Toronto International Film Fest 2020: Upcoming films and awards

Spike Lee's 'David Byrne's American Utopia' will be the opening night movie and the closing night presentation is from Mira Nair with her 'A Suitable Boy'.
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September 15, 2020, will witness a great event in this year's Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), but it certainly will not have the same fun and gaiety as earlier years. With all the movie theatres except a few drive-ins closed and likely to stay like that for some more months, TIFF 2020 is moving ahead with its simplest form of continuing the festival complying with the COVID-19 protocols.

This year's TIFF Tribute Actor Award goes to Kate Winslet, and that will be presented on that day, as announced by Cameron Bailey and Joana Vicente, the Co-heads of the Festival.

This is the second year since the TIFF started its Tributes Gala Awards, besides the recognition package given to the best movies screened. Unlike last year, it will be offered in a virtual form this time, complying with the prevailing rules drawn by the health officials of the Ontario Province.

TIFF has a core mission to transform the way people see the various parts of the world through films. It marks an annual fundraiser to support its year-round programme in honouring industry's outstanding contributors for their achievements.

Joana Vicente said, ''Kate Winslet's brilliant and compelling onscreen presence continues to captivate, entertain and inspire audiences and actors alike.'' She added, ''From her earliest work in Heavenly Creatures, Sense and Sensibility and Titanic to Revolutionary Road, The Reader, Mildred Pierce and Steve Jobs, to name a few, her onscreen presence is as powerful and courageous as the woman she chooses to portray. Kate's most recent performance in Francis Lee's Ammonite affirms her position as one of the best and most respected actresses of her generation and we are delighted to honour her extraordinary talents as this year's festival.''

Ammonite will be screened in this year's festival. Kate Winslet has a bunch of captivating and memorable roles to her credit. The awards and other recognitions stand proof to her acclaimed work to solidify her permanent place in Cinema history.

Stephen Daldry's 2008 movie, The Reader, had fetched her the first Academy Award followed by plenty like Golden Globe, SAG, BAFTA and Critics Choice Awards etc. The same year saw her in Sam Mendes's Revolutionary Road. That was again instrumental for her reteaming with Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic. She won the Golden Globe Award for her role in April Wheeler.

Merryl Streep, Taika Waititi, Mati Diop and Joaquin Phoenix were the recipients of the TIFF Tribute Awards, last year. The names of the other Tribute Award winners and the procedures of experiencing the ceremony virtually will be announced shortly. TIFF again reiterates its commitment to work in close coordination with the authorities like the City of Toronto, Province of Ontario and Public Health Department in the safe execution of the festival.

The following acclaimed filmmakers and actors will be the ambassadors of TIFF 2020. They are Martin Scorsese, Nicole Kidman, David Cronenberg, Anurag Kashyap, Natalie Portman, Priyanka Chopra, Alfonso Cuaron, Barry Jenkins, Riz Ahmed, Taika Waititi, Haifa Al-Mansour, Claire Denis, Atom Egoyan, Hirokazu Koreeda, Nadine Labaki, Viggo Mortensen, Rosamund Pike, Lulu Wang etc.

Spike Lee's David Byrne's American Utopia will be the opening night movie and the closing night presentation is from Mira Nair with her A Suitable Boy. The other attractions would be the directorial debuts of actor Regina King (One Night In Miami), Halle Berry (Bruised), Viggo Mortensen (Falling), and documentaries of Frederick Wiseman (City Hall), Werner Herzog (Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds) Gianfranco Rosi (Notturno).

Suresh Nellikode has written fiction for Malayalam periodicals like Mathrubhumi and Kalakaumudi. He's also been a contributor for The New Indian Express and Khaleej Times. He currently lives in Canada.

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