By Corey Atad.

Sam Mendes is set to be honoured by the Toronto International Film Festival following the Canadian premiere of his latest fil, “Empire Of Light”.

The first look at the trailer arrived online on Wednesday, showcasing a love story set in and around a beautiful old cinema on the South Coast of England in the 1980s.

Starring Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward, Tom Brooke, Tanya Moodie, Hannah Onslow, Crystal Clarke, with Toby Jones and Colin Firth, the film is described as “a powerful and poignant story about human connection and the magic of cinema.”

Last week, TIFF announced that the “1917” director will receive the festival’s Ebert Director Award as part of the TIFF Tribute Awards gala on Sept. 11.


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Mendes made his TIFF debut with “American Beauty” in 1999, which won the Audience Choice Award, and went on to win Best Picture and Best Director at the Oscars the following year.

“From his first appearance at TIFF with American Beauty, director Sam Mendes brought his exacting and lyrical vision of cinema to Toronto,” said TIFF CEO Bailey. “We are delighted to honour his unique voice and body of work with this year’s TIFF Ebert Director Award.”


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The Ebert Director Award, which was previously the Roger Ebert Golden Thumb Award, has been awarded to Martin Scorsese, Claire Denis, Ava DuVernay, Wim Wenders, Denis Villeneuve, Chloé Zhao, Taika Waititi and the late Agnès Varda.

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Ellen Bullock