Lukasz Zal to Receive Variety Artisan Award at Toronto Film Festival

Today, TIFF announced additional honourees who will be receiving a TIFF Tribute Award at this year’s Festival. Recipients include award-winning Brazilian filmmaker Carolina Markowicz who will be honoured with the TIFF Emerging Talent Award presented by MGM. This award is in the spirit of Torontonian Mary Pickford, the groundbreaking actor, producer, and co-founder of United Artists, whose impact continues today. Two-time Academy Award–nominated Polish cinematographer Łukasz Žal will receive the TIFF Variety Artisan Award, which recognizes a distinguished creative who has excelled at their craft and made an outstanding contribution to cinema and entertainment. Both Markowicz and Žal will be honoured on Sept. 10 at the fifth annual TIFF Tribute Awards gala fundraiser at Fairmont Royal York Hotel, presented by Bulgari.

On Sept. 15, TIFF will be honouring Andy Lau, the multi-hyphenate Hong Kong artist with a Special Tribute Award at the World Premiere Gala presentation of Ning Hao’s “The Movie Emperor,” in which he stars. This marks Lau’s first visit since he last attended the Festival in 2001. He will also be participating in the “In Conversation With…” (ICW) series on Sept. 16. Lau is one of Hong Kong’s most popular entertainers, with a career spanning more than four decades and over 160 films in his filmography. He has received recognition from critics for his work in both television and film, with memorable roles in Ann Hui’s “Boat People” (1982), Wong Kar Wai’s “As Tears Go By” (1988), Andrew Lau and Alan Mak’s “Infernal Affairs” trilogy, and reteaming with Hui in the hit drama “A Simple Life” (2011). Previous recipients of the Special Tribute Award include David Foster (2019) and Dionne Warwick (2021).

“We are thrilled to honour the remarkable talents and contributions of Andy Lau, Carolina Markowicz, and Łukasz Žal,” said Cameron Bailey, CEO, TIFF. “An industry icon and multi-faceted artist with an impressive filmography, Lau has paved the way for a generation of performers. Emerging Talent honoree Markowicz has an exciting future ahead as one of the most fearless directors of her generation, and Žal’s cinematography continues to evoke emotion in ‘The Zone of Interest.’”

Confirming herself as one of Brazil’s clearest voices in current cinema, writer-director Carolina Markowicz returns to the Festival with the World Premiere of her second feature, “Toll,” on Sept. 9. Following the acclaim of her 2022 dark and twisted comedy “Charcoal,” “Toll” is a film about a Brazilian mother who falls in with a gang of thieves in an attempt to keep her family afloat. Previous recipients of the TIFF Emerging Talent Award presented by MGM include Sally El Hosaini in 2022; Danis Goulet in 2021; Tracey Deer in 2020; and Mati Diop in 2019.

Variety is honored to be giving Łukasz Žal our annual Artisan Award at the Toronto International Film Festival,” said Jazz Tangcay, Senior Artisans Editor at Variety. “We have been fans of his work from “Ida” and “Cold War” and with his most recent film, “The Zone of Interest,” Łukasz continues to raise the bar for inventive and avant-garde cinematography.”

Žal, best known for his stunning cinematography in Pavel Pawlikowski’s “Cold War” and “Ida,” returns to the Festival with the Jonathan Glazer–directed “The Zone of Interest.” The film, adapted from a 2014 novel of the same title by Martin Amis, was awarded the Grand Prix at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Entirely shot in Poland, Žal’s lens has a chilling effect — detached from the horrors of the prison camp, the camera captures the banality of the Höss family living their everyday life amongst the ashes in spitting distance from Auschwitz, contrasted by unforgettable reminders of resistance at night, and shot in monochrome by thermal-imaging cameras. Previous recipients of the TIFF Variety Artisan Award include Hildur Guðnadóttir in 2022; Ari Wegner in 2021; Terence Blanchard in 2020; and Roger Deakins in 2019.

The Tribute Awards gala 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.

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