French director and actress Mati Diop will receive The Toronto Film Festival’s inaugural Mary Pickford Award “which recognizes an emerging female talent who is making groundbreaking strides in the industry.”
Pickford was the pioneering actor, producer, and co-founder of United Artists, and the award is being launched in conjunction with the label’s centennial this year. The prize, supported by MGM, will be bestowed at the festival’s first Tribute Gala, which is being held to support the festival’s year-round movie programs.
Diop’s movie Atlantics made history at Cannes when she became the first black female director to screen a film in competition at the festival. The movie went on to win the Grand Prix. The multi-hyphenate has previously starred in movies including 35 Shots Of Rum and Simon Killer. ICM signed Diop after Cannes. She remains co-repped by Paris-based Film Talents.
“Mati Diop’s film Atlantics is a profound and unsettling work of art,” Cameron Bailey, artistic director and co-head of TIFF, said in a statement. “We know this is just the start for such an original and authentic voice, and we’re delighted to celebrate her success at this year’s TIFF Tribute Gala.”
TIFF also announced today on-stage discussions featuring Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Antonio Banderas, Allison Janney, and Kerry Washington. The festival will take place Sept. 5-15.