Van Sant directed Milk, which stars Sean Penn as the assassinated gay supervisor of San Francisco and will be released through Focus Features on November 26.
In recognition of Van Sant's dedication in using film to explore lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, IFP has teamed up with the The Hetrick-Martin Institute, home of the Harvey Milk High School in New York, to donate 45 video cameras to the school.
IFP hopes to work with the producers of NewFest, The New York LGBT Film Festival, to create a series of training and mentoring sessions. Select works by youth members from The Hetrick-Martin Institute and students from Harvey Milk School will be invited to screen during the next edition of NewFest, which runs from June 4-14 2009.
As part of its tribute to Van Sant, IFP will also team with the Museum Of Modern Art to present a public screening of Milk at the Museum on December 3.
'Gus is that rare director who has achieved a steady balance between his independent roots and mainstream film-making, excelling at both while continuing to push the envelope with the same boundless creativity, curiosity, and passion on display in his earliest films,' IFP executive director Michelle Byrd said.