WIFF is committed to celebrating excellence in Canadian film by honouring Canadian films and filmmakers with an annual cash prize of $25,000. An independent jury comprised of film industry experts selects the winner. The English-Korean film RICEBOY SLEEPS, directed by Anthony Shim was the recipient of the 2022 prize. Nominees were announced on September 17th, 2022 at WIFF at TIFF, an annual celebration held on the rooftop of the TIFF Bell Lightbox, during the Toronto International Film Festival.
The WIFF Spotlight Award is given to recipients who have achieved a distinguished film career with films or performances that have made an impact within the film industry. The first WIFF Spotlight Award was given to the Academy Award-nominated star of House of Sand And Fog, Shohreh Aghdashloo, at the 2019 festival. Shohreh was in attendance for a weekend at WIFF to receive her award, did a fantastic Q&A about her career prior to her most recent film, Simple Wedding.
The WIFF Lifetime Achievement Award is given to recipients who are recognized for their contributions and impacts over their whole career to the film industry.
The first WIFF Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Canadian director, producer and screenwriter Norman Jewison as he attended the 2014 festival to receive his award and participate in a Q&A.
The second WIFF Lifetime Achievement Award was given to American actress Louis Smith. She attended WIFF in 2017 to receive her award, as well as participated in a Q&A about her decades-long career before a screening of her newest film, Marjorie Prime.
The LiUNA! People’s Choice Award is one of the festival’s most coveted prizes. This award is given to the film that has the highest collective rating from the audience.
After every screening, audience members can vote online through their WIFF accounts.
The winner of the 2022 LiUNA! People’s Choice Award is Women Talking directed by Sarah Polley.