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Brendan Fraser
Brendan Fraser ( credit: Chad Griffith /A24 Films)

Brendan Fraser will receive the TIFF Tribute Award for Performance for his outstanding performance in The Whale at the TIFF Tribute Awards presented during the 47th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival.

With a career spanning more than 30 years, Fraser has received recognition for his work by both critics and his peers. Known for playing Rick O’Connell in The Mummy trilogy, Fraser has gone on to star in many projects in both television and film. Fraser will make his return to Toronto with Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale, which will have its North American Premiere at this year’s Festival.

“Brendan Fraser gives a performance of staggering depth, power, and nuance in The Whale,” said Cameron Bailey, CEO of TIFF. “This former Torontonian has been an action star, a screen comic, and a romantic lead. We’re thrilled to welcome him home as the actor behind one of the finest performances of the year.”

Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale tells the story of a reclusive English teacher living with severe obesity who attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter for one last chance at redemption. The A24 film is based on the acclaimed play by Samuel D. Hunter and also stars Sadie Sink, Hong Chau, Ty Simpkins, and Samantha Morton. It is being distributed in Canada by Elevation Pictures.

The TIFF Tribute Award for Performance presented by IMDbPro to Fraser is one of two acting awards being handed out. These two awards recognize an outstanding performance by either an individual or ensemble in the now gender-neutral acting category. Fraser joins the recently announced recipients of the TIFF Tribute Award for Performance presented by Polestar, the ensemble of My Policeman. Past recipients honored in the prestigious acting category were Jessica Chastain and Benedict Cumberbatch in 2021; Kate Winslet and Sir Anthony Hopkins in 2020; and Meryl Streep and Joaquin Phoenix in 2019.

Also joining the list of 2022 TIFF Tribute Award honorees Academy Award®–winning filmmaker Sam Mendes who will be receiving the TIFF Ebert Director Award. The TIFF Tribute Awards have served as an awards-season bellwether, with past honorees such as Chastain, Hopkins, Phoenix, Roger Deakins, Taika Waititi, and Chloé Zhao going on to win awards on the international stage. Once again, 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 gala 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. More information on the event and honorees will follow in the coming weeks.

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