British filmmaker Sam Mendes, who is known for films like ‘1917,’ ‘Skyfall’ and ‘Road to Perdition’ will be feted with the Ebert Director Award at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
The award has been named after the late film critic Roger Ebert, and recognises filmmakers who have achieved greatness in their profession and have a phenomenal body of work.
In the past, it was awarded to the likes of Martin Scorsese, Claire Denis, Ava DuVernay, Wim Wenders and Agnes Varda. The award is an evolution of the festival’s Roger Ebert Golden Thumb Award.
TIFF CEO Cameron Bailey announced about conferring the honour upon Sam Mendes on Tuesday (Pacific Standard Time), reports Variety. “From his first appearance at TIFF with ‘American Beauty’, director Sam Mendes brought his exacting and lyrical vision of cinema to Toronto,” Bailey said. “We are delighted to honour his unique voice and body of work with this year’s TIFF Ebert Director Award.”
The TIFF Tribute Awards will hold a gala fundraiser during this year’s Toronto International Film Festival on September 11.
According to Variety, Toronto will also see the Canadian premiere of Sam Mendes’ most recent film, ‘Empire of Light.’ Mendes has written, directed and produced the film.
Set in an English seaside town in the early 1980s, ‘Empire of Light’ is a story about a relationship and the power of cinema. The film stars Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward, Tom Brooke, Tanya Moodie, Hannah Onslow, Crystal Clarke, Toby Jones and Colin Firth. Renowned cinematographer Roger Deakins, a frequent Mendes collaborator, has shot the film.
Sam Mendes made his feature film debut at TIFF in 1999 with the world premiere of ‘American Beauty,’ which went on to win best picture and best director at the Oscars.