Film Independent will inaugurate the Robert Altman Award for the best
ensemble cast and director at the 2008 Spirit Awards to commemorate
the late director.

Meanwhile next weekend's Spirit Awards [24] on Santa Monica Beach will
pay tribute to Altman with the presentation of a posthumous honorary
Spirit Award.

Collaborators including Elliott Gould, Robert Downey Jr, Christopher
Guest, Sally Kellerman, Andie MacDowell, and John C Reilly will appear
on stage to acknowledge the honour.

'Robert Altman's films represent the uniqueness of vision that Film
Independent champions,' Film Independent executive director Dawn
Hudson said.

'For his commitment to challenging the status quo and changing the
landscape of independent film, we honour him with this new award.'