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Hildur Guðnadóttir and Sally El Hosaini
Hildur Guðnadóttir and Sally El Hosaini [Credit: Camille Blake (left); London Professional Headshots (right)]

Academy Award®–winning Icelandic artist and composer Hildur Guðnadóttir will be honored with the Variety Artisan Award, and Award-winning Welsh Egyptian filmmaker and screenwriter Sally El Hosaini will be honored with the TIFF Emerging Talent Award at the annual TIFF Tribute Awards at the 47th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival.

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 Cameron Bailey, CEO of TIF. “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.

Guðnadóttir and El Hosaini join the recently-announced list of 2022 TIFF Tribute Award honorees, 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 honoree announcements.

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.

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