The 44-year-old star, whose latest film Ammonite screened at the Toronto International Film Festival this year, received her award from Jodie Foster, who called her "my hero." The event was held virtually due to COVID-19 considerations.
"I'd really like to take a moment to express my deepest sympathies to families and individuals whose lives have been forever altered by these past six months, " Kate said. "My heart truly goes out to all of you who have battled and struggled and continue to continue to struggle through these harsh and painful times."
Screen legend Anthony Hopkins, 82, also received a TIFF Tribute Actor Award during the event. Accepting the award from his The Father co-star Olivia Colman, Anthony, in his typical understated style, said he was "astonished" he was "still working" in the industry at his age. He’s had a five-decade career in film now. He also thanked frontline workers and first responders.
Tracey Deer, who is a Kanienʼkehá꞉ka (Mohawk) filmmaker from Kahnawake, Que., received the TIFF Emerging Talent Award from filmmaker Ava DuVernay, was visibly emotional as she thanked her mother. Tracey's Beans directorial fictional feature debut screened at TIFF this year.
Director Chloe Zhao, whose Nomadland screened at TIFF this year, received the TIFF Ebert Award for her filmmaking from Colin Farrell. Nomadland is highly touted for awards season, having received the Golden Lion Grand Prize at the Venice Film Festival earlier this month.
Director and producer Mira Nair, whose A Suitable Boy TV series screened at TIFF and who is also a veteran of the festival, received the Jeff Skoll Award in Impact Media. She thanked the festival for giving her an "award for having fun" since she said she finds her job truly fulfilling. She also stressed the importance of people telling their own stories.
Jazz musician and composer Terence Blanchard, who received an Oscar nomination for his work on BlacKkKlansman, was also presented digitally with his TIFF Variety Artisan Award by Regina King and Delroy Lindo.
TIFF 2020 runs until Sept. 19.