Toronto to Honor Anthony Hopkins, Chloe Zhao, and Mira Nair

By Pickle  August 18, 2020

The Awards honour the film industry’s outstanding contributors and their achievements, recognizing leading industry members, acting talent, directorial expertise, new talent, and a below-the-line artist and creator

TIFF and Bell Media unveiled that television audiences can tune in to the 2020 TIFF Tribute Awards, to be broadcast on Tuesday, September 15 during the 45th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival. Produced by Bell Media Studios, the first-ever one-hour broadcast will feature special messages from the honourees. The broadcast will be streamed to a global audience by Variety.

The TIFF Tribute Awards ceremony is an annual fundraiser to support both TIFF’s year-round programming and the organization’s core mission to transform the way people see the world through film. The Awards honour the film industry’s outstanding contributors and their achievements, recognizing leading industry members, acting talent, directorial expertise, new talent, and a below-the-line artist and creator.

“In what has been a challenging year for our global filmmaking community, we’re delighted to partner with Bell Media to unite cinemagoers across Canada, and around the world, to share in our love of film and celebrate the industry’s leading talent,” said Joana Vicente, Executive Director and Co-Head, TIFF.

Featuring incredible career retrospectives along with appearances by extraordinary talent, we’re thrilled to be working with the TIFF team to create the inaugural broadcast of the 2020 TIFF Tribute Awards for viewers in Canada and around the world,” said Randy Lennox, President, Bell Media.

In making the announcement, TIFF revealed that Academy Award-winning actor Sir Anthony Hopkins will receive a TIFF Tribute Actor Award; director Chloé Zhao will receive the TIFF Ebert Director Award; and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Mira Nair will be honoured with the Jeff Skoll Award in Impact Media. TIFF previously announced Academy Award-winning actress Kate Winslet will receive a TIFF Tribute Actor Award.

Sir Anthony Hopkins

Vicente said Hopkins’ onscreen presence continues to captivate, entertain, and inspire audiences and actors alike: “Sir Anthony’s brilliant and compelling performance in Florian Zeller’s The Father affirms his position as a true acting legend.” With a career spanning over 60 years, Hopkins has starred in films including The Bounty, Howards End, Hitchcock, and the Thor series. He won an Academy Award for his role as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, and was nominated for four other Academy Awards for his roles in The Remains of the Day, Nixon, Amistad, and The Two Popes. In addition, he has won three BAFTAs and two Emmys, has been nominated for seven Golden Globe awards, and was honoured with the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2006. Hopkins stars alongside Olivia Colman in Zeller’s The Father, about a man struggling with aging, which will screen at TIFF and be released by Sony Pictures Classics on November 20, 2020.

Chloé Zhao

Vicente said Zhao’s upcoming film Nomadland reminds us, particularly right now, that cinema has the power to connect us all no matter how far apart we might feel: “Chloé’s work consistently exemplifies her signature flair for authentic, humane, and emotionally intimate storytelling.”

Zhao was born in Beijing, China. She was raised there and also in Brighton, England. After moving to the US, she studied political Science at Mount Holyoke College and film production at NYU. Songs My Brothers Taught Me, her debut feature film as a writer, director, and producer, premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and screened in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the Cannes Film Festival, receiving a nomination for the Caméra d’Or Award for best first feature. Her sophomore feature, The Rider, an impressionistic drama about a South Dakota cowboy, premiered at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight in 2017 and won the Art Cinema Award. The film went on to receive critical acclaim, with Zhao nominated for Best Director at the INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS and won Best Feature at the IFP Gotham Awards. Zhao’s upcoming film Nomadland, which explores the vast landscape of the American West, stars Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Linda May, and Charlene Swankie. The film will screen at TIFF and will be released by Searchlight Pictures this fall. Zhao’s other upcoming feature is The Eternals from Marvel Studios.

Mira Nair

Vicente said Nair’s brilliant adaptation of A Suitable Boy acts as a testament to her extraordinary talent for authentic storytelling. “Mira’s passion for creating impact through film and storytelling, coupled with her masterful cinematic style, extends far beyond the screen; and resonates through her deep commitment for talent development in the US, East Africa, and India.”

Nair is an Academy Award- and BAFTA-nominated filmmaker who has directed numerous films, including Mississippi Masala, the Venice Golden Lion-winning Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake, and Queen of Katwe. Her first film, Salaam Bombay!, won the Caméra d’Or at Cannes in 1988, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and won the BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language. She was awarded the Laura Ziskin Lifetime Achievement Award at the Athena Film Festival, a Tribute at the IFP Gotham Awards, and a Muse Award from NYWIFT. Nair’s production company, Mirabai Films, specializes in creating films about the world, for the world. In 1998, Nair used the profits from Salaam Bombay! to create Salaam Baalak Trust, which works with street children in India, and in 2005, she established Maisha Film Lab in Kampala, Uganda, a non-profit training initiative for emerging East African filmmakers. In 2012, Nair was awarded the Padma Bhushan – India’s second-highest civilian honour – by the president of India. Nair’s six-part miniseries A Suitable Boy will screen at TIFF.

Last year the inaugural TIFF Tribute Gala celebrated the remarkable talents and contributions of Meryl Streep, Taika Waititi, Mati Diop, and Joaquin Phoenix, among others.

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