Thuso Mbedu receives award for best female performance

“The Underground Railroad” star Thuso Mbeduwalked away with the award for best female performance for a new scripted series at the 37th Film Independent Spirit Awards on Sunday. The South African actress beat Anjana Vasan, Jana Schmieding, Jasmine Cephas Jones and Deborah Ayorinde to take home the coveted award.

During her acceptance speech, she thanked the show’s director Barry Jenkins along with the Amazon Prime Video streaming platform.

“Oh, Snap. They told me a number of times to prepare something, and I really didn’t. But first and foremost, thank you to form independent for this recognition. Barry Jenkins, thank you for absolutely everything. I really, really, really appreciate you, Francine Maisler, because I met you before I met Barry.

“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for your guidance. Thank you to Amazon, to all the executive producers, to my team Beth, April, Laurie … My sister in South Africa.

“She would kill me if I didn’t say anything about her. I appreciate all the support. And every single person who was involved in ’The Underground Railroad’. Maggie Gyllenhaal’s “The Lost Daughter”, a drama about the challenges and taboos surrounding motherhood, was named the year’s best indie film at the Spirit Awards.

Gyllenhaal – until now primarily known as an actress in films such as “The Dark Knight” and “Secretary” – also won prizes for best screenplay and best director, for her debut effort in both fields.