Pedro Almodóvar and Spike Lee will be feted at TIFF 2023.
Both auteurs were announced as the first Tribute Award recipients for this year’s festival, with the fifth annual fundraising gala taking place Sunday, September 10. TIFF CEO Cameron Bailey confirmed that Almodóvar will receive the Jeff Skoll Award in Impact Media presented by Participant, and Spike Lee will receive the TIFF Ebert Director Award.
The Tribute Awards are presented by Bulgari, with the celebration hosted by the Fairmont Royal York Hotel.
The Jeff Skoll Award in Impact Media recognizes leadership in creating a union between social impact and cinema, with Buffy Sainte-Marie, Alanis Obomsawin, and Mira Nair previously earning the award.
“It’s a true thrill to acknowledge Pedro Almodóvar as the distinguished recipient of the Jeff Skoll Impact Media Award for 2023,” Bailey said. “Pedro has been coming to TIFF for years and each time is better than the time before. His artistic vision, bold storytelling, and unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of cinema have had a profound impact on cinema. 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.”
The TIFF Ebert Director Award is named after film critic Roger Ebert and has been given to auteurs such as Martin Scorsese, Claire Denis, Ava DuVernay, Wim Wenders, and Agnès Varda. Sam Mendes received the title in 2022, with Denis Villeneuve and Chloé Zhao also recently honored.
“The TIFF Ebert Director Award recognizes filmmakers who have exemplified greatness in their career,” Bailey said. “A foremost storyteller of our era, Spike’s body of work from ‘She’s Gotta Have it,’ to ‘Do the Right Thing’ to ‘Mo’ Better Blues,’ to his most recent film at TIFF 2021, ‘American Utopia,’ Spike has inspired audiences and made a lasting impact on the art of filmmaking.”
The TIFF Tribute Awards marks the festival’s largest annual fundraiser. In 2022, the event raised $1.3 million. This year’s gala will support the Viola Desmond Cinema campaign, which was launched through the Every Story Fund in 2022. More Tribute Award honorees will be announced in the coming weeks.
This year’s TIFF will open with Hayao Miyazaki’s “The Boy and the Heron,” and recently announced a star-filled gala and special presentations slate that features new work from Michael Keaton, Anna Kendrick, Viggo Mortensen, and others, as well as a documentary slate that includes mainstays like Alex Gibney and Frederick Wiseman, its forward-looking Platform section, and its wild Midnight Madness and Discovery slates.
TIFF 2023 runs September 7 through 17, 2023.