Toronto International Film Festival announces additional 2023 TIFF Tribute Award recipients

Recipients of TIFF 2023 Tribute Awards. (From L-R Andy Lau, Carolina Markowicz, and Łukasz Žal). Image credit: TIFF 2023

Toronto/CMEDIA: Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has announce additional honourees who will be receiving a TIFF Tribute Award at this year’s Festival, TIFF media release said.

Included in the recipients are award-winning Brazilian filmmaker Carolina Markowicz who will be honoured with the TIFF Emerging Talent Award presented by MGM Studios.

TIFF Variety Artisan Award will be bestowed on two-time Academy Award–nominated Polish cinematographer Łukasz Žal to recognize his distinguished creativity and having excelled at their craft and made an outstanding contribution to cinema and entertainment.

Both Markowicz and Žal will be honoured on September 10 at the fifth annual TIFF Tribute Awards gala fundraiser at Fairmont Royal York Hotel, presented by Bulgari.

Andy Lau, the multi-hyphenate Hong Kong artist will be honored on On Sept 15 with a Special Tribute Award at the World Premiere Gala presentation of Ning Hao’s The Movie Emperor, in which he stars.

Marking his first visit since he last attended the Festival in 2001, Lau will also be participating in the In Conversation With… (ICW) series on September 16.

One of Hong Kong’s most popular entertainers, with a career spanning more than four decades and over 160 films in his filmography, Lau 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 in the media release. “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.”

Writer-director Carolina Markowicz, confirming herself as one of Brazil’s clearest voices in current cinema, returns to the Festival with the World Premiere of her second feature, Toll, on September 9.

Toll is a film about a Brazilian mother who, in an attempt to keep her family afloat, falls in with a gang of thieves. Previous recipients of the TIFF Emerging Talent Award presented by MGM Studios include Sally El Hosaini in 2022; Danis Goulet in 2021; Tracey Deer in 2020; and Mati Diop in 2019.

Best known for his stunning cinematography in Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War and IdaŽal returns to the Festival with the Jonathan Glazer–directed The Zone of Interest.

Adapted from a 2014 novel of the same title by Martin Amis, the film was awarded the Grand Prix at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Entirely shot in Poland, Žal’s lens detached from the horrors of the prison camp, his camera captures the banality of the Höss family living their everyday life outside the walls of Auschwitz, in contrast to unforgettable reminders of resistance at night, and shot in monochrome by thermal-imaging cameras.

Variety is honoured 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.”

TIFF’s largest annual fundraiser, having raised $1.3 million in 2022, the Tribute Awards gala 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.

Andy Lau: A leading figure in Asian cinema for the past four decades, the star of Ning Hao’s The Movie Emperor, Andy Lau like many of his contemporaries started out in the early 1980s as an actor for Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB), Hong Kong’s premier television network. His first feature film role in Ann Hui’s Boat People (1982), a central work of the Hong Kong New Wave. In the late 1980s, fully transitioned to working in film, Lau enthralled audiences and critics alike in Wong Kar Wai’s As Tears Go By (1988) and Days of Being Wild (1990). After launching his own production company in the early 1990s, Lau starred in over 160 feature films, including Johnnie To’s relentless police thriller Running Out of Time (1999), Andrew Lau and Alan Mak’s twisty and unpredictable Infernal Affairs (2002) and Infernal Affairs III (2003), Zhang Yimou’s martial arts extravaganza House of Flying Daggers (2004), Tsui Hark’s delirious fantasy whodunit Detective Dee: The Mystery of the Phantom Flame (2010), Hui’s grounded drama A Simple Life (2011), and Frant Gwo’s mega-action blockbuster The Wandering Earth 2 (2023). As a natural entertainer and multi-faceted artist, Lau has won three Hong Kong Film Awards for Best Actor, received the Asian Filmmaker of the Year Award at the 2006 Busan International Film Festival, and holds the Guinness World Record for “Most Awards Won by a Cantopop Male Artist.”

During in-depth conversation about his storied career, Lau joins us as an actor, producer, and celebrated Cantopop singer-songwriter, as well as his new film The Movie Emperor, which is a Gala Presentation at this year’s Festival.

Carolina Markowicz: Having written and directed six award-winning short films that have been selected for more than 300 festivals, Carolina Markowicz’s 2018 short film, The Orphan, premiered in Cannes Directors’ Fortnight and won the Queer Palm. Since 2021, Carolina has been a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Her debut feature, Charcoal, premiered at TIFF in 2022. Toll, her second feature, will premiere at TIFF 2023.

Łukasz Žal: A cinematographer based out of Poland, Łukasz Žal most recently shot Charlie Kaufman’s critically acclaimed I’m Thinking of Ending Things, as well as Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War, which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography and was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film in 2019. Besides being nominated for an Academy Award in 2016 for Pawlikowski’s Ida, Zal was also one of two cinematographers of the 2017 Oscar-nominated animated feature Loving Vincent (dir. DK Welchman, Hugo Welchman).

He is also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, European Film Academy, and Polish Society of Cinematographers.