The Independent Filmmaker Project has announced that the first true film awards show of the season, the Gotham Awards, will be held this year on Dec. 2. Not only that but a couple of new categories have been added to the mix.

The show has typically been a lean one with just one acting honor, for breakthrough performances. This year, however, the IFP has tacked on Best Actor and Best Actress prizes, which should blow wind into the sails of this independent hopeful or that. Bruce Dern? Michael B. Jordan? Julie Delpy? Greta Gerwig? They'll all be looking for that added boost against the season's heavyweights.

Meanwhile, the Breakthrough Director Award, given for the best first feature, has been renamed in honor of Bingham Ray, the late distribution executive. The award for Ensemble Performance will henceforth be presented on occasion as a special award, while the award for the best film without distribution (Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You) is being discontinued as an award. To that I simply ask, why? Why get rid of a nice honor for struggling films that actually diversifies your awards show in the glut of same?

The release makes sure it's clear, however, that "the best undistributed films of the year will continue to be showcased through IFP’s partnership with The Museum of Modern Art to present the ninth annual Best Film Not Playing At a Theatre Near You screening series."

Tributes for the 23rd annual ceremony will be announced in the coming weeks. Last year, David O. Russell, Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard and Jeff Skoll were feted by the organization.

Nominees for the 2013 Gotham Awards will be announced on Oct. 24. The awards will be held once again at Cipriani Wall Street.