The 33rd Toronto International Film Festival closed over the weekend. British director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Sunshine) took home the Cadillac People’s Choice Award and the $15,000 prize for his latest feature, Slumdog Millionaire, a story about a teenage Indian orphan who is about to win 20 million rupees on India’s edition of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
Marie-Helene Cousineau and Madeline Piujuq Ivalu’s drama Before Tomorrow won Best Canadian First Feature Film and Rodrigue Jean’s Lost Song was voted Best Canadian Feature Film.
The FIPRESCI prize, awarded by an international jury of film critics, went to Derick Martini’s Lymelife.
Here are all the winners:
BEST CANADIAN SHORT FILM
Block B, dir. Chris Chong Chan Fui (dir.)
The film examines the lives of an expatriate Indian community weaving itself through the contradicting soundscapes of contemporary Malaysia. The jury notes: “simple, graphic, hypnotic – this is an achievement of bringing cinema to its bare essentials.”
Next Floor, dir. Denis Villeneuve
BEST CANADIAN FIRST FEATURE FILM
Before Tomorrow, dir. Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Madeline Piujuq Ivalu
The jury awarded the film “for its arresting beauty, its humanist, innovative storytelling and its artistic integrity in capturing the narrative of a people through an intimate tale.” Based on the novel by acclaimed Danish author Jørn Riel, Before Tomorrow is a moving drama about a strong Inuit woman and her beloved grandson, who become trapped on a remote island as they face the ultimate challenge of survival.
Borderline, dir. Lyne Charlebois
BEST CANADIAN FEATURE FILM
Lost Song, dir. Rodrigue Jean
Elisabeth (Suzie LeBlanc), Pierre (Patrick Goyette) and their new-born baby move to a summer cottage in a remote area north of Montreal. Isolation and the difficulty of coping with her new situation and surroundings send Elisabeth into a spiral of depression. The jury described the film as “constantly surprising,” and “profound, masterful and devastatingly sad.”
Adoration, dir. Atom Egoyan
DIESEL DISCOVERY AWARD
Hunger, dir. Steve McQueen’s Hunger
The film follows Bobby Sands and the other political inmates of Northern Ireland’s Maze Prison in 1981 as they seek to gain special category status for republican prisoners.
Lymelife, dir. Derick Martini
From the filmmaking team behind Smiling Fish and Goat on Fire (TIFF 1999) comes an examination of first love, family dynamics and the American Dream in late 1970s Long Island, as seen through the innocent eyes of a 15-year-old. Scott Bartlett (Rory Culkin) is a gentle boy – a direct contrast to his blustery father, Mickey (Alec Baldwin). After an outbreak of Lyme disease hits their suburban community, the lives of the Bartletts and their neighbours begin to crumble in the wake of illness, confrontation and paranoia.
FIPRESCI Prize for Special Presentations
Disgrace, dir. Steve Jacobs
Professor David Lurie’s (John Malkovich) life falls apart after he has an impulsive affair with one of his students. Forced to resign from Cape Town University, he escapes to his daughter’s farm in the Eastern Cape. Their relationship is tested when they both become victims of a vicious attack. In order not to lose the love of his daughter, David stands by her as she accepts her tragic circumstances. She continues her life on the farm and their individual disgrace finally settles to an uneasy grace.
CADILLAC PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD
Slumdog Millionaire, dir. Danny Boyle
From acclaimed director Danny Boyle comes a story about a kid with nothing, who has everything to lose. Jamal Malik, an 18-year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India’s “Who Wants to be A Millionaire?” Arrested on suspicion of cheating, he tells the police the amazing tale of his life on the streets, and of the girl he loved and lost. But what is a kid with no interest in money doing on the show? And how does he know all the answers?
More Than a Game, dir. Kristopher Belman
The Stoning of Soraya M., dir. Cyrus Nowrasteh