Spike Lee and Pedro Almodóvar to be Honoured with TIFF Tribute Awards

The ceremony will take place on September 10 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel

Photo: Pedro Almodóvar by Pedro J Pacheco (right)

BY Emilie Richardson-DupuisPublished Aug 3, 2023

Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) organizers have announced that legendary filmmakers Pedro Almodóvar and Spike Lee will be honoured at this year's TIFF Tribute Awards event. 

Almodóvar, whose work includes The Skin I Live In, Volver, and most recently, the live-action short starring Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke, Strange Way of Life, will receive the Jeff Skoll Award in Impact Media for his leadership in bridging the gap between social impact and cinema. 

Lee, a cultural icon known for creating such classics as Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever and She's Gotta Have It, will be honoured with the TIFF Ebert Director Award, which recognizes directors who have exemplified greatness. 

"Pedro has been coming to TIFF for years, and each time is better than the time before," TIFF CEO Cameron Bailey said in a statement. "His artistic vision, bold storytelling and unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of cinema have had a profound impact. He challenges societal norms, champions diversity, and illuminates the human experience with sensitivity and grace. We applaud his contributions to cinema and celebrate his ability to inspire and provoke audiences worldwide."

Regarding Lee, "a foremost storyteller of our era," Bailey added, "Spike has inspired audiences and made a lasting impact on the art of filmmaking."

Past recipients of the TIFF Ebert Director Award include Martin Scorsese, Claire Denis, Ava DuVernay, Wim Wenders and the late Agnès Varda. In past years, Oscar winners Jessica Chastain, Roger Deakins, Brendan Fraser, Anthony Hopkins, Joaquin Phoenix, Taika Waititi, Michelle Yeoh and Chloé Zhao have also been honoured.

The fifth annual TIFF Tribute Awards will take place on September 10 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. It's TIFF's largest annual fundraiser, raising $1.3 million in 2022. This year's proceeds will be directed toward the Viola Desmond Cinema campaign.

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