Melvin Van Peebles will receive a Gotham Award Tribute at IFP's 18th Annual Gotham Awards on December 2 in New York.

Van Peebles stamped his authority on 1970s US cinema, championing the independent scene and playing an influential role in the emerging blaxploitation wave of the early 1970s, notably directing, producing and starring in Sweet Sweetback's Baadassss Song. His latest directorial effort, Confessionsofa Ex-Doofus Itchyfooted Mutha, premiered at Tribeca last April.

'Melvin was independent before there even was such a thing as independent film,' IFP executive director Michelle Byrd said. 'For IFP's 30th anniversary, it was important to us to honour one of the godfathers of independent film.'

As part of the Gotham Tribute, The Museum Of Modern Art will salute the film-maker on December 1 with screenings of his first feature Story Of A Three-Day Pass and Confessionsofa Ex-Doofus Itchyfooted Mutha.

The 6th MoMA International Festival Of Film Preservation opens will open on October 24 with a screening of a restored print of Sweet Sweetback's Baadassss Song.

Nominees for the 18th Annual Gotham Awards will be announced on October 20 and the winners will be feted at a gala ceremony on December 2.