Canadian producer-director Shawn Levy (Free Guy, Deadpool 3) will receive the inaugural Toronto International Film Festival Norman Jewison Award presented by The Budman Family, it was announced today by TIFF CEO Cameron Bailey. Named in honour of the legendary Canadian filmmaker, the Norman Jewison Career Achievement Award is presented by The Budman Family, and recognizes Canadians in the film industry who have made a global impact with their careers. The awards presentation will take place at the TIFF Tribute Awards gala fundraiser, presented by Bulgari on Sunday, September 10, at Fairmont Royal York Hotel.
The Montreal-born filmmaker, known for the blockbuster award-winning series Stranger Things and the hit franchise Night at the Museum, will be showcasing his latest work at the Festival ― All the Light We Cannot See, based on the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel ― which he directed and produced through his production company 21 Laps. Levy has been at the forefront of creating global sensations including Free Guy, The Adam Project, and the Academy Award–nominated thriller Arrival.
“We’re honoured to present this new Award, named after legendary Canadian filmmaker Norman Jewison, whose commitment to developing Canadian cinema and impact on the global stage is unmatched,” said Bailey. “With a multi-faceted career spanning over three decades, Shawn Levy has become one of the most versatile filmmakers and storytellers of his generation, and we’re thrilled for him to be the inaugural recipient of this Award.”
Levy joins the recently announced 2023 TIFF Tribute Award honorees Pedro Almodóvar, recipient of the Jeff Skoll Award in Impact Media presented by Participant, and Spike Lee, recipient of the TIFF Ebert Director Award. Past honorees include Michelle Yeoh, Brendan Fraser, Jessica Chastain, Roger Deakins, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Joaquin Phoenix, Taika Waititi, and Chloé Zhao.
All the Light We Cannot See is a Netflix Original series based on Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize–winning book of the same name, and follows the story of Marie-Laure (Aria Mia Loberti), a blind French girl, and her father, Daniel LeBlanc (Mark Ruffalo), who flee German-occupied Paris with a legendary diamond to keep it from falling into the hands of the Nazis. The first two episodes of the series will be presented as part of TIFF’s Primetime program, a showcase featuring compelling series from Canada and around the world.
The TIFF Tribute Awards gala, now in its fifth year, is TIFF’s largest annual fundraiser, having raised $1.3 million in 2022, and is presented by Bulgari, sharing their commitment to arts and culture along with TIFF. This year, the Tribute Awards gala will support the Viola Desmond Cinema campaign, which was launched through the Every Story Fund in 2022.