Joana Vicente and Cameron Bailey, Co-Heads of TIFF, today announced that three-time Academy Award–nominated actor Joaquin Phoenix will be honoured with one of two TIFF Tribute Actor Awards at this year’s TIFF Tribute Gala awards event. Taking place on Monday, September 9 at Fairmont Royal York, during the 44th Toronto International Film Festival, the Gala is an annual 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.
With a wide-ranging career spanning over 35 years, Phoenix has starred in such films as The Master, Inherent Vice, Walk the Line, Gladiator, To Die For, and Her. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards for his roles as Commodus in Gladiator, Freddie Quell in The Master and Johnny Cash in Walk the Line, for which he won a Golden Globe. This fall, Phoenix portrays the title character in Todd Phillips’ Joker, a standalone origin story that will have its North American Premiere at TIFF.
“Displaying both raw instinct and consummate technical skill, Joaquin Phoenix is the complete actor, and one of the finest in contemporary cinema,” said Bailey. “Over three decades, he has brought a piercing truth to each groundbreaking role. TIFF is thrilled to be celebrating an artist of his calibre with this inaugural award. We can’t wait for Festival audiences to experience his electric turn in Joker.”
“We’re thrilled that the extraordinarily talented Joaquin Phoenix will be honoured at the TIFF Tribute Gala this September,” said Vicente. “His outstanding contribution to cinema acts as a testament to TIFF’s core mission to transform the way people see the world through film.”
Director Todd Phillips’ Joker centrs on the iconic arch-nemesis and is an original, fictional story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck, who is indelibly portrayed by Phoenix, is of a man struggling to find his way in Gotham’s fractured society.
TIFF previously announced that Meryl Streep will receive the other TIFF Tribute Actor Award, sponsored by RBC. Taika Waititi will receive the TIFF Ebert Director Award, and Participant Media will receive the TIFF Impact Award, accepted by Founder and Chairman Jeff Skoll and CEO David Linde. In addition, there will be a special tribute to multi-hyphenate musician David Foster. The Mary Pickford Award, presented by MGM and honouring a female emerging talent in the industry in celebration of United Artists’ 100th anniversary, will be given to a recipient to be announced shortly.
The 44th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 5–15, 2019.