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Coronavirus prevents 'The Farewell' star from accepting Spirit Award

Chinese-American dramedy “The Farewell” had a big day at the Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday. Unfortunately, award-winning actress Zhao Shuzhen (who won the supporting actress trophy over nominees including Jennifer Lopez and Octavia Spencer) couldn’t be there to celebrate.

According to “Farewell” director Lulu Wang, Chinese actress Shuzhen, who plays Awkwafina‘s grandmother called “Nai Nai” in the movie, is “stuck in China because of the coronavirus, sadly.” With travel bans in place, Shuzhen couldn’t collect her supporting actress Spirit Award in person.

Instead, Wang had to accept the award on behalf of her 85-year-old cast member. And then, the director accepted another honor: The Spirit Award for best feature.

Zhao Shuzhen, middle, poses with director Lulu Wang and actress Awkwafina at the Golden Globes. Shuzhen was unable to attend the Spirit Awards.

Wang, whose movie is semi-autobiographical, used her second time at the microphone to send a message about female filmmakers, and how they don’t need to be encouraged to tell stories. They just need opportunities to do so.

“There are lots of women making films and who want to make films and who are in film schools,” she said. “What women need is just the job. Give them the freakin’ job. Give them the money.”

Wang thanked her own grandmother, her Nai Nai, and apologized to her parents “for putting all of our baggage out there.”

“I hope it was worth it,” she said.

The day before the Oscars, stars arrive at the much-breezier Spirit Awards to celebrate the best in independent film. Click through to see who showed up, starting with

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