(Toronto) Amid talk of the double strike in Hollywood, three Oscar winners gathered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) Tribute Awards ceremony on Sunday to celebrate cinema and receive accolades for their own contribution to the world of cinema.
Actress Patricia Arquette and directors Spike Lee and Pedro Almodovar were the main attractions at the annual fundraising gala held as part of the Toronto International Film Festival. Proceeds from the evening will be used to fund TIFF’s various film initiatives.
For Arquette, showing support was essential, especially at a time of great uncertainty that made her feel uneasy about the film industry.
“Where’s the next sinkhole of quicksand,” she asked after listing some of the seismic technological shifts and megamergers that have put Hollywood under pressure in recent years.
Ms. Arquette received the “Share Her Journey Groundbreaker Award” for her decades-long screen career, winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Boyhood.
She is present at the film festival with her first feature film Gonzo Girl. Ms. Arquette indicated that she had a waiver from the actors’ union to participate in the festival, specifying that the film’s producers agreed to respect the terms of the agreement ultimately reached with the union.
“Film festivals have been celebrating cinema for so long,” she said of TIFF’s significance on the red carpet outside the Fairmont Royal York Hotel.
“The (festival) programmers are the first to see […] these little gems that were made on shoestring budgets and end up winning Oscars. »
Ms. Arquette used her time in Toronto to support the strikes. On Saturday, she joined dozens of actors and screenwriters outside the Canadian headquarters of Amazon and Apple, both of which operate online streaming services and are among the companies in dispute with unions.
Directors Lee and Almodovar decided to avoid any questions about the strike on the red carpet tributes. They posed for photos before walking past journalists without talking about their awards.
Some onlookers were wowed by Mr. Lee’s gold high-top sneakers with black lettering on the sides of the sole reading: BlacKkKlansman, the 2019 film that won him the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Mr. Lee received the award for the “Ebert Director Award,” which celebrates his influence in the film industry, most notably with his groundbreaking 1989 film Do the Right Thing.
Mr. Almodovar received the Jeff Skoll Award in the Impact Media category, which recognizes his achievements in making cinema with a social impact. He directed the Oscar-winning All About My Mother and presented his new short film Strange Way of Life at this year’s festival.
Several other stars with films at TIFF showed up at the event, including Willem Dafoe who stars in Ms. Arquette’s film. He leisurely walked the rug pausing only to offer his characteristic raised eyebrow.
Ethan Hawke and his wife hosted Canadian actress Devery Jacobs, whose queer film Backspot is one of the local releases worth watching. And Viggo Mortensen rushed to take pictures following rave reviews for his film The Dead Don’t Hurt.
Other TIFF award winners of the evening included Montreal-based Free Guy director Shawn Levy, who received the “Norman Jewison Career Achievement” award.
“It’s humbling and really rewarding,” he said. It means that the work I put into the world connects and adds up to something. It’s every storyteller’s dream.”
Fear the Walking Dead actor Colman Domingo and Phantom Thread actress Vicky Krieps both received this year’s acting awards.
Proceeds raised from the evening support the Viola Desmond Cinema campaign to rename the main theater at TIFF headquarters in honor of the civil rights pioneer.