Guðnadóttir composed the score for Sarah Polley’s highly anticipated film Women Talking, a fearless adaptation of Miriam Toews’ acclaimed novel set in 2010 rural America, where the women of an isolated religious community grapple with reconciling their reality with their faith, starring Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, Judith Ivey, Ben Whishaw, and Frances McDormand. Women Talking from MGM’s Orion Pictures will have its International Premiere at the Festival on September 13 and is distributed by Universal Canada. Writer-director El Hosaini’s The Swimmers, which dramatizes the true story of two sisters who left their home in war-torn Syria for a new life in Europe and the chance to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics, co-written by multi-award-winner Jack Thorne, will have its World Premiere as the Opening Night Gala Presentation on September 8.
“Both Hildur Guðnadóttir and Sally El Hosaini are singular artists who continue to expand the horizons of their disciplines,” said Bailey. “We’re proud to present TIFF Tribute Awards to Guðnadóttir for her remarkable score for Sarah Polley’s Women Talking, and El Hosaini for directing one of the most urgent, moving films of the year in The Swimmers.”
The TIFF Variety Artisan Award recognizes a distinguished creative who has excelled at their craft and made an outstanding contribution to cinema and entertainment. Previous recipients of the TIFF Variety Artisan Award include Ari Wegner in 2021; Terence Blanchard in 2020; and Roger Deakins in 2019.
“Variety is honoured to be presenting Hildur Guðnadóttir with our annual Artisan Award at the TIFF Tribute Awards,” said Variety co-editor-in-chief Ramin Setoodeh. “We are looking forward to returning to an in-person awards programme at one of the most important festivals in the world. Highlighting Hildur’s work is a testament to Variety’s commitment to celebrating artisans.”
The TIFF Emerging Talent Award presented by MGM, is presented in the spirit of Torontonian Mary Pickford, the groundbreaking actor, producer, and co-founder of United Artists, whose impact continues today. Previous recipients of the TIFF Emerging Talent Award include Danis Goulet in 2021; Tracey Deer in 2020; and Mati Diop in 2019.
“MGM is thrilled to join TIFF in honouring Sally El Hosaini with the 2022 TIFF Emerging Talent Award and championing this harrowing story,” said Chris Brearton, MGM’s Chief Operation Officer.
Guðnadóttir and El Hosaini join the recently-announced list of 2022 TIFF Tribute Award honourees, including Brendan Fraser, who will receive the TIFF Tribute Award for Performance presented by IMDbPro; Academy Award®–winning filmmaker Sam Mendes, who will receive the TIFF Ebert Director Award; and the ensemble of My Policeman, who will receive the TIFF Tribute Award for Performance presented by Polestar. Stay tuned for more information on the 2022 TIFF Tribute Awards event and honouree announcements.
The TIFF Tribute Awards have served as an awards-season bellwether, with past honourees such as Jessica Chastain, Roger Deakins, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Joaquin Phoenix, Taika Waititi, and Chloé Zhao going on to win awards on the international stage. The TIFF Tribute Awards honour 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.
HILDUR GUÐNADÓTTIR: BIOGRAPHY
Hildur Guðnadóttir is an Academy Award–, Golden Globe–, Emmy-, two-time Grammy–, and BAFTA-winning Icelandic artist, who has been manifesting herself at the forefront of experimental pop and contemporary music. In her solo works, she draws out a broad spectrum of sounds from her instrumentation, ranging from intimate simplicity to huge soundscapes.
Her work for film and television includes Sicario: Day of the Soldado, Mary Magdalene, and the critically acclaimed HBO series Chernobyl, for which she won a Primetime Emmy Award as well as a Grammy Award. Guðnadóttir received a multitude of accolades for her work on Joker, directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix, including an Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Grammy. In addition, her body of work includes scores for films such as Tom of Finland, Journey’s End and 20 episodes of the Icelandic TV series Trapped, streaming on Amazon Prime. With Sam Slater she co-composed the videogame score Battlefield 2042 for Electronic Arts’ massively successful Battlefield franchise. The score won a Society of Composers & Lyricists Award.
Her latest projects include the Todd Field film TÁR, starring Cate Blanchett, and the Sarah Polley film Women Talking.
Guðnadóttir began playing cello as a child, entered the Reykjavík Music Academy, and then moved on to musical studies/composition and new media at the Iceland Academy of the Arts and Universität der Künste Berlin. She has released four critically acclaimed solo albums: Mount A (2006), Without Sinking (2009), Leyfðu Ljósinu (2012), and Saman (2014). Her records have been nominated a number of times for the Icelandic Music Awards. Her albums are all released on Touch. She has composed music for theatre, dance performances, and films. The Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, Icelandic National Theatre, Tate Modern, The British Film Institute, The Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm, and Gothenburg National Theatre are among the institutions that have commissioned new works from her. Currently, she is curating an exhibit for the opening of the new Academy Museum in Los Angeles, set to open on September 28.
Guðnadóttir has performed live and recorded music with Skúli Sverrisson, Jóhann Jóhannsson, múm, Sunn O))), Pan Sonic, Hauschka, Wildbirds & Peacedrums, Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Sylvian, The Knife, Fever Ray, and Throbbing Gristle, among others.
SALLY EL HOSAINI: BIOGRAPHY
Sally El Hosaini is an award-winning feature-film writer-director. Her acclaimed debut feature, My Brother the Devil, premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and played at more than 40 international festivals; winning 12 awards, 17 nominations, and an honourable mention. The film won Best European Film at Berlinale, Best Newcomer at the BFI London Film Festival, Best Screenplay at the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain Awards, and was nominated for Best Debut at the British Independent Film Awards. The film was released theatrically in the UK, US, and Canada.
Following this, she was chosen by Danny Boyle to direct the final three episodes of Babylon, the TV series he co-created and produced with Jesse Armstrong (Succession) for Channel 4 and Sundance TV. An alumna of the Sundance Institute’s Screenwriters and Directors Labs, El Hosaini has been profiled by The Guardian; BBC America; Variety, who featured her as one of their “Brits to Watch”; and IndieWire, who named her one of their “10 Most Exciting Young Female Directors in the World Today.”
El Hosaini’s upcoming feature The Swimmers will open the Toronto International Film Festival. Based on the true life story of Syrian refugees and competitive swimmers Yusra and Sara Mardini, it was co-written with Jack Thorne and produced by Working Title Films and Netflix, with Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot) as an executive producer. It will be released theatrically and on Netflix in the fall 2022.
El Hosaini is represented in the UK by Sayle Screen and in the United States by CAA and Anonymous Content.