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Benedict Cumberbatch Announced As Recipient Of The TIFF Tribute Actor Award

The Toronto International Film Festival confirms that Benedict Cumberbatch will receive the 2021 TIFF Tribute Actor Award.



Doctor Strange

Joana Vicente and Cameron Bailey, Co-Heads of TIFF, are pleased to announce Academy Award–nominated actor Benedict Cumberbatch as the recipient of this year’s TIFF Tribute Actor Award. The 2021 TIFF Tribute Awards will take place during the 46th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival.

In addition to being an Academy Award nominee, Cumberbatch won an Emmy Award for playing the role of Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock and a BAFTA for his role in Patrick Melrose. He will next be seen in Netflix’s The Power of the Dog, directed by Jane Campion, and Amazon Studios’ The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, directed by Will Sharpe — both of which will have their Canadian premieres at TIFF. 

“Benedict has portrayed some of the most memorable characters screened at TIFF, whether it was Alan Turing in The Imitation Game or Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate; he also has an uncanny ability to take on interesting, complex roles and make them his own in films such as 12 Years a Slave and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy — all of which screened at the Festival,” said, Vicente, Executive Director and Co-Head, TIFF. “He has had a lasting relationship with TIFF, including two TIFF People’s Choice Award-winning films, and his remarkable range and onscreen presence is sure to captivate audiences at this year’s Festival with his upcoming films The Power of the Dog and The Electrical Life of Louis Wain.”

Previous recipients of the TIFF Tribute Actor Award include Meryl Streep, Joaquin Phoenix, Kate Winslet, and Sir Anthony Hopkins.

Cumberbatch joins a list of recently announced TIFF honourees, including his fellow actor-prize recipient, two-time Academy Award® nominee Jessica Chastain; award-winning documentary filmmaker, writer, singer, and activist Alanis Obomsawin, who will be honoured with the Jeff Skoll Award in Impact Media supported by Participant Media; and Academy Award®–nominated French Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, who will receive the TIFF Ebert Director Award at this year’s Awards broadcast. Additional TIFF Tribute Award recipients will be announced in the coming weeks. The 2021 TIFF Tribute Awards is co-produced by Bell Media Studios and, for the second straight year, will be broadcast nationally by CTV and streamed internationally by Variety.

The TIFF Tribute Awards honour the film industry’s outstanding contributors and their achievements, recognizing leading industry members, acting talent, directorial expertise, new talent, and a below-the-line artist and creator. The Awards also serve as TIFF’s largest annual fundraiser to support TIFF’s year-round programmes and core mission to transform the way people see the world through film. This year’s event will raise funds for TIFF’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiative and champion a safe, community-focused and inspiring return to cinemas. In 2020 the TIFF Tribute Awards celebrated the remarkable talents and contributions of Mira Nair, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Kate Winslet, Chloé Zhao, Terence Blanchard, and Tracey Deer, some of whom went on to win awards on the international stage — such as Zhao (Nomadland), Deer (Beans), and Hopkins (The Father). Meryl Streep, Taika Waititi, Mati Diop, Joaquin Phoenix, and Roger Deakins were celebrated during the Awards’ inaugural event in 2019. 

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