Six-time Grammy Award–winning music icon and activist Dionne Warwick will be honoured at the TIFF Tribute Awards with the Special Tribute Award, and that Night Raiders director and Saskatchewan-born Cree/Métis filmmaker Danis Goulet will receive this year’s TIFF Emerging Talent Award, presented by L’Oréal Paris and supported by MGM. The 2021 TIFF Tribute Awards air on Saturday, September 18 at 7 pm ET / 8 pm AT on CTV, CTV.ca and the CTV app to Canadian audiences, on the final day of the 46th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival. The show will be streamed to global audiences by Variety. This year, TIFF’s People’s Choice Award and the Platform Jury Prize will be announced live during the broadcast event.
Produced by Bell Media Studios, with ETALK’s Tyrone Edwards and Chloe Wilde returning as hosts, the one-hour TIFF Tribute Awards broadcast will feature this year’s celebration of TIFF Tribute honourees and yet to be announced presenters. This is the latest in a series of Awards announcements, with more exciting news to follow in the coming days.
The TIFF Emerging Talent Award, selected by TIFF and MGM, is presented in the spirit of Torontonian Mary Pickford, the groundbreaking actor, producer, and co-founder of United Artists whose impact continues today. Previous recipients of the Emerging Talent Award include Tracey Deer and Mati Diop. Special Tribute Awards are presented to artists who have exemplified greatness in their career and a level of excellence on the world stage. David Foster was recognized with the Special Tribute Award during the Awards’ inaugural event in 2019.
Dave Wooley and David Heilbroner's documentary Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over will have its World Premiere in the TIFF Docs programme, and Goulet’s Night Raiders will screen as a Gala Presentation for its North American premiere during the Festival. Don’t Make Me Over is an inspiring documentary portrait that chronicles the iconic singer’s fascinating six-decade career in both music and Black and LGBTQ activism. Night Raiders is set in a post-apocalyptic future, where the state removes children from their families and trains them to be soldiers at a boarding school. The film will be released in theatres across Canada this fall.
“We are excited to be announcing a music industry icon, alongside an exceptional emerging talent,” said Joana Vicente, Executive Director and Co-Head, TIFF. “A legend in her own right, Dionne Warwick has been charting firsts her entire career, a six-decade hitmaker with boundless talent, and a tireless activist for LGBTQ+ rights, and Danis Goulet is a visionary filmmaker, using film as a powerful vehicle for Indigenous storytelling and social change.”
“We are thrilled to celebrate Dionne Warwick’s extraordinary career and contributions with the Special Tribute Award and feature her inspiring and incredible story in the TIFF World Premiere of her documentary Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over,” added Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director and Co-Head, TIFF. “As an alumna of TIFF, we’re proud of Danis Goulet’s work and her film Night Raiders that she wrote and directed, staying true to her authentic voice and her passion for storytelling. She has an exciting future ahead and is paving a path for a new generation of filmmakers.”
“Danis Goulet’s impressive feature directorial debut, Night Raiders, brings an exciting and thought-provoking point of view to the sci-fi genre,” said Michael De Luca, Chairman of MGM’s Motion Picture Group. “MGM is committed to championing new voices with unique perspectives, and we are thrilled to be able to celebrate such a talented up-and-coming filmmaker with this honour.”
For the first time, the highly anticipated winners of the TIFF People’s Choice Award and Platform Jury Prize will be announced live during the Tribute Awards broadcast on CTV. Now in its 44th year, the People’s Choice Award serves as a bellwether for the upcoming awards season, and has traditionally been announced by TIFF at noon on the closing day of the Festival. The People’s Choice Award for best feature and the Platform Prize winner will be announced at the end of the Tribute Awards show. All other audience- and jury-selected award winners will be announced via press release and social media at 8pm ET, following the broadcast. Last year, Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland was voted as the People’s Choice Award winner; in 2019, Pietro Marcello’s Martin Eden, an adaptation of the Jack London novel, was named prize winner of the Platform competition.
“For the second year, CTV is thrilled to partner with TIFF as the exclusive broadcaster of the 2021 TIFF Tribute Awards,” said Justin Stockman, Vice President, Content Development and Programming, Bell Media. “We’re building on last year’s broadcast by adding live elements and even more star power. We can’t wait for all Canadians to have a chance to experience this world-class event and the magic of TIFF from home.”
Warwick and Goulet join a list of recently announced TIFF honourees, including TIFF Actor Award recipient Benedict Cumberbatch, an Academy Award nominee, and his fellow actor-prize recipient, two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain; 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; and Academy Award–nominated French Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, who will receive the TIFF Ebert Director Award at this year’s Awards.
The TIFF Tribute 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. The Awards also serve as TIFF’s largest annual fundraiser to support TIFF’s year-round programmes and core mission to transform the way people see the world through film. This year’s event will raise funds for TIFF’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiative and champion a safe, community-focused and inspiring return to cinemas. In 2020 the TIFF Tribute Awards celebrated the remarkable talents and contributions of Mira Nair, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Kate Winslet, Chloé Zhao, Terence Blanchard, and Tracey Deer, some of whom went on to win awards on the international stage — such as Zhao (Nomadland), Deer (Beans), and Hopkins (The Father). Meryl Streep, Taika Waititi, Mati Diop, Joaquin Phoenix, and Roger Deakins were celebrated during the Awards’ inaugural event in 2019.