Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron has received the Spirit of Independence award at the Los Angeles Film Festival.
Theron was Oscar-nominated earlier this year for North Country
The prize, given to George Clooney last year, was set up in 2005 to "recognise an individual for his or her commitment to artistic independence in film".
"What we love about her is she's made interesting choices," Dawn Hudson of Film Independent, the non-profit body behind the annual festival.
Theron won an Academy Award for playing a serial killer in 2003 film Monster.
Her next role is as a heroin-addicted single mother in The Ice at the Bottom of the World, to be directed by British film-maker Sir Alan Parker.
"I think the biggest misconception about independent film-making is that if you do those movies you'll always be thought of as that kind of actor," Theron said.
"It's not true. If anything, I hope to have that kind of career, where you can go back and forth and do different things."
Presented by Virginia Madsen and West Wing star Jimmy Smits, Wednesday's ceremony also recognised young directors Steve Collins and Amy Berg.
Each received Target Filmmaker Awards, worth $50,000 (£27,273) - Collins for Gretchen, a drama about a troubled 17-year-old, and Berg for Deliver Us From Evil, a documentary about a paedophile priest.