An Oscar and BAFTA nominee for films such as My Beautiful Laundrette, Dangerous Liaisons or The Queen, Frears will be present at the Cluj National Theatre on June 8, for the Closing Ceremony of the festival.
A Lifetime Achievement Award will also be awarded to famous Czech filmmaker Jiří Menzel.
Stephen Frears was born on in 1941 in Leicester and studied law at Cambridge. In 1964, Frears joined the Royal Court Theatre and his first job in cinema was that of assistant director on the film Morgan - A Suitable Case for Treatment (d. Karel Reisz, 1966). For a couple of years, he continued working as a director of TV productions and commercials.
Frears made his feature film debut in 1971 with Gumshoe, starring Albert Finney as a Liverpool bingo caller who dreams of a private eye, but he achieved his career breakthrough in 1985 with My Beautiful Laundrette. Scripted by Hanif Kureishi and starring Daniel-Day Lewis, the film was nominated for an Oscar and two BAFTAs. Both films will be screened during TIFF in the 3X3 section, alongside Prick Up Your Ears (1987), a biopic of playwright Joe Orton, starring Gary Oldman and Alfred Molina.
Frears made his Hollywood debut with Dangerous Liaisons (1988), starring Glenn Close, John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer. The film was nominated for 7 Academy Awards, winning for Best Screenplay, best Costumes and Best Art Direction, and for 10 BAFTAs. It was followed by the critically acclaimed The Grifters (1990), produced by Martin Scorsese and nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Director category.
Frears continued his Hollywood career alternating personal and big budget projects. Thus, he directed the Silver Bear awarded western The Hi-Lo Country (1998), starring Woody Harrelson, Billy Crudup, Penélope Cruz and Patricia Arquette, Liam (2000), the famed High Fidelity (2000), starring John Cusack, Dirty Pretty Things (2002), a drama about illegal emigrants in London, the BAFTA nominated The Deal (2003), a political TV drama about Tony Blair and Mr. Henderson Presents (2005).
His recent biggest success was The Queen (2006), about the aftermath of Princess Diana's death, a multi-awarded film nominated for 6 Oscars and 10 BAFTAs. Altogether, the film brought its protagonist, Helen Mirren, about 30 awards, including the Oscar, BAFTA and the Golden Globe. In 2010, Frears' comedy, Tamara Drewe, was selected at Cannes. The film was followed, in 2012, by Lay the Favorite, starring Bruce Willis and Rebeca Hall.
In 2007, Stephen Frears was the President of the Cannes jury which awarded the Golden Palm to Cristian Mungiu's 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. At present, Frears is preparing Philomena, a film starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan.
The traditional TIFF's 3X3 section presented by HBO will celebrate, alongside Stephen Frears, French director Olivier Assayas and Israeli-born documentary filmmaker Eyal Sivan. Three of Olivier Assayas’ films will be screened at TIFF: Après mai, a semi-autobiographical film about the troubled 60s and 70s, winner of the Best Screenplay award in Venice 2012, the miniseries Carlos (2010), an impressive biopic of the eponymous terrorist selected in Cannes, and L'Heure d'été (2009), an internationally acclaimed story about family and memory.
A sharp critic of Israeli policies, Eyal Sivan directs powerful documentaries wish are exploring the consequences of the Palestinian conflict. TIFF audiences will see The Specialist (1999), a controversial film about "the banality of evil", edited from the footage shot during the 1961 Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann's trial, I Love You All (2004), made of archival footage and telling the story of the supervision methods employed by the Stazi, and Jaffa, the Orange's Clockwork (2009), a documentary about the Jaffa orange, a brand lost because of the conflict. The screenings will take place in the presence of Eyal Sivan who was the special guest of a retrospective organized last year by the Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival.