Mira Nair wins TIFF Tribute award, says important to tell our own stories

Mira Nair wins TIFF Tribute award
By: PTI | New Delhi |

September 16, 2020 1:41:37 pm

Mira Nair wins TIFF Tribute award
Mira Nair was one in all six recipients of the TIFF Tribute Awards. (Photo: Twitter/TIFF_NET)

Mira Nair, two episodes of whose six-part tv sequence A Suitable Boy will shut the 45th Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday, obtained the Jeff Skoll Award for Impact Media on Monday night at a remotely performed TIFF Tribute Awards ceremony.

The presentation of the award to Nair was initiated by Tabu, star of A Suitable Boy in addition to the director’s critically acclaimed 2006 drama The Namesake.

The actor stated, “When Mira Nair was a kid, she asked herself, can art change the world? She has proven it can.”

And in doing so, the filmmaker has, Tabu added, set “the highest standards of cinema”.

Nair was one in all six recipients of the TIFF Tribute Awards alongside octogenarian actor Sir Anthony Hopkins, Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet, Chinese-American filmmaker Chloe Zhao (whose Venice Golden Lion-winning Nomadland is without doubt one of the highlights of TIFF 2020), indigenous Canadian director Tracey Deer and musician Terence Blanchard.

In her acceptance speech, Mira Nair stated, “When I work, it feels like fun, so I really want to thank the Toronto International Film Festival for giving me an award to have my fun and to be part of the extraordinary privilege of being able to make cinema.”

Nair, who divides her time between properties in New York City, Kampala and New Delhi, added: “I have often said if we don’t tell our own stories no one else will. But it doesn’t stop there. In telling these stories, I have also discovered the power of listening, of the possibility of making bridges, the possibility of translation, of being porous.”

“The award tells me,” Nair stated, “that my art and my films have actually made the change. That is such a beautiful feeling.”

The filmmaker signed off by saying, “I accept the award in honour of all the stories that held the idiosyncratic, the unseen, the unspoken, the unsaid, and the baffling. Here’s to them and they happen everywhere in the world.”

The TIFF Tribute Awards is an annual fundraiser held as a part of the pageant that’s thought to be “one of the most important launching pads for cinema” and a bellwether for the Oscars. The awards honour the movie trade’s excellent contributors and their achievements.

Sir Anthony Hopkins’s TIFF Tribute Actor Award was offered by Olivia Colman, his on-screen daughter within the movie The Father, which is a part of the pageant programme.

Accepting his award, the 82-year-old actor stated: “I am astonished that I am still in work at my age.”

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