions in Canada, Argentina and the U.S. using all natural lighting. Composer Johann Johannsson was feted with Best Original Score for his starkly haunting work in "Sicario."

This year's awards are dedicated to the memory of late film critic and WAFCA member Joe Barber.

The Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association comprises 52 DC-VA-MD-based film critics from television, radio, print and the Internet. Voting was conducted from December 4-6, 2015.


Best Film: Spotlight

Best Director: George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)

Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

Best Actress: Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)

Best Supporting Actor: Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation)

Best Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina)

Best Acting Ensemble: Spotlight

Best Youth Performance: Jacob Tremblay (Room)

Best Adapted Screenplay: Emma Donoghue (Room)

Best Original Screenplay: Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley (Original Story by Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen) (Inside Out)

Best Animated Feature: Inside Out

Best Documentary: Amy

Best Foreign Language Film: Son of Saul

Best Production Design: Production Designer: Colin Gibson, Set Decorator: Lisa Thompson (Mad Max: Fury Road)

Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMC (The Revenant)

Best Editing: Margaret Sixel (Mad Max: Fury Road)

Best Original Score: Johann Johannsson (Sicario)

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Date:Dec 7, 2015
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