Thesps to chair Spirits

Bassett, Del Toro to head IFP/West kudos

Thesps Angela Bassett and Benicio Del Toro have been tapped honorary co-chairs for the 16th annual IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards, to be held March 24 in Santa Monica.

Joan Allen, Don Cheadle, Illeana Douglas, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Holly Hunter, Famke Janssen, Christine Lahti, Jared Leto, Bill Paxton, Amanda Peet, Tim Roth, Geoffrey Rush, Chloe Sevigny, Hilary Swank and Forest Whitaker have been confirmed as presenters. Director John Waters has climbed on board as the event’s master of ceremonies.

The Spirit Awards, which annually fete distinguished voices of the independent film community, will be tented on the beach. For the fifth consecutive year, the kudocast will air live on the Independent Film Channel, beginning at 2 p.m. PST. It will rebroadcast on IFC’s sister network Bravo at 7 p.m. PST.

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