Sunday, September 20, 2015

40th Toronto International Film Festival Award Winners

Awards ceremony was quite informal, light and somehow fun-to-watch especially when the Platform jury took the stage and made us laugh (hard). Yes it was very unexpected to see Jia Zhang-ke, Claire Denis and Agnieszka Hollad doing light comedy but gee, it worked!!! Funny and fun-to-watch.

So, actually, there are several awards in Toronto fest, but will start with the Platform winners and then the others.

Platform Prize: Hurt, Alan Zweig, Canada (documentary)
Three Honorable Mentions:
Boi Neon (Neon Bull), Gabril Mascaro, Brazil, Uruguay and Netherlands
El Clan (The Clan), Pablo Trapero, Argentina and Spain
Hui dao bei ai de mei yi tian (The Promised Land), He Ping, China

People Choice Awards
Feature Film: Room, Lenny Abrahamson, Ireland and Canda
Documentary: Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom, Evgeny Afineevsky, Ukraine, USA and UK
Midnight Madness Award: Hardcore, Ilya Naishuller, Russia and USA

Canadian Films
Best Feature Film: Closet Monster, Stephen Dunn
Special Mention: Guibord s'en va-t-en guerre (My Internship in Canada), Philippe Falardeau, Canada
Best First Feature Film: Sleeping Giant, Andre Cividino

Discovery Program Filmmakers Award: Black, Adil el Arbi and Bilall Fallah, Belgium

Short Cuts
Best Short Film: Maman (S), Maïmouna Doucouré, France
Best Canadian Short Film: Viaduc (Overpass), Patrice Laliberté

Special Presentations: Desierto, Jonás Cuarón, Mexico and France
Discovery: Eva Nová, Marko Skop, Slovakia

NETPAC Award: Hiso Hiso Boshi (The Whispering Star), Sion Sono, Japan

To check awards at official site go here.  

We all know that Toronto fest has been a non-competitive festival but in their 40th edition there will be a competition, which -if continues to happen in the future- takes fest into the road of becoming THE most important festival in the Americas.

There are hundreds of films in the festival, but most are films that come from European festivals which will have their North American premiere. Can't deny that the main function of this festival has been -until now- the showcase of films that most likely will be honored with an Academy Award nomination.

“We created this new program as a way to sharpen our focus on artistically ambitious cinema in our 40th year and we are thrilled to be able to put the spotlight on these 12 brilliant filmmakers this September,” said Piers Handling, Director and CEO of TIFF. “They are major creative forces: the next generation of masters whose personal vision will captivate audiences, industry members and media from around the world.”

“Each of the filmmakers in the program fearlessly transforms a wide range of compelling realities through their unique visual and narrative styles, and they do so with incredible command and precision,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival. “From a stark coming-of-age story, a retro-futuristic science-fiction and a lyrical post-western to an abduction thriller, a raw documentary and hard-hitting and topical dramas, this lineup reflects the diversity of international directors’ cinema today.”

There are twelve films in competition, my spontaneous reaction is that there are quite a lot French productions or co productions (which has happened in all festival all year long) but when I count the realize there are only 4; still is the country with the most films in the competition.

Plataform Lineup

Bang Gang (une historie d'amour moderne) {Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story)}, Eva Husson, France
Boi Neon (Neon Bull), Gabril Mascaro, Brazil, Uruguay and Netherlands
El Clan (The Clan), Pablo Trapero, Argentina and Spain
Full Contact, David Verbeek, Netherlands and Croatia
High-Rise, Ben Wheatley, UK
Hui dao bei ai de mei yi tian (The Promised Land), He Ping, China
Hurt, Alan Zweig, Canada (documentary)
Les Chevaliers Blancs (The White Knights), Joachim Lafosse, France and Belgium
Looking for Grace, Sue Brooks, Australia
Sky, Fabienne Berthaud, France and Germany
Un Français (French Blood), Diastème, France
Under Sandet (Land of Mine), Martin Zandvliet, Denmark and Germany

Platform films will screen from Thursday, September 10 to Thursday, September 17. Each film will have its first screening for public, press and industry at the Visa Screening Room at the Elgin Theatre. An international jury composed of acclaimed filmmakers Jia Zhang-ke, Claire Denis and Agnieszka Holland will award the Toronto Platform Prize ($25,000 CAD) to the best film in the program, which will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on September 20, 2015.

If you wish to check info for each film go fest official site here.  After checking those films I'm not familiar with my conclusion is that these competition is eclectic, diverse and a bit too-strange for my taste. Of course there are exceptions, none most notorious than must-be-seen for me, Pablo Trapero's The Clan.

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