TIFF 2019: Festival to honour Meryl Streep, Joaquin Phoenix, Mati Diop and more at inaugural Tribute Gala

TIFF have announced that three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep (Kramer vs. Kramer, Sophie’s Choice, The Iron Lady) and three-time Academy Award–nominee Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator, The Master, Walk the Line) will both be honoured with TIFF Tribute Actor Awards at this year’s inaugural Tribute Gala on Monday 9th September during the 44th Toronto International Film Festival.

Meryl Streep stars with Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas in Steven Soderbergh’s The Laundromat, which will have its North American Premiere at TIFF. Phoenix portrays the title character in Todd Phillips’ Joker, a standalone origin story that will have its North American Premiere at TIFF.

The Oscar–nominated Taika Waititi (Two Cars, One Night) will receive the TIFF Ebert Director Award, his new film Jojo Rabbit will have it’s world premiere at TIFF. The Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins (Bladerunner 2049) will be honoured with the Variety Artisan Award, “recognising a distinguished filmmaker who has excelled at their craft and made an outstanding contribution to cinema.” Deakins was cinematographer on The Goldfinch which will have its world premiere at TIFF.

Additionally, Participant Media will receive the TIFF Impact Award at the Gala and director Mati Diop will be the inaugural recipient of the Mary Pickford Award supported by MGM. The award, named in honour of Toronto native Mary Pickford, recognises an emerging female talent who is making groundbreaking strides in the industry. Pickford was the pioneering actor, producer, and co-founder of United Artists.

“We’re thrilled to honour the incredible Mati Diop as our inaugural Mary Pickford Award recipient, as United Artists marks its centennial year,” said Vicente, Executive Director and Co-Head of TIFF. “She is a vibrant and important new voice within the industry and one to watch closely.”

“Mati Diop’s film Atlantics is a profound and unsettling work of art,” said Bailey, Artistic Director and Co-Head of TIFF. “We know this is just the start for such an original and authentic voice, and we’re delighted to celebrate her success at this year’s TIFF Tribute Gala.”

“Like Mary Pickford, Mati Diop has demonstrated her trial-blazing influence both in front of and behind the camera, making her the ideal inaugural awardee. We look forward to partnering with TIFF to honor Pickford’s legacy and United Artists in celebration of their 100th year,” said Jonathan Glickman, President of MGM Studios’ Motion Picture Group.

She has directed the short films Atlantiques, Big in Vietnam, and the documentary A Thousand Suns – all of which played at TIFF – as well as Snow Canon and Liberian Boy. A Thousand Suns was presented by Claire Denis in 2013 as part of TIFF’s year-round Cinematheque programme. In 2019, Diop became the first Black female director to screen a film in competition at the Cannes Film Festival with her debut feature Atlantics, which was based on the short Atlantiques and went on to win the prestigious Grand Prix at the festival. The film, written by Diop and Olivier Demangel and will have its North American Premiere at TIFF, before being released by Netflix later this year.

The 44th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 5–15, 2019.

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