TIFF's fundraising gala will be offered in digital form for the 2020 festival.

By Joey Nolfi
July 16, 2020 at 11:23 AM EDT

The Toronto International Film Festival might be rapidly evolving its annual presentation amid the coronavirus pandemic, but its commitment to recognizing cinema excellence remains intact.

TIFF announced Thursday that Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet will receive this year's TIFF Tribute Actor Award, one year after the festival launched its TIFF Tribute Awards gala and fundraiser for the organization's year-round programming.

This year's ceremony will be held virtually amid the COVID-19 outbreak, though the festival itself has expressed intentions to continue with various live events with special guests for its 45th edition. Still, the city of Toronto recently announced it had canceled all public festivals through Sept. 30.

“Kate’s brilliant and compelling onscreen presence continues to captivate, entertain, and inspire audiences and actors alike,” said Joana Vicente, TIFF's executive director, said in a press statement. “From her earliest work in Heavenly Creatures, Sense and Sensibility, and Titanic, to Revolutionary Road, The Reader, Mildred Pierce, and Steve Jobs, to name a few, her onscreen presence is as powerful and courageous as the women she chooses to portray. Kate’s most recent performance as Mary in Francis Lee’s Ammonite affirms her position as one of the best and most respected actresses of her generation, and we are delighted to honor her extraordinary talents at this year’s festival.”

TIFF's 2019 Tribute Gala honored artists like Meryl Streep, Joaquin Phoenix, Mati Diop, and Taika Waititi, while the festival's People's Choice Awards vaulted Waititi's Jojo Rabbit into the Oscar race by claiming top honors.

A press release indicates TIFF "continues to work closely with the Province of Ontario, the City of Toronto, and public health officials on the safe execution of the festival" this year. Other similar events — like Cannes and the Telluride Film Festival — have recently nixed plans to move forward with 2020 presentations.

The 2020 TIFF Tribute Awards will be handed out digitally on Sept. 15.

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