Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri bewitches audiences at Toronto
by Vassilis Economou
- TORONTO 2017: Call Me by Your Name by Luca Guadagnino was the second runner-up at the gathering, while Clio Barnard’s Dark River received a Special Mention
Already highly praised, British writer-director Martin McDonagh’s witty drama Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri [+see also:
film profile] captured the audience’s heart and went home with the Grolsch People’s Choice Award at the 42nd Toronto International Film Festival (7-17 September). The film, which features one of the best female performances of the year by Frances McDormand, received the $15,000 cash prize during the closing ceremony at TIFF Bell Lightbox, hosted by Piers Handling, CEO and director of the TIFF, and Cameron Bailey, the gathering’s artistic director.
The first runner-up in the section was the biopic on Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding, I, Tonya, directed by Craig Gillespie, while the second runner-up was the well-travelled festival favourite Call Me by Your Name [+see also:
Q&A: Luca Guadagnino
film profile] by Italian director Luca Guadagnino.
As for the documentaries, Agnès Varda and JR’s heart-warming Faces, Places [+see also:
film profile] piqued the audience’s attention. Canadian rock icons Tragically Hip’s final tour was the subject of the first runner-up, Long Time Running, directed by Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas De Pencier, while Morgan Spurlock’s food-doc sequel Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! came third.
In the competitive Platform section, which included 12 films from all over the world and celebrated auteur cinema, the international jury comprising celebrated filmmakers Wim Wenders, Chen Kaige and Małgorzata Szumowska unanimously awarded the Australian western Sweet Country by Warwick Thornton. A Special Mention was awarded to Dark River [+see also:
interview: Clio Barnard
film profile] by British filmmaker Clio Barnard. The jury remarked: “This film, deeply rooted in the Yorkshire countryside, convinced us, as its characters and actors, its photography, its story and its sense of place were all so much one, so utterly believable and controlled, that we were totally taken by it.”
The FIPRESCI jury, headed up by Jonathan Rosenbaum and including Robert Daudelin, Martin Horyna, Ivonete Pinto, Marietta Steinhart and Jim Slotek, awarded AVA by Iranian director Sadaf Foroughi from the Discovery section and The Motive [+see also:
interview: Manuel Martín Cuenca
film profile] by Spaniard Manuel Martín Cuenca from Special Presentations.
The Network for the Promotion of Asian and Asia Pacific Cinema (NETPAC) awarded The Great Buddha+ by Huang Hsin-Yao, from Taiwan. Finally, the Best Canadian Feature Film Award went to Robin Aubert’s arthouse horror flick Les Affamés and an Honourable Mention to another Quebecois director, Simon Lavoie, for his The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches. The 43rd Toronto International Film Festival will be held from 6-16 September 2018.
Here is the complete list of winners at the 42nd Toronto International Film Festival:
I, Tonya – Craig Gillespie (USA)
Long Time Running – Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas De Pencier (Canada)
Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! – Morgan Spurlock (USA)
People’s Choice Award Midnight Madness
Bodied – Joseph Kahn (USA)
The Disaster Artist – James Franco (USA)
Brawl in Cell Block 99 – Craig Zahler (USA)
Toronto Platform Prize
Sweet Country – Warwick Thornton (Australia)
AVA – Sadaf Foroughi (Iran/Canada/Qatar)
The Great Buddha+ – Huang Hsin-