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SFFILM Festival

Tribute to Vanessa Kirby

Join us as we pay tribute to the inimitable Vanessa Kirby and celebrate her career with an SFFILM Special Impact Award. The talk will take place on this page, and a video recording will be posted here shortly afterward.



Sat, Apr 17 at 4:00 pm PST



SFFILM’s Impact Award acknowledges individuals with an impressive body of work who bring a fresh vision, voice, or performance to cinema. This designation honors their extensive contributions, artistic innovation, and fearless dedication to the craft of cinema.

After establishing herself as an acclaimed actor in theater, Vanessa Kirby became a household name with her BAFTA-winning performance as Princess Margaret in the first two seasons of Netflix’s award-winning series The Crown (2016-2017). She is a world-class actor who has embedded herself in two action franchises, three Mission: Impossible films and Fast & Furious Presents Hobbes & Shaw (2019). With Pieces of a Woman (2020), Kirby’s career takes another turn as she fully inhabits the grief-stricken soul of a mother grappling with tragedy. Awarded the Volpi Cup for Best Actress by the 2020 Venice Film Festival, Kirby is nominated for Best Actress at the upcoming Oscars.

Join us as we pay tribute to this stellar actor and her fabulous career and fete her with our Impact Award.

Photo credit: Matt Holyoak courtesy of Netflix

Impact Award Recipient Vanessa Kirby

BAFTA award-winning actress Vanessa Kirby can be currently seen starring in Kornél Mundruczó’s Pieces of a Woman (2020). Kirby’s critically acclaimed performance garnered her Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA, Critics’ Choice, and SAG Award nominations. The film premiered at the 2020 Venice Film Festival in the main competition at which Kirby received the Volpi Cup for Best Actress. The film also screened at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival. Following its Venice Film Festival premiere, the film was sold to Netflix and was released digitally on January 7, 2021.

Additionally, Kirby can be seen starring in The World to Come (2020), an independent film directed by Mona Fastvold. Following its screening at the 2020 Venice Film Festival in the main competition, the film was sold to Bleeker Street and was released on February 12, 2021.

Kirby is currently in production on the next installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise, which is slated for release in 2021.

In August 2019, Kirby starred in Fast and Furious Presents Hobbes and Shaw, a spin-off from the Fast and Furious franchise. The film generated over $730 million at the box office.

From June to September in 2018, Kirby played the titular role in Carrie Cracknell’s Julie at London’s National Theatre. A Polly Stenham adaptation of the classic play Miss Julie, Kirby received rave reviews for her work, described as a ‘tour de force performance’ (London Theatre) and ‘sensational’ (Financial Times).

That year, Kirby also starred in Mission: Impossible – Fallout. The sixth installment of the film franchise was released on July 27 and was a global box office hit, pulling in over $735 million globally, to date.

In 2016 and 2017, Kirby starred as Princess Margaret in Netflix’s award-winning series, The Crown. Kirby’s performance earned her BAFTA TV Best Supporting Actresss nominations in 2017 and 2018. She won the award in 2018. Kirby was also nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Prime Time Emmy in 2018.

In February 2016, Kirby played Yelena in Uncle Vanya at The Almeida Theatre. She then reprised her role as Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway.

In 2016, Kirby played the lead role in the science-fiction film Kill Command, and also starred in Thea Sharrock’s Me Before You.

In early 2015, Kirby starred in Lana and Lily Wachowski’s Jupiter Ascending, and Graham Henman’s Bone in Throat, which premiered at SXSW. The film is based on Anthony Bourdain’s novel of the same name.

In late 2015, Kirby starred in BBC2’s highly anticipated one-off drama, The Dresser. The drama was based on the play of the same name by Ronald Harwood and directed by Richard Eyre. Kirby also appeared in ITV’s The Frankenstein Chronicles.

In 2014, Kirby won the Best Supporting Actress award at the WhatsOnStage awards for her performance as Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire at The Young Vic.

In 2014, she also starred in Queen and Country, John Boorman’s follow-up to Hope and Glory (1987).

In 2013, Kirby appeared in Richard Curtis’ About Time.

In 2012, she played the lead role of Alice in Ridley Scott’s mini-series adaptation of Kate Mosse’s novel Labyrinth, and then starred in Charlie Countryman. Later that year, Kirby appeared in Three Sisters at the Young Vic, earning rave reviews. Time Out said, “In a super cast given license to shine, Kirby stands out.”

On stage, in 2011, Kirby’s role in The Acid Test at the Royal Court Theatre received rave reviews. She was described as “a significant new talent” by The Guardian and “a star if ever I saw one” by The Independent.

In 2010, she appeared in the National Theatre’s Women Beware Women and the West Yorkshire Playhouse’s As You Like It.

In 2009, Kirby started her theatrical career in a series of hugely successful theater roles for director David Thacker. She first appeared as Ann in Arthur Miller’s All My Sons, for which she received the BIZA Rising Star Award at the Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards, followed by Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts.

Kirby made her TV debut shortly after in the BBC series The Hour (2011). She then went on to play Estella in the BBC’s adaption of Great Expectations (2011), her performance described by Variety as, “the inscrutable Estella (played with perilous magnetism as a young woman by Vanessa Kirby).”

Kirby is a Global Ambassador for War Child, a charity that supports children from across the world who are affected by war and conflict. www.warchild.org.uk