Indian filmmaker Mira Nair received the Jeff Skoll Award for Impact Media on Monday evening at a remotely conducted Toronto International Film Festival Tribute Awards ceremony. Two episodes of Nair’s six-part television series A Suitable Boy will close the 45th edition of TIFF on Saturday.
Nair was among six recipients of the TIFF Tribute Awards alongside veteran star Sir Anthony Hopkins, Oscar-winner Kate Winslet, Chinese-American filmmaker Chloe Zhao, indigenous Canadian director Tracey Deer and musician Terence Blanchard.
The presentation of the award to Nair was initiated by Tabu, who stars in A Suitable Boy. Tabu also acted in Nair’s critically acclaimed 2006 film The Namesake.
“When Mira Nair was a kid, she asked herself, can art change the world? She has proven it can,” said Tabu as she initiated the presentation.
“When I work, it feels like fun, so I really want to thank the Toronto International Film Festival for giving me an award to have my fun and to be part of the extraordinary privilege of being able to make cinema,” said Nair in her acceptance speech.
“I have often said if we don’t tell our own stories no one else will. But it doesn’t stop there. In telling these stories, I have also discovered the power of listening, of the possibility of making bridges, the possibility of translation, of being porous,” she added.
“The award tells me that my art and my films have actually made the change. That is such a beautiful feeling,” said Nair.
“I accept the award in honour of all the stories that held the idiosyncratic, the unseen, the unspoken, the unsaid, and the baffling. Here’s to them and they happen everywhere in the world,” she concluded.