Jessica Chastain will receive this year’s TIFF Tribute Actor Award, TIFF co-heads Joana Vicente and Cameron Bailey announced on Thursday.
The 2021 TIFF Tribute Awards will take place during the 46th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival, from Sept. 9-18.
“Jessica has brought to life such strong and inspiring roles for women, from the films that have screened at TIFF such as ‘The Debt,’ ‘Take Shelter,’ ‘The Martian,’ ‘Crimson Peak’ and ‘Molly’s Game,’ to the upcoming World Premiere of ‘The Eyes of Tammy Faye’ at the festival,” Vicente said. “She is one of the most respected actors of her generation. Her recent portrayal of Tammy Faye is a testament to her exceptional onscreen presence and talent.”
Previous recipients of the TIFF Tribute Actor Award include Meryl Streep, Joaquin Phoenix, Kate Winslet and Sir Anthony Hopkins. TIFF also recently announced that activist Alanis Obomsawin and filmmaker Denis Villeneuve would receive Tribute Awards. Additional award recipients will be announced in the coming weeks.
The awards honor the film industry’s contributors and their achievements, and also serve as the festival’s largest annual fundraiser to support its year-round programs. This year, the event will raise funds for TIFF’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and will support a safe return to cinemas. Bell Media Studios will co-produce the event, which will be broadcast nationally by CTV.
“The Eyes of Tammy Faye” will tell the story of the infamous couple Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker, who hosted the television program “The PTL Club” and developed Heritage USA, a now-defunct Christian theme park in Fort Mill, S.C. Bakker was later indicted, convicted and imprisoned on numerous counts of fraud and conspiracy. The couple divorced, and Faye married Roe Messner. She was then diagnosed with colon cancer in 1996 and died of the disease in 2007.
Michael Showalter (“The Big Sick”) is directing the film, with a cast that includes Chastain, Andrew Garfield, Cherry Jones, Fredric Lehne, Louis Cancelmi, Sam Jaeger, Gabriel Olds, Mark Wystrach and Vincent D’Onofrio. Chastain is also producing alongside Kelly Carmichael, Rachel Shane and Gigi Pritzker. Abe Sylvia wrote the script.