Sunday, September 14, 2014
The Toronto International Film Festival® today announced award winners from the 39th Festival which wraps up this evening.
The short film awards below were selected by a jury comprised of Franklin Leonard, founder of The Black List; Beth Sá Freire, deputy-director of the São Paulo International Short Film Festival; and visual artist Floria Sigismondi.
VIMEO AWARD FOR BEST CANADIAN SHORT FILM
The winner of the Vimeo Award for Best Canadian Short Film goes to Randall Okita for The Weatherman and the Shadowboxer. The jury remarked, “For its bold blend of live action and digital animation to produce a striking meditation on the nature of memory and its legacy, the jury awards the Vimeo Award for Best Canadian Short Film to Randall Okita’s The Weatherman and the Shadowboxer.” The award offers a $10,000 cash prize.
The jury gave an honourable mention, “For its entirely unexpected development of a science fiction high concept into something alternately heartbreaking and humorous, the jury gives an honourable mention to Rob Grant’s What Doesn't Kill You.”
VIMEO AWARD FOR BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM
The winner of the Vimeo Award for Best International Short Film goes to Sotiris Dounoukos's A Single Body (Un seul corps). The jury remarked, “For its extraordinary exploration of the value of friendship, hope, and aspiration in an unusually brutal and austere environment... and world — made especially heartbreaking by striking performances by Doudou Masta and Mexianu Medenou — the jury awards the Vimeo Award for Best International Short Film to Sotiris Dounoukos for A Single Body.” The award offers a $10,000 cash prize.
The jury gave an honourable mention, “For its charming absurdist comedy about loneliness, identity, and the art of finding yourself, the jury gives an honourable mention to Atsuko Hirayanagi for Oh Lucy!.”
The Canadian awards below were selected by a jury comprised of filmmaker Michael Dowse (The F Word); director, writer and producer Ingrid Veninger (The Animal Project); producer Jennifer Jonas (Gerontophilia); and film critic Jason Anderson.
CANADA GOOSE AWARD FOR BEST CANADIAN FEATURE FILM
The Canada Goose Award for Best Canadian Feature Film goes to Maxime Giroux’s Felix and Meira (Félix et Meira). The jury remarked, “For its immense sophistication and craftsmanship in telling a brave story bridging two disparate worlds, its generosity of spirit, masterful use of music, and exquisite performances that fuel the film’s power as both an intimate love story and a profound statement on the value of passion, family and community, the Canada Goose Award for Best Canadian Feature Film goes to Maxime Giroux’s Felix and Meira.” This award is made possible thanks to Canada Goose and comes with a cash prize of $30,000.
CITY OF TORONTO AWARD FOR BEST CANADIAN FIRST FEATURE FILM
The City of Toronto Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film goes to Jeffrey St. Jules for Bang Bang Baby. The jury remarked, “For its ingenious mixing of genres, sophisticated blend of tones and ability to create its own strange, tragicomic and original world without sacrificing any richness in regards to story, character and emotion, the jury recognizes as Best Canadian First Feature Film Bang Bang Baby by Jeffrey St. Jules.” The award carries a cash prize of $15,000.
THE PRIZES OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRITICS (FIPRESCI PRIZES)
The Festival welcomed an international FIPRESCI jury for the 23rd year. The jury members consist of jury president Dana Linssen (Netherlands), Marco Lombardi (Italy), Ola Salwa (Poland), Télesphore Mba Bizo (Cameroun), Jorge Gutman (Canada) and Thom Ernst (Canada).
Prize of the International Critics (FIPRESCI) for Special Presentations is awarded to Oren Moverman’s Time Out of Mind. The jury remarked, “For Oren Moverman’s sensitive and human depiction of homelessness, and Richard Gere’s remarkable performance, the FIPRESCI jury is pleased to grant the Special Presentations prize to Time Out of Mind.”
Prize of the International Critics (FIPRESCI) for the Discovery programme is awarded to Abd Al Malik for May Allah Bless France! (Qu’Allah bénisse la France!) The jury remarked, “The FIPRESCI jury is pleased to grant the Discovery prize for a story of a youth displaced in their own country, struggling to find the balance between chaos and serenity, on the strength of art, music and human spirit. While the startling cinematography is purely black and white, the director Abd Al Malik managed to show the different shades of grey in his daring debut May Allah Bless France!. Félicitations.”
As selected by a jury from the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema, the NETPAC Award for World or International Asian Film Premiere goes to Shonali Bose for Margarita, with a Straw. Jury members include Lekha Shankar (India), Hannah Fisher (China) and Anderson Le (Hawaii). The jury remarked, “Margarita, with a Straw is both universal and groundbreaking. Director Shonali Bose and actress Kalki Koechlin have jointly created a character and a world that embody a love letter to life, with all its highs and lows, in spite of overwhelming physical limitations.”
