Film Independent senior director Sean McManus confirmed the 27th annual event will take place in a tent on the beach on Feb 25 2012.

The nominees will be announced on Nov 29. As previously announced the date of the awards ceremony means the Spirits will remain in the traditional slot on the day before the Academy Awards. The 2011 edition took place in Santa Monica on the Friday before the Oscars and the 2010 instalment was staged in downwtown Los Angeles.

“The Film Independent Spirit Awards honours filmmakers who create original stories and celebrates artists with fresh, authentic voices,” McManus said. “With the continued support of our long-standing broadcaster, IFC, the Spirit Award nominees and their work will reach a national audience.”

Awards are handed out in the following categories: Best Feature, Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay, Best Director, Best Screenplay, John Cassavetes Award (given to the best feature made for a budget under $500,000), Best Male Lead, Best Female Lead, Best Supporting Male, Best Supporting Female, Best Cinematography, Best International Film, Best Documentary and the Robert Altman Award.

The Filmmaker Grants include the Someone To Watch Award, Truer Than Fiction Award and Piaget Producers Award. 

Film Independent members and all past Spirit Award winners and nominees will be eligible to vote for this year’s winners.