Over the past 10 years or so, TIFF has launched crowd-pleasers that have gone on to win Best Picture such as Silver Linings Playbook, The King’s Speech and Slumdog Millionaire. 12 Years A Slave, the drama by British director Steve McQueen, took another step on the road to Oscar glory by winning the 2013 Toronto Film Festival People’s Choice Award.
McQueen said in a statement:
At a festival that has shown so many brilliant films, I cannot be more thrilled to receive this award. I am deeply grateful to all the people who have worked on this film, and that their amazing work has been recognized.
12 Years a Slave hits theaters on October 18th, 2013.
The runners up in the category were Denis Villeneuve’s dark crime drama Prisoners and Stephen Frears’ heartfelt drama Philomena.
Japanese filmmaker Sion Sono’s Why Don’t You Play in Hell? won The People’s Choice in the Midnight Madness program.
Sono said in a statement from Japan:
This is what we always wanted… I can clearly picture that the film is jumping around and expressing the happiness.
The People’s Choice documentary award went to Jehane Noujaim’s film The Square, which looks at recent unrest in Cairo.
Noujaim said on accepting the award:
This is a film about people who relentlessly fight for their rights, even when there is no hope or light at the end of the tunnel.
The best Canadian feature prize went to Alan Zweig’s When Jews Were Funny, a documentary that explores the links between comedy and Jewish culture.
Zweig told his wife from the podium as he accepted the $30,000 prize:
Honey: I think we’ll get a new kitchen.
The best Canadian short film prize was awarded to Walter Woodman and Patrick Cederberg for the 17-minute film Noah; it takes place entirely on a teenager’s computer screen, as a relationship goes sour.
The best Canadian first feature went to Shayne Ehman and Seth Scriver for Asphalt Watches, an animated journey across western Canada described in the festival program guide as ‘a trip in every sense of the word.’
The FIPRESCI jury prize for best special presentation sidebar film were awarded to Ida from Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski; and to The Amazing Catfish from Mexico’s Claudia Sainte-Luce.
Here’s the full list of winners in all categories:
BlackBerry People’s Choice Award:
12 Years a Slave directed by Steve McQueen
Director Steve McQueen follows the acclaimed Hunger and Shame with this shocking, based-on-fact story of a 19th-century freeman kidnapped and sold into slavery in the Deep South. The enormously talented Chiwetel Ejiofor leads an extraordinary cast that includes Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, Alfre Woodard and Benedict Cumberbatch.
Runners Up: Stephen Frears’ Philomena and Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners
BlackBerry People’s Choice Documentary Award:
The Square directed by Jehane Noujaim
This documentary epic is the result of director Jehane Noujaim (Control Room) and her crew’s dogged chronicling of activism, unrest and revolution in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
Runners Up: Alanis Obomsawin’s Hi-Ho Mistahey! and Leanne Pooley’s Beyond the Edge
BlackBerry People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award:
Why Don’t You Play in Hell? directed by Sion Sono
A renegade film crew becomes embroiled with a yakuza clan feud in this wild, perverse and blood-soaked orgy of outrageousness from cult director Sion Sono (Suicide Club).
Runners Up: Mike Flanagan’s Oculus and Álex de la Iglesia’s Witching & Bitching
City of Toronto + Canada Goose Award for Best Canadian Feature:
When Jews Were Funny directed by Alan Zweig
‘For three generations of extraordinary, honest and courageous performances in Peter Stebbing’s Empire of Dirt, the jury presents a special citation to Jennifer Podemski, Cara Gee and Shay Eyre.’
Skyy Vodka Award For Best Canadian First Feature Film:
Asphalt Watches directed by Shayne Ehman & Seth Scriver
‘For its technical mastery, polish, sense of fun and ability to scare the pants off us, the jury gives an honourable mention to Afflicted.’
FIPRESCI Prize For Special Presentations:
Ida directed by Pawel Pawlikowski
FIPRESCI Prize For Discovery Programme:
The Amazing Catfish directed by Claudia Sainte-Luce
Best Canadian Short Film:
Noah directed by Walter Woodman & Patrick Cederberg
Honorable Mentions: Kevan Funke’s Yellowhead and Fraser Munden & Neil Rathbone’s The Chaperone 3D
NETPAC Award for World or International Asian Film Premiere:
Qissa directed by Anup Singh
Grolsch Film Works Discovery Award:
All the Wrong Reasons directed by Gia Milani