Anderson did not attend the awards, presented at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City, because he is prepping his next production.
Emayatzy Corinealdi won the breakthrough performance award for her role as a young woman whose husband is in prison in "Middle of Nowhere," and Benh Zeitlin earned breakthrough director honors for "Beasts of the Southern Wild." Zeitlin also won the inaugural Bingham Ray Memorial Award, named after the indie-film executive who died in January at the age of 57.
Other awards given out:
Best documentary: "How to Survive a Plague"
The Best Film Not Playing At a Theater Near You: "An Oversimplification of Her Beauty"
Gotham Audience Award, which is voted on by filmgoers online: "Artifact"
Calvin Klein "Live the Dream" grant: Stacie Passon for her upcoming film "Concussion"
The awards are sponored by the Independent Filmmaker Project, the oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers in the U.S.
Last year, there was a tie for best film: "Beginners," for which Christopher Plummer won an Oscar for supporting actor, and Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life," which went on to earn three Oscar nominations including best picture.
Film Independent announces its nominees for the Spirit Awards Tuesday morning.