By Nicole Goesseringer Muj

Beloved actor Michael J. Fox will be honored with the inaugural Visionary Award, celebrating the human endeavor and the unwavering pursuit of progress, at the sixth edition of the DaVinci International Film Festival (DIFF), the announcement was made today by DIFF founder/director Chadwick Pelletier.

In recognition of Fox’s extraordinary work in film and television, and advocacy for Parkinson’s disease research, the prestigious award will be presented during the festival’s gala awards ceremony on February 25th at AMC Theatres at The Grove in Los Angeles.

“Michael J. Fox embodies the true spirit and essence of a visionary,” comments Pelletier. “He has not only entertained us on screen, but also inspired us with his courage and unwavering determination in the face of adversity. His life’s work, both on and off screen, and now spotlighted in Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie, exemplifies the profound impact that one individual can have on the world.”

The 2023 documentary Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie, directed by Davis Guggenheim and currently airing on Apple TV+, is the winner of many awards for best documentary, including four Primetime Emmys and numerous film critic associations’ awards, and has garnered 32 additional nominations, including the coveted BAFTA. The poignant film follows the life of the beloved actor and advocate, exploring his personal and  professional triumphs and travails, and what happens when an incurable optimist confronts an incurable disease.

The renowned actor, producer, and author has captivated audiences for decades with his infectious energy and comedic brilliance. Known for such roles as Marty McFly in the iconic Back to the Future franchise to Alex P. Keaton in Family Ties to Mike Flaherty in Spin City, Fox has left an indelible mark on pop culture and the global entertainment industry. Recipient of five Emmys, four Golden Globes, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a Grammy, Fox was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2010, and was inducted into both Canada’s and the Hollywood Walks of Fame. He received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in 2022, in recognition of his advocacy to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease.

Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the young age of 29, Fox has dedicated himself to speed development of better treatments and a cure. 2000, he established The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research with $1.75 billion deployed to re- search and patient support. His unwavering determination and relentless optimism have made him an inspiration to millions around the world.

In recognition of his exceptional accomplishments, DIFF will present Fox with the Visionary Award, and a $10,000 donation to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, courtesy of British Columbia DeLorean. This contribution reinforces the shared commitment of DIFF and its partners to supporting causes and individuals who push boundaries and advocate for positive change.

While Fox will accept the award remotely, his incredible spirit and legacy will undoubted- ly be felt in the auditorium during the ceremony. His story serves as a beacon of hope, reminding us that even in the face of immense challenges, the human spirit can perse- vere and make a lasting impact.

Festival passes and tickets are available now at: Ticketing | DaVinci International Film Festival 2024 (davincifilmfestival.com)

About DaVinci International Film Festival (DIFF) – DaVinci International Film Festival is produced by 501(c)3 nonprofit, DaVinci Film Foun- dation as a premier, boutique awards platform celebrating independent cinema from around the world with its prestigious Leo Awards. The festival hosts four signature pro- grams including their screenwriting competition, Storyline, DIFFdocs, GENiUS — an ul- tra-short category, and animation. DIFF ’24 introduces an all-new Junior Leo program honoring burgeoning filmmakers and DaVinci Labs with an exhibition in architecture. Founded in 2017, DIFF is a top best reviewed film festival, hosting annual events at The Grove in Los Angeles, California. Learn more at davincifilmfestival.com