Sunday, September 15, 2013

2013 Toronto International Film Festival announces award winners

Toronto – The 38th Toronto International Film Festival® today announced its award recipients at a reception at the Intercontinental Hotel in Toronto.


The winner of the YouTube Award for Best Canadian Short Film goes to Walter Woodman and Patrick Cederberg for Noah. The jury, comprised of writer Rafael Katigbak, writer, director Nathan Morlando and documentary filmmaker Nisha Pahuja, remarked: “This film is a commentary on the ephemeral, disposable, A.D.D. culture that many of us are consumed by and living in. It tells us a story in a way we’ve never seen before and it tells it well. It’s fresh, innovative, and had the remarkable ability to embody complex emotion through the simple gesture of a mouse.” The award offers a $10,000 cash prize. Honourable mentions go to Kevan Funke’s Yellowhead, and Fraser Munden and Neil Rathbone’s The Chaperone 3D.

The Canadian awards below were selected by a jury comprised of Liz Czach, author, Associate Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta and a former Festival programmer of Canadian film; Laurence Kardish, film historian, author and Senior Curator Emeritus of Film at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; Martin Katz, feature film producer and founder of Prospero Films; and award-winning director, writer and actor Jacob Tierney.


The City of Toronto + Canada Goose Award for Best Canadian Feature Film goes to Alan Zweig’s When Jews Were Funny. The jury remarked: “For its deeply moving exploration of memory, identity and community and for its coherent and profoundly humourous representation of the personal as universal, the Award for Best Canadian Feature Film goes to Alan Zweig's documentary When Jews Were Funny.” This award is made possible thanks to the City of Toronto and Canada Goose and comes with a cash prize of $30,000.

“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.”


The Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film goes to Shayne Ehman and Seth Scriver’s Asphalt Watches. The jury remarked:

“For its ferociously audacious and excitingly original animated road trip across Western Canada that is like no other, the jury recognizes as Best Canadian First Feature Film the breathtakingly inventive Asphalt Watches.” The award carries a prize of $15,000.

“For its technical mastery, polish, sense of fun and ability to scare the pants off us, the jury gives an honourable mention to Afflicted.”


The Festival welcomed an international FIPRESCI jury for the 22nd consecutive year. The jury members consist of jury president John Anderson (United States), Robenson Eksiel (Greece), Leslie James (Canada), Namrata Joshi (India), Michael Ranze (Germany) and André Roy (Canada).

Prize of the International Critics (FIPRESCI) for Special Presentations is awarded to Pawel Pawlikowski's Ida. The jury remarked: “The prize is awarded to Ida for a layered and humane exploration of issues of religious and personal identity. With its very original, austere yet poetic imagery it brings alive the gravity and grimness of history.”

Prize of the International Critics (FIPRESCI) for the Discovery programme is awarded to Claudia Sainte-Luce for The Amazing Catfish. The jury remarked: “Claudia Sainte-Luce shows a precocious, playful and poignant grasp of the fluid nature of family and the capability of the human heart under the most dire conditions for generosity, empathy and tenderness, in her vibrant debut The Amazing Catfish.”


This year marked the 36th year that Toronto audiences were able to cast a ballot for their favourite Festival film, with the BlackBerry® People’s Choice Award. This year’s award goes to Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave. The film tells the incredible true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841 and finally freed in 1853. The story is a triumphant tale of one man’s courage and perseverance to reunite with his family that serves as an important historical and cultural marker in American history. The award offers a $15,000 cash prize and custom award, sponsored by BlackBerry.

The first runner up is Stephen FrearsPhilomena. The second runner up is Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners.

The Festival presents a free screening of the award-winning film 12 Years a Slave 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 BlackBerry People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award goes to Sion Sono’s Why Don't You Play in Hell? (Jigoku de Naze Warui). The film follows two men, Muto and Ikegami, who hate each other. Muto desperately wants to help his daughter Mitsuko star in a movie. Meanwhile, Ikegami falls in love with Mitsuko, knowing that she's the daughter of his foe. Hirata, a filmmaker, and Koji, a young movie-lover, get dragged into this complicated situation that heads into an unexpected direction. First runner up is Mike Flanagan for Oculus and the second runner up is Álex de la Iglesia for Witching & Bitching.

The BlackBerry People’s Choice Documentary Award goes to Jehane Noujaim for The Square. The story of revolution — behind the headlines. From the 2011 overthrow of a 30-year dictator, through military rule, and culminating with the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood president in the summer of 2013. First runner up is Alanis Obomsawin’s Hi-Ho Mistahey! and the second runner up is Leanne Pooley’s Beyond the Edge.


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 Anup Singh’s Qissa. Jury members include Jay Jeon (Korea), Intishal Al Timimi (Abu Dhabi) and Freddie Wong (Hong Kong). The jury remarked: “The NETPAC Award for the best Asian film at Festival 2013 goes to Qissa, directed by Anup Singh, for its sensitive portrayal of the issues of identity and displacement that affect people not only in India, but in all parts of the world and for brilliance of cinematic craft and the choice of metaphor that has been employed to tell a moving story that is bound to provoke thoughts, spark debate and give its viewers an intense experience.”


Earlier in the Festival, the winner of the Grolsch Film Works Discovery Award was announced. The award went to Gia Milani whose film, All the Wrong Reasons, was presented as part of the Discovery programme. Milani was presented with the award which includes a $10,000 cash prize to put toward her next project.


Also earlier in the Festival, the RBC Emerging Filmmakers Competition concluded with Christoph Rainer’s Requiem for a Robot winning the $20,000 grand prize. Honourable mentions go to Dan Popa for Tales of Santa Fe and Kevan Funk for Destroyer. Each claimed a $5,000 prize. The films were reviewed by an esteemed panel of producers, directors and executives.



TORONTO – The Toronto International Film Festival is the annual hub for fervent film sales activity on a U.S. and International level, and 2013 was no exception. To date, 32 film sales have been announced to territories globally. That includes 21 major sales to U.S. distributors and a significant increase in Canadian sales with a total of eight. More agreements are expected to be announced in the coming days. Key acquisitions include: Bad Words, Burt’s Buzz, Can a Song Save Your Life?, Fading Gigolo, Joe, McCanick, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her, The F Word, The Green Inferno, The Railway Man, Tom at the Farm and Under the Skin.

The Festival’s TIFF Industry Office accredited 4,743 industry delegates this year – a 10% growth over 2012 – and worked closely with delegates to facilitate information sharing and to foster relationships between accredited buyers, sales agents, producers and filmmakers. Industry delegates represented 2,588 companies and came to Toronto from 80 countries. All territories saw an increase in delegate numbers – most notably attendance from Africa increased by 50%, followed closely by Central America (43%), Canada (18%) and the U.S. (7%).

“The vibrant film sales that take place each year in Toronto are a testament to the strength of the industry overall, and it is what attracts territories from around the globe to make this Festival part of their main agenda,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival. “In addition, the TIFF Industry office pulls out all the stops to ensure the best opportunities are available to the delegates to complete their Festival experience.”

"It was extremely gratifying to lay the foundation for such a charged sales environment this year and then to see the incredible economic impact unfolding,” said Justin Cutler, Senior Manager, TIFF Industry. “We are also excited about the positive response to our new Industry Conference. It was a pleasure to inspire and energize filmmakers from 80 countries.”

This year, over the course of seven days, TIFF Industry presented 180 guest speakers, 57 panels and 65 hours of programming. The lineup included key speakers: John Turturro, Dede Gardner, Alison Thompson, Jeff Skoll, Jim Berk, Michael Barker, Rich Gelford, Greg Foster, Ava DuVernay, Ted Hope, Cassian Elwes, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Andrew Jarecki, Alex Gibney, Sarah Polley, Keanu Reeves, Johnnie To, Tom Yoda, Alexandre Aja, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Jason Bateman.

In total, 4,700 delegates attended the Industry Conference sessions; the two-day Doc Conference experienced a 45% increase over the previous year – and the Asian Film Summit also increased its number with198 registrants.

Film sales to the U.S. confirmed to date include: A Touch of Sin, All Is By My Side, Bad Words, Bright Days Ahead, Burt’s Buzz, Can a Song Save Your Life?, Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus, Fading Gigolo, Le Démantèlement, McCanick, Oculus, Proxy, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her, The F Word, The Green Inferno, The Major, The Railway Man, The Station, The Sacrament Under the Skin and Words and Pictures.

Sales of Canadian films include: Burt’s Buzz, Empire of Dirt, Gerontophilia, Le Démantèlement, The F Word, Watermark, Gabrielle and Tom at the Farm.

Film sales confirmed to other territories include: A Touch of Sin, Hotell, Joe, Khumba, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her, Walesa. Man of Hope and When Jews Were Funny.

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About TIFF
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 Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation and RBC. For more information, visit

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