GROSLCH PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS
This year marked the 37th year that Toronto audiences were able to cast a ballot for their favourite Festival film, with the Grolsch People’s Choice Award. This year’s award goes to Morten Tyldum for The Imitation Game. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing, the genius British mathematician, logician, cryptologist and computer scientist who led the charge to crack the German Enigma Code that helped the Allies win WWII. Turing went on to assist with the development of computers at the University of Manchester after the war, but was prosecuted by the UK government in 1952 for homosexual acts which the country deemed illegal. The award offers a $15,000 cash prize and custom award, sponsored by Grolsch. The first runner up is Isabel Coixet’s Learning to Drive. The second runner up is Theodore Melfi’s St. Vincent.
The Festival presents a free screening of the award-winning film The Imitation Game tonight. The screening takes place at 6 p.m. at the Ryerson Theatre. Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 4 p.m. at Ryerson Theatre.
The Grolsch People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award goes to Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement for What We Do in the Shadows. The film follows three flatmates who are just trying to get by and overcome life’s obstacles — like being immortal vampires who must feast on human blood. First runner up is Kevin Smith for Tusk and the second runner up is Jalmari Helander for Big Game.
The Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award goes to Hajooj Kuka for Beats of the Antonov. Beats of the Antonov follows refugees from the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains in Sudan as they survive displacement and the trauma of civil war. Music, a cornerstone of their traditions and identity, becomes itself a vehicle for survival. First runner up is David Thorpe’s Do I Sound Gay? and the second runner up is Ethan Hawke’s Seymour: An Introduction.
2014 TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL BOASTS RECORD INDUSTRY ATTENDANCE AND SIGNIFICANT FILM SALES
As the 39th Toronto International Film Festival wraps up for another year, the Festival concludes on a high note, setting a new record for industry delegate attendance and delivering strong film sales. This year saw the Festival’s highest film sale to date, after a bidding war with distributors ended with Paramount scooping up Chris Rock’s Top Five for a reported $12.5 million. To date, 41 film sales have been announced in territories globally, which includes 24 major sales to U.S. distributors. More agreements are expected in the coming days. Key acquisitions include: Before We Go, The Cobbler, Maps to the Stars, Sunshine Superman, Riot Club, Still Alice, While We’re Young and Love & Mercy.
The Festival’s Industry Office saw the number of registered delegates increase by 7% over 2013 with more than 5,000 delegates — the most the Festival has ever hosted — from 80 countries. The most notable growth of delegates came from sizable increases from China (217%), South Africa (59%) and the U.S. (16%). Industry delegates included 1,900 buyers this year. The expansion of the press and industry screening capacity and Industry Office venues offered more meeting space and professional development opportunities, setting the stage for conversations and connections.
“The increase in film sales that takes place at our Festival each year solidifies these 11 days as a major draw for industry from countries around the world,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival. “The TIFF Industry office has done an incredible job in ensuring that delegates are well equipped to access opportunities to make connections throughout their time at the Festival.”
“This year eager buyers were quick to snap up films during the Festival: it’s a noticeable increase in terms of the number of films sold during these 11 days as compared to last year,” said Justin Cutler, Director, Industry Office, TIFF. “Sales were not only made for theatrical releases but for digital distribution as well, which is a testament to the evolving landscape.”
Film sales confirmed to date: The 50 Year Argument, 99 Homes, Adult Beginners, American Heist, Before We Go, Big Game, Breakup Buddies, Charlie's Country, The Cobbler, Felix and Meira, Gemma Bovary, Guidance, It Follows, La Sapienza, Labyrinth of Lies, The Last Five Years, Life in a Fishbowl, The Little Death, Love & Mercy, Madame Bovary, Maps to the Stars, National Gallery, Pawn Sacrifice, Phoenix, Riot Club, Still Alice, Sunshine Superman, Tales of the Grim Sleeper, The Face of an Angel, The Dead Lands, The Grump, The Lesson, The Look of Silence, The Price We Pay, The Reach, The Valley Below, The Voices, Theeb, Top Five, What We Do in the Shadows, While We're Young.
Sales of Canadian films include: Felix and Meira, Guidance, Maps to the Stars and The Valley Below.
Additionally, Vimeo has closed a deal with Hal Hartley’s Possible Films for Hartley's feature Ned Rifle. The deal gives Vimeo an exclusive U.S. and Canada VOD platform window for day-and-date release.
The Industry Conference broke records with attendance, up 57% to the various panels throughout the week. Creating a forum for creative and business visionaries to share their diverse perspectives with an energized audience over the course of seven days, TIFF Industry presented over 200 trendsetting industry professionals and over 70 hours of programming. The lineup featured key speakers including: Barry Levinson, Oren Moverman, Susanne Bier, Douglas Trumbull, Ted Hope, Sue Kroll, Palmer Luckey, Terry Press, Bob Berney, Fabien Riggall and Juliette Binoche.
TIFF is a charitable cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival in September; TIFF Bell Lightbox, which features five cinemas, major exhibitions, and learning and entertainment facilities; and innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates an annual economic impact of $189 million CAD. TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by contributors including Founding Sponsor Bell, the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation and RBC. For more information, visit tiff.net.