February 12 - 17, 2025

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TBFF22 SIDNEY POITIER TRIBUTE

The Toronto Black Film Festival pays tribute to the late Sidney Poitier by highlighting his contributions to the industry through a video compilation. Sidney Poitier paved the way for generations of Black actors in the 1950s and 1960s as a fine actor and ambassador of America’s long-delayed civil rights movement. At the height of the civil rights movement in 1964, Sidney Poitier became the first Black man to win an Oscar for best actor – for “Lilies of the Field” (1963). Poitier received numerous honorary prizes, including a lifetime achievement award from the American Film Institute, the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes and a special Academy Award in 2002, on the same night that Denzel Washington and Halle Berry won best acting awards. Additionally, in 2009, President Barack Obama presented Poitier with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, praising him for the advancement of “The nation’s dialogue on race and respect.”

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