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HomeCraftsCameraCinematographer Ari Wegner to Receive TIFF Variety Artisan Award

Cinematographer Ari Wegner to Receive TIFF Variety Artisan Award


Ari Wegner
Ari Wegner (photo by Ben King)

Joana Vicente and Cameron Bailey, Co-Heads of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), announced today that cinematographer Ari Wegner will be honoured with the TIFF Variety Artisan Award at this year’s TIFF Tribute Awards. The award recognizes a distinguished creative who has excelled at their craft and made an outstanding contribution to cinema and entertainment. For the second straight year, the TIFF Tribute Awards will be broadcast on Saturday, September 18 at 7pm ET/PT, 8pm AT on CTV and everywhere CTV content can be found, on the final day of the 46th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival®, and will be streamed to a global audience by Variety, the exclusive trade media partner of the event. Academy Award–winning Cinematographer Roger Deakins and Academy Award–nominated and six-time Grammy Award–winning composer Terence Blanchard are previous recipients of the award.

Wegner’s career began to take off with Night Shift by Zia Mandviwalla, which went to Cannes in 2012. She has worked both on television and film projects, including The Girlfriend Experience, True History of the Kelly Gang, In Fabric, Stray, Ruin, and Lady Macbeth. She recently worked on Janicza Bravo’s Zola, which was released by A24 this summer. Her work will next be seen in Netflix’s The Power of the Dog, directed by Jane Campion and starring Benedict Cumberbatch (a fellow TIFF Tribute honouree) and Kirsten Dunst, which will screen at TIFF.

“We are absolutely thrilled to honour Ari Wegner with this year’s TIFF Variety Artisan Award and to showcase her illustrious career in film and television,” said Vicente. “Ari brings such a transformative and unique style to all of her projects, including her stunning cinematography in The Power of the Dog. We can’t wait for our audiences to see the Special Presentation of this powerful film during the Festival.” 

“Ari approaches every project she works on with such a thoughtful and creative gaze,” said Steven Gaydos, Executive Vice President, Content Executive Editor, Variety. “Her work is inspiring and groundbreaking, and we are looking forward to being able to honour her incredible work and contributions at this year’s awards.”

The 2021 TIFF Tribute honourees include the recently announced music legend Dionne Warwick as the recipient of the Special Tribute Award; Saskatchewan-born Cree/Métis filmmaker Danis Goulet as the recipient of the TIFF Emerging Talent Award, presented by L’Oréal Paris and supported by MGM; two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain, who will receive the TIFF Tribute Actor Award supported by the Tory Family, and Academy Award–nominated Benedict Cumberbatch, who will receive the TIFF Tribute Actor Award; Academy Award–nominated French Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, who will receive the TIFF Ebert Director Award; and award-winning documentary filmmaker, writer, singer, and activist Alanis Obomsawin, who will be honoured with the Jeff Skoll Award in Impact Media supported by Participant Media.

The TIFF Tribute Awards honour 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 also serve as TIFF’s largest annual fundraiser to support TIFF’s year-round programmes and core mission to transform the way people see the world through film. This year’s event will raise funds for TIFF’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiative and champion a safe, community-focused and inspiring return to cinemas. In 2020 the TIFF Tribute Awards celebrated the remarkable talents and contributions of Mira Nair, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Kate Winslet, Chloé Zhao, Terence Blanchard, and Tracey Deer, some of whom went on to win awards on the international stage — such as Zhao (Nomadland), Deer (Beans), and Hopkins (The Father). Meryl Streep, Taika Waititi, Mati Diop, Joaquin Phoenix, and Roger Deakins were celebrated during the Awards’ inaugural event in 2019.


Ari Wegner is a cinematography graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts School of Film and Television. In her graduating year she attended the Budapest Cinematography Masterclass in Hungary and in 2009, the Berlinale Talent Campus as part of the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival.

Her cinematography work extends from feature-length drama to short films, music videos, commercials, and documentaries. Her films have screened at numerous international film festivals including Cannes, Berlin, Sundance, Rotterdam, Tribeca, Locarno, New York, London, and Melbourne.

Her debut feature film, Matière Grise (2011), premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. She went on to shoot the TV drama The Kettering Incident for Foxtel, receiving an AACTA nomination for Best Cinematography in Television in 2016. That same year, Wegner was director of photography on the BAFTA-nominated Lady Macbeth, winning Best Cinematography at the 2017 British Independent Film Awards.

Most recently, Wegner shot Zola, which was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. Other credits include Justin Kurzel’s True History of the Kelly Gang and the television series The Girlfriend Experience, based on Steven Soderbergh’s 2009 film of the same title.

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