Joana Vicente and Cameron Bailey, Co-Heads of TIFF, today announced the TIFF Tribute Gala, an annual awards fundraiser to support TIFF’s year-round programmes and core mission to transform the way people see the world through film, and to celebrate the film industry’s outstanding contributors. The event takes place Monday, September 9 at the Fairmont Royal York, during the 44th Toronto International Film Festival. To recognize their leadership in creating a union between social impact and cinema, the TIFF Tribute Gala will introduce the new TIFF Impact Award. Participant Media will receive the inaugural award, which will be accepted by Founder and Chairman Jeff Skoll and CEO David Linde, marking an incredible 15 years of social action through storytelling. The TIFF Tribute Gala will also include the new Mary Pickford Award, honouring a female emerging talent in the industry. The inaugural award is given this year in celebration of United Artists’ 100th anniversary. The recipient of this award, as well as additional honourees for the TIFF Tribute Gala, will be announced in the coming weeks.
“Through our programming, we have had the privilege of celebrating new talents and showcasing works from renowned veterans in the industry over the past four decades. We wanted to build on the success of last year’s tribute gala to outgoing Director and CEO Piers Handling in the form of a new annual awards event that highlights some of the year’s best films, as well as longtime contributors to our industry,” said Vicente. “The TIFF Tribute Gala will recognize and celebrate the lifetime achievements of leading industry members, like the outstanding Jeff Skoll and David Linde; acting talent and directorial expertise; and new talent. It will also showcase a below-the-line artist and creator and their significant work.”
Founded by Jeff Skoll in 2004 based on his prescient vision of entertainment to inspire social change, Participant Media — celebrating its 15th anniversary this year — has expanded into a multi-platform content company that produces impact campaigns alongside its content designed to accelerate the reach and impact of solutions to the world’s most pressing issues. To date, Participant has produced more than 100 feature and documentary films that have collectively earned 73 Academy Award® nominations and 18 wins, including Best Picture for Green Book (2019) and Spotlight (2016), Best Foreign Language Film for ROMA (2019) and A Fantastic Woman (2018), and Best Documentaries CITIZENFOUR (2015) and An Inconvenient Truth (2007). Participant has partnered with many of the world’s most renowned filmmakers, including Steven Spielberg, Alfonso Cuarón, Ava DuVernay, Laura Poitras, George Clooney, Cary Fukunaga, Julia Reichert, Steve James, Stephen Gaghan, Steven Soderbergh, Jonathan Demme, Mimi Leder, Richard Linklater, Gus Van Sant, John Madden, Tom McCarthy, Alex Gibney, Errol Morris, Davis Guggenheim, Robert Kenner, Margaret Brown, and Joshua Oppenheimer.
In recognition of outstanding female talent, TIFF will present the Mary Pickford Award, named in honour of Mary Pickford, Co-Founder of United Artists, whose library is archived by MGM Studios, a leading entertainment company focused on the production and global distribution of film and television content across all platforms. The annual award will launch in conjunction with United Artists’ 100th anniversary this year, and will honour an emerging female talent who is making groundbreaking strides in the industry, as Pickford did. A Toronto native, Pickford was a pioneer of early cinema, forming United Artists studio in 1919 alongside Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and D.W. Griffith. Through her collaborations with talented filmmakers including Cecil B. DeMille, Allan Dwan, James Kirkwood, Marshall Neilan, Sidney Franklin, Maurice Tourneur, and Ernst Lubitsch, Pickford’s work has created a lasting impact in the motion-picture industry.
The 44th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 5–15, 2019.