The Toronto International Film Festival has now come and gone for another year and I just wanted to highlight the winners of this years festival.
I had the rare pleasure of attending the invitation-only TIFF Awards Luncheon this year which is reserved for press and industry insiders. I am grateful to friends in high places for getting me in. This year they returned to a more formal atmosphere compared to the last few years where it was a standing room only affair.
The view from my seat at the TIFF ’10 Awards Luncheon. Surprisingly I had a better seat than some of the winners and programmers which I found odd.
The winners are…
Best Canadian Short Film:
Les Fleurs de l’âge
Directed By: Vincent Biron
Selling ice cream, smoking pot, falling in love, dealing with family: it’s just another summer day for a regular group of school kids.
A $10,000 cash prize was given to the filmmaker which was sponsored by the National Film Board of Canada.
SKYY Vodka Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film:
The High Cost of Living
Directed By: Deborah Chow
Centres on the burgeoning relationship between an unlikely pair. Nathalie (Isabelle Blais) is expecting her first child and Henry (Zach Braff) is on his way to his next drug deal. Their paths fatefully collide one night in an event that will irrevocably change their lives.
The award carries a cash prize of $15,000. Director, Deborah Chow announced in her acceptance speech that she would not be returning to work at Starbuck’s this coming week thanks to the festival.
The City of Toronto Award for Best Canadian Feature Film:
Directed By: Denis Villeneuve
After their mother Nawal’s death, twins Simon and Jeanne embark on a journey to the Middle East that shines a disturbing light on their mother’s past and culminates in a shocking revelation.
Generously sponsored by the City of Toronto, the award carries a cash prize of $30,000. During his acceptance speech, Denis Villeneuve mentioned he will now be able to pay Revenue Canada what he owes them for 2009, however wanted to reiterate he does not work at Starbucks. As of right now it has been said that this film stands the best chance of a nomination for Canada via Best Foreign Language Film at the next Academy Awards.
* The only trailer available is in French with no subtitles.
FIPRESCI, (International Federation of Film Critics) Awards
FIPRESCI Discovery Programme Prize:
Directed By: Shawn Ku
A married couple on the verge of separation are leveled by the news their 18-year-old son committed a mass shooting at his college, then took his own life. Stars Michael Sheen and Maria Bello..
FIPRESCI Special Presentations Prize:
Directed By: Pierre Thoretton
Yves Saint Laurent built one of fashion’s most celebrated empires. This moving documentary chronicles his rise, his lifelong partnership with Pierre Bergé and their decision to auction off a lifetime of precious art and objects. This was one of my favourite films of the festival.
The Cadillac People’s Choice Awards
The Cadillac People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award:
Directed By: Jim Mickle
In the aftermath of a vampire epidemic, a teen is taken in by a grizzled vampire hunter on a road trip through a post-apocalyptic America, battling both the bloodsuckers and a fundamentalist militia that interprets the plague as the Lord’s work.
*Runner-up: Michael Dowse’s Fubar II.
The Cadillac People’s Choice Documentary Award
Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie
Directed By: Sturla Gunnarsson
At seventy-five years old, David Suzuki shows no signs of slowing down. In this captivating documentary portrait, the passionate environmentalist’s legacy lecture is entwined with candid interviews in which he reflects on his life and shares deeply personal stories, revealing a side previously unseen.
*Runner-up: Patricio Guzmán’s Nostalgia for the Light
The Cadillac People’s Choice- The Big Winner
The King’s Speech
Directed By: Tom Hooper
The King’s Speech tells the story of the man who would become King George VI, the father of the current Queen, Elizabeth II. After his brother abdicates, George ‘Bertie’ VI (Colin Firth) reluctantly assumes the throne. Plagued by a dreaded nervous stammer and considered unfit to be King, Bertie engages the help of an unorthodox speech therapist named Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). Through a set of unexpected techniques, and as a result of an unlikely friendship, Bertie is able to find his voice and boldly lead the country into war.
The award offers a $15,000 cash prize and custom award, sponsored by Cadillac. It is voted upon by the people in the audience at each screening of the film during the festival.
*Runner-up: Justin Chadwick’s First Grader.
Do you agree with the results? What were your favourite films of the festival? What films are you looking forward to that screened at TIFF ’10?
Rose Lagace | @artdepartmental