SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT MALTI SAHAI
The Toronto International Film Festival® has announced its award recipients for the 46th edition of the Festival, which concluded with screenings of Zhang Yimou's One Second at the Visa Screening Room in the Princess of Wales Theatre and Roy Thomson Hall on September 18.
"2021 brought an exceptional selection of films that excited Festival audiences around the world," said Joana Vicente and Cameron Bailey, TIFF Co-Heads. "Our lineup showcased beloved auteurs alongside fresh voices in filmmaking, including numerous women powerhouses. TIFF welcomed guest press, industry, international stars, and directors back to the city and into cinemas. The sweeping range in cinematic storytelling from around the world is a testament to the uniqueness of the films that are being made. We're so grateful and proud of this year's Festival."
Thanks to the hybrid nature of the Festival, TIFF's Industry platform welcomed close to 4,000 industry and press professionals from around the world, both digitally and in-person. TIFF remains a site of industry activity and a key marketplace for film title sales, hosting 105 market screenings and facilitating the sales of France, Silent Night, A Banquet, and Huda's Salon, as well as Industry Selects title The Pink Cloud. TIFF's Industry Conference presented 37 digital sessions for industry and press delegates from filmmakers to advocates and funders. The 'Dialogues' stream featured conversations with creators E. Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, Sterlin Harjo, Krysty Wilson-Cairns, and Rebeca Huntt; 'Visionaries' welcomed Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Sahraa Karimi, Greig Fraser, Nancy Utley, and Steve Gilula; 'Perspectives' explored narrative sovereignty with Indigenous industry leaders and hosted a discussion on dismantling toxic industry culture; and 'Connections' highlighted conversations on funding diverse films with ARRAY and talent to watch with Telefilm.
TIFF also welcomed 20 new Filmmaker Lab participants, and eight new Rising Stars, who participated in intimate development labs with programme governors and special guest speakers.
TIFF's Satellite Screenings wrapped Monday, September 13 in the evening.
TIFF's Film Circuit partners Bell and Cineplex worked with TIFF to bring screenings to audiences across Canada, in seven cities and six provinces.
Honouring the film industry's outstanding contributors and their achievements, and serving as TIFF's largest annual fundraiser, the TIFF Tribute Awards was broadcast this evening across Canada on CTV, and the CTV app and streamed internationally to the rest of the world by Variety for the second straight year.
The 2021 event raised funds for TIFF's diversity, equity, and inclusion fund, Every Story, and championed a safe, community-focused, and inspiring return to cinemas. During the one-hour broadcast, two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain at the Festival with The Eyes of Tammy Faye and The Forgiven, who will receive the TIFF Tribute Actor Award supported by the Tory Family; and Academy Award-nominated Benedict Cumberbatch who was also at TIFF with The Electrical Life of Louis Wain and The Power of the Dog, who will receive the TIFF Tribute Actor Award; Academy Award–nominated French Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, who will receive the TIFF Ebert Director Award and brought the epic and breathtaking Dune to TIFF on the big screen; award-winning documentary filmmaker, writer, singer, and activist Alanis Obomsawin, who will be honoured with the Jeff Skoll Award in Impact
Media supported by Participant Media, also celebrated with a retrospective and premiere of her new powerful short film Honour to Senator Murray Sinclair; cinematographer Ari Wegner, whose stunning work was featured in The Power of the Dog, who will receive the TIFF Variety Artisan Award; Cree/Métis Night Raiders filmmaker Danis Goulet who will receive the TIFF Emerging Talent Award, presented by L'Oréal Paris and supported by MGM; and six-time Grammy Award-winning, music legend Dionne Warwick whose documentary Dionne Warwick: Don't Make Me Over had a World Premiere at the Festival, will be honoured with the Special Tribute Award. Produced by Bell Media Studios, with etalk's Tyrone Edwards and Chloe Wilde returning as hosts, the third annual awards show opened with an introduction from Sigourney Weaver and special tributes were presented by Shamier Anderson, Kirsten Dunst, Rebecca Ferguson, Emma Ferreira, Gladys Knight, Phillip Lewitski, L'Oréal Paris brand ambassador Eva Longoria, David Oyelowo, Michael Showalter, and Kiefer Sutherland. Starting on Sunday, September 19, the TIFF Tribute Awards will be available to view on Crave.
New this year, the highly anticipated winners of the TIFF People's Choice Award and Platform Jury Prize were announced live during the awards broadcast, just moments ago. Academy Award–nominated actor Riz Ahmed, head of the jury for the 2021 Platform Prize, announced the prize winner for that competition, and the 2021 People's Choice Award winner was announced by TIFF Co-Heads Cameron Bailey and Joana Vicente.
Named after Jia Zhang-ke's trailblazing second feature, 'Platform' is the Toronto International Film Festival's competitive programme championing bold directorial visions. Now in its sixth year, 'Platform' is curated by TIFF Artistic Director and Co-Head Cameron Bailey. The Platform Prize Jury members for 2021 are Riz Ahmed (Jury President), Clio Barnard, Anthony Chen, Kazik Radwanski, and Valerie Complex.
The Platform jury provided this statement: "The jury was moved by a film that brings a fresh, intimate perspective to a coming-of-age story, marked by a subtle structure, delicate framing, and lush cinematography. For drawing us into a unique inner world too rarely seen on screen, the 2021 Platform Prize goes to Yuni, directed by Kamila Andini."
An honourable mention from the Platform Prize Jury goes to Mlungu Wam (Good Madam), director. Jenna Cato Bass.
PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD
For the 44th year, the People's Choice Awards distinguish the audience's top title at the Festival as voted by the viewing public. Audiences watching films at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Roy Thomson Hall, the Visa Screening Room at the Princess of Wales Theatre, Scotiabank Theatre, the Ontario Place Cinesphere IMAX Theatre, the Visa Skyline Drive-In, the RBC Lakeside Drive-In, the West Island Open Air Cinema, and at home via digital screenings on the digital TIFF Bell Lightbox platform voted online. All films in TIFF's Official Selection that screened both in-person and on digital TIFF Bell Lightbox were eligible.
The TIFF 2021 People's Choice Award winner is: Belfast, director Kenneth Branagh. The first runner-up is Scarborough; directors: Shasha Nakhai and Rich Williamson. The second runner-up is The Power of the Dog; director: Jane Campion.
The TIFF 2021 People's Choice Documentary Award winner is The Rescue; directors: E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin. The first runner-up is Dionne Warwick: Don't Make Me Over; directors: Dave Wooley and David Heilbroner. The second runner-up is Flee; director: Jonas Poher Rasmussen.
The TIFF 2021 People's Choice Midnight Madness Award winner is Titane; director: Julia Ducournau. The first runner-up is You Are Not My Mother; director: Kate Dolan. The second runner-up is DASHCAM; director Rob Savage.
SHAWN MENDES FOUNDATION CHANGEMAKER AWARD
Presented by the Shawn Mendes Foundation, the 2021 Changemaker Award is awarded to a Festival film that tackles issues of social change, and comes with a $10,000 cash prize. The winning film was selected by TIFF's Next Wave Committee, a group of young film lovers who recognize cinema's power to transform the world. The Shawn Mendes Foundation will also be making an annual contribution in support of TIFF Next Wave, helping TIFF deliver key initiatives to elevate young voices.