Director joins Penelope Cruz, Gus Van Sant

Melvin Van Peebles will be among the honorees at this year’s Gotham Awards, joining the previously announced Gus Van Sant and Penelope Cruz.

Van Peebles, who made 1971′s “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadassss Song,” has worked in film, theater, music and prose and is the composer-librettist of the recently revived “Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death.”

MoMA will present a salute to Van Peebles on Dec. 1, including screenings of his debut feature “Story of a Three-Day Pass,” and his latest pic, “Confessionsofa Ex-Doofus-ItchyFooted Mutha.” In addition, MoMA’s Intl. Festival of Film Preservation will open with a screening of the museum’s newly restored print of “Sweetback” on Oct. 24.

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