Both actors are scheduled to attend special events featuring screenings of their work, award presentations, Q&A sessions and receptions.
“Our tribute events are major highlights of the festival,” SIFF artistic director Carl Spence said in a statement. “Both of these extraordinary actors have had outstanding careers full of classic, provocative performances, fitting in perfectly with the festival’s legacy of honoring the greatest talent in contemporary cinema.”
Multi-hyphenate Dern will be honored with two film programs, including an exclusive reception following the May 16 presentation of “The Fault in Our Stars,” as well as an onstage interview and screening of “Wild at Heart” — her 1990 Palme d’Or-winning collaboration with David Lynch — the next day.
Ejiofor, who most recently nabbed an Oscar nom for his role as Solomon Northup in best picture winner “12 Years a Slave,” will also be feted during two special evening programs.
In addition to the May 18 showing of Joss Whedon’s 2005 sci-fi film “Serenity,” Ejiofor will receive his award on May 19 before the screenings of “Columbite Tantalite” — the short film he directed — and Biyi Bandele’s romance drama “Half of a Yellow Sun.”
Dern and Ejiofor will also receive the outstanding achievement in acting artwork created by artist Dale Chihuly.
The 40th SIFF runs from May 15 to June 8.