At the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards ceremony on March 1 in Santa Monica, California, award-winning Chinese actress Gong Li, invited for the first time, paired with Keanu Reeves to present the Best Director Award to Steve McQueen for his movie 12 Years A Slave.
The Independent Spirit Awards is dedicated to independent filmmakers and actors. Winning leading actors this year at the relaxed pre-Oscars event were Cate Blanchett and Matthew McConaughey.
In an interview after the ceremony, Gong Li expressed her joy at being able to attend the event, noting that the awards meant a lot, especially to directors and producers. She also said that there were many good actors and actresses in China, but the awards going to them were quite few.
She hopes she can make more award-winning movies in the future. Movies under her belt include Ju Dou, the first Chinese film to be nominated for an academy award, Memoirs of a Geisha, and Curse of the Golden Flower.