Michelle Yeoh to receive Toronto International Film Festival’s inaugural Share Her Journey Groundbreaker Award

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Michelle Yeoh [Courtesy photo by Thomas Laisne]

Esteemed performer Michelle Yeoh will receive the inaugural TIFF Share Her Journey Groundbreaker Award during this month’s Toronto International Film Festival

The TIFF Tribute Awards, presented by BVLGARI, will return Sept. 11 as in-person gala fundraiser during the 47th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival, which is Sept. 8-18.

“Michelle Yeoh is the definition of groundbreaking,” said TIFF CEO Cameron Bailey in a statement. “Her screen work has spanned continents, genres and decades. This year she delivered a performance in Everything Everywhere All at Once that shows her limitless abilities. We’re so proud to honour her with the Share Her Journey Groundbreaker Award.”

The TIFF Share Her Journey Groundbreaker Award recognizes a woman who is a leader in the film industry and has made a positive impact for women throughout their career. The inaugural award is inspired by TIFF’s Share Her Journey initiative, which was created to address gender parity in the film industry, to champion women at every stage of their creative journey, and to shine a spotlight on women creators making a significant difference in the industry.

Launched in 2017 – and now a permanent initiative as part of TIFF’s broader Every Story fun – Share Her Journey is TIFF’s commitment to address gender parity by broadening opportunities for women at every stage of their careers, according to a news release. To date, TIFF has raised more than $3 million to provide direct support to women along their creative journeys, from inspiration to a finished product showcased on TIFF platforms.

Over her nearly 40-year career, Yeoh has become renowned as one of the most accomplished and versatile actors in the world. She has broken barriers and inspired generations of audiences with her performances, including her most recent lead role in the hit film “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” as well as her turns in the Oscar-winning epic “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” the James Bond entry “Tomorrow Never Dies” and the groundbreaking romantic comedy “Crazy Rich Asians,” among others.

Michelle Yeoh appears in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” [A24 photo]

Born in Malaysia, Yeoh rose to fame in 1990s Hong Kong action films before going on to shatter conventions and star in several globally acclaimed blockbusters. Recently announced as the first Asian artist to receive the American Film Institute Honor, Yeoh has appeared in more than 70 feature films and television series.

Her filmography includes an array of iconic roles, including in Ang Lee’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and its sequel; Rob Marshall’s “Memoirs of a Geisha”; Roger Spottiswoode’s “Tomorrow Never Dies”; Danny Boyle’s “Sunshine”; and Jon Chu’s “Crazy Rich Asians,” the highest-grossing rom-com released in the United States in the past decade.

After appearing in James Gunn’s second installment of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise, Yeoh returned to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a new role in Destin Daniel Cretton’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.”

In March, she starred in the Daniels’ mind-bending critically acclaimed hit “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” which has become A24’s highest grossing film.

Also this year, Yeoh was again featured in TIME100 “Most Influential People” list.

Plus, she was appointed in 2016 a Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations, focusing on raising awareness and mobilizing support for environmental issues.

Yeoh joins the recently announced list of 2022 TIFF Tribute Award honorees, including Academy Award–winning Icelandic artist and “Joker” composer Hildur Guðnadóttir, who will receive the TIFF Variety Artisan Award; Award-winning Welsh-Egyptian filmmaker and screenwriter Sally El Hosaini (“My Brother the Devil,” “The Swimmers”), who will be lauded with the TIFF Emerging Talent Award presented by MGM; acclaimed actor Brendan Fraser, who will garner the TIFF Tribute Award for Performance presented by IMDbPro; Oscar-winning filmmaker Sam Mendes, the recipient of the TIFF Ebert Director Award; and the ensemble of “My Policeman,” who will receive the TIFF Tribute Award for Performance presented by Polestar.

The TIFF Tribute Awards honor the film industry’s outstanding contributors and their achievements, recognizing leading industry members, acting talent, directorial expertise, new talent, and a below-the-line artist and creator. The Awards event also serves as TIFF’s largest annual fundraiser to support TIFF’s Every Story fund, which promotes diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in film, and TIFF’s core mission to transform the way people see the world through film.

An awards-season bellwether, the Toronto Film Festival’s awards have lauded past honorees like Jessica Chastain, Roger Deakins, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Joaquin Phoenix, Taika Waititi and Chloé Zhao who have gone on to win awards on the international stage.

-BAM

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