“I am so pleased to present Sam Mendes with the TIFF Ebert Director’s Award,” said Mrs. Ebert. “My husband admired all of the director’s films, awarding four stars to not only ‘American Beauty’ but ‘Revolutionary Road’ and ‘Skyfall.’ He is undoubtedly a worthy recipient of this annual honor. Roger was also a great friend of TIFF , and I know he would be proud to have an award in his name associated with this world-renowned festival.”
Cameron Bailey, Executive Director of TIFF, said: “From his first appearance at TIFF with ‘American Beauty,’ director Sam Mendes brought his demanding and lyrical vision of cinema to Toronto. We are delighted to honor his unique voice and body of work with this year’s TIFF Ebert Director Award.” Mendes made his feature film debut at the festival in 1999 with the world premiere of “American beauty,” a TIFF People’s Choice Award winner, for which he was honored with an Oscar in the Best Director category.
The TIFF Tribute Awards honor the film industry’s outstanding contributors and their achievements, recognizing leading industry members, acting talent, directorial excellence, emerging talent and an below-the-line artist and creator. The awards event also serves as TIFF’s largest annual fundraiser to support TIFF’s Every Story Fund, which promotes diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in film and TIFF’s core mission of transforming the way people see the world through film.
Bailey also announced that TIFF will present the Canadian premiere of Mendes’ latest work, “Empire of Light,” which he wrote, directed and produced. Set in an English seaside town in the early 1980s, Searchlight Pictures’ “Empire of Light” is a film about human connection and the power of cinema. Actor Olivia Colman, Michael Ward, Tom BrookeTanya Moodie, Hannah Onslow, Crystal Clarkewith Toby Jones and Colin FirthMendes also teams up with an award-winning cinematographer Roger Deakinswhich was a 2019 TIFF Tribute Award recipient.
Other award recipients at the 2022 TIFF Tribute Awards Gala will include Michelle Yeohstar of Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” which will receive the inaugural TIFF Share Her Journey Groundbreaker Award; Brendan Fraser, star of Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale” and the ensemble cast of Michael Grandage’s “My Policeman,” each of whom will receive the TIFF Tribute Award for Performance; Oscar-winning composer Hildur Guðnadóttirwho scored Sarah Polley’s “Women Talking” and will receive TIFF Variety Artisan Award; and award-winning Welsh-Egyptian filmmaker Sally El Hosaini, whose latest film is “The Swimmers” and will receive the TIFF Emerging Talent Award.