Photo of Piers Handling by George Pimentel. WireImage Getty for TIFF
(January 6, 2015 – Toronto, ON) The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television has announced the creation of a new award and its first recipient. To mark the 40th anniversary since the founding of what became the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) the first ever Legacy Award will be given “for unyielding dedication in bringing international acclaim to Canadian talent in film, television or digital media.”
In making the announcement, Helga Stephenson, CEO of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, said, “TIFF put Canada on the world stage. It brought Canadian cinema into the international spotlight. It established Toronto as a key date on the festival circuit for players around the globe. The Academy salutes TIFF for its resolute commitment to Canadian cinema.”
In what some might consider a bizarre twist, the presentation will not take place in Toronto but a stone`s throw from Hollywood. The Academy Legacy Award, which is part of the Canadian Screen Awards, will be presented at something called Canada Stars in Awards Season, a red carpet event at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills on February 19th. This event is designed to celebrate the excellence of Canada`s talent in the film and television industry and is being co-hosted by the Academy, Telefilm Canada and the Consulate General of Canada in Los Angeles.
“TIFF`s commitment to showcasing Canadian cinema, to both Canadians and the world, has played an important role in promoting homegrown talent and success stories,” said Carolle Brabant, Telefilm Canada Executive Director. “TIFF is most deserving of this newly minted Academy Legacy Award, and the Canada Stars in Awards Season event in Los Angeles is a most fitting event to spotlight the contribution of our talent in front of and behind the camera,” she added. Consul General James Villeneuve will also attend the event.
A justifiably proud Piers Handling (pictured), Director and CEO, TIFF, said, “We are so pleased to receive this inaugural award from the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. TIFF`s mandate is to champion Canadian cinema at home and abroad and to inspire Canadian talent to become tomorrow`s leaders in the industry. We’re thrilled to be recognized for our efforts.”