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Film Independent Honors Altman

Variety announced today that Film Independent, the group behind the Independent Spirit Awards, will introduce a new award at next year's ceremony. The Robert Altman Award will honor the ensemble cast and director from one film from the previous year.

Altman, who died late last year, was known for his ensemble casts, beginning with 1970's MASH through to his last film in 2006, A Prairie Home Companion. He was nominated for an Oscar for his work on MASH, garnering five other Best Director noms over his career. Altman never won, though; this month, the Academy will acknowledge him with an Honorary Award for his contributions to filmmaking.

The night before the Oscars (February 24), IFC will air the Independent Spirit Awards from California. Altman is nominated for his directions on A Prairie Home Companion, alongside Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris (Litttle Miss Sunshine), Ryan Fleck (Half Nelson), Karen Moncrieff (The Dead Girl) and Steven Soderbergh (Bubble). The Spirit Awards are decided by Film Independent members (you can be one, too!), so time will tell if Altman's recent passing will play into their voting decisions.

If, like me, your cinematic awareness of Altman doesn't go far beyond Gosford Park, Film Independent has an interview with the filmmaker. He's a man of few words, it would seem; but then, sometimes that's all it takes to get the message across.

Posted by on February 15, 2007 2:47 PM
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