Meryl Streep will receive the inaugural TIFF Tribute Actor Award at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. The Oscar and Emmy-award winner will be honored on September 9, 2019, at the TIFF event, Tribute Gala, revealed festival co-heads Joana Vicente and Cameron Bailey on Friday. The festival will also see the North American premiere of Streep’s latest film ‘The Laundromat,’ directed by Steven Soderbergh. Based on the scandalous Panama papers leak, the thriller features Streep in the lead role alongside Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas.
“Meryl Streep is undoubtedly one of the most talented and versatile actors of her generation,” Joana Vicente is quoted by THR. “Her tremendous contribution to cinema, television, and the stage spans five decades; from her early roles in ’The Deer Hunter,’ ‘Kramer vs. Kramer,’ and ’Sophie’s Choice’ to later films including ‘The Devil Wears Prada,’ ‘The Iron Lady,’ and ‘The Post,’ she has portrayed characters that are as compelling as they are timeless. TIFF could not be more thrilled to honor such a skilled and exemplary artist.”
Though TIFF announces audience awards for the best films in the lineup every year, this is the first time it gives out such a tribute to an actor along with an event like “TIFF Tribute Gala.” According to a statement from TIFF, the gala event will be an annual fundraising initiative to support the year-round program schedule. The festival will also give out the first TIFF Impact Award to Participant Media. Jeff Skoll, who is the chairman of the production house, will receive the honor alongside Participant’s CEO, David Linde.
Apart from the two major awards, the Tribute Gala will also honor an “emerging female talent” with Mary Pickford Award. The inaugural award is given this year as part of the 100th-anniversary celebrations of United Artists. The prize is also a tribute to “America’s Sweetheart,” the legendary Mary Pickford who was the co-founder of United Artists Studios along with Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and D. W. Griffith. A native of Toronto, Pickford was a trailblazer who kick-started her career as a child artists in 1909. The gala will give out another additional actor award to a recipient who will be announced later.
The latest TIFF award will be the latest addition to Streep’s huge collection of accolades that includes three Oscars, eight Golden Globes, an AFI Life Achievement Award, two BAFTA Awards, three Emmy Awards, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards, among others! Streep’s latest credits include the Emmy-winning HBO series ‘Big Little Lies,’ which features her in a leading role. The drama series ended its second season in July. Her upcoming projects are Greta Gerwig’s ‘Little Women,’ Martin Scorsese’s untitled flick and Netflix’s ‘The Prom,’ an all-star adaptation of the Broadway hit of the same name. (Cover Image Courtesy: HBO, ‘Big Little Lies’)