The Insane Reason Why You Can't Miss Today's Independent Spirit Awards

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73903PCN_Spiritawards132Photo: Gaz Shirley/PacificCoastNews.
There are plenty of reasons to watch this weekend's other movie-awards show. But, as we hope you already know, IFC's Independent Spirit Awards is a truly worthy view. As always, this year's ceremony will highlight the best and brightest films, directors, actors, and screenwriters either on the rise or working outside of the mainstream Hollywood bubble. Plus, with drinks on the tables and a casual, daytime atmosphere, it's sort of a combo of the Golden Globes, a before-they-were-famous talent-spotting session, and a brunch party. Yep, fun.

On top of having the hilarious comedian-slash-actor Patton Oswalt taking the hosting reins, there's a twist on the telecast making this year's outing a tad different. The traditional Independent Spirit Award statuettes have been replaced with, get this, live birds. Yeah, LIVE BIRDS. We know. And, yes, the winners get to keep them. Whatever you think of that, it should be...interesting.

Don't get off to the animal-rights races just yet. We talked to Oswalt on the phone and he says it's all quite on the up and up. "Each individual bird is given its own suite that faces the beach and its own personal limo driver, so they're being treated very, very well." In all seriousness, the organizers tell us they've been very careful with their prize avians. As for Patton, he's more or less prepared for working with the feathered statuettes despite his, "lifelong paralyzing fear of birds." He says, "I feel pretty ready; I've been going down to the park a lot, chasing them around, yelling at them." Good luck, man. And, good luck to all the winners who come home with a new pet.

The Independent Spirit Awards air on IFC tonight at 10 p.m. EST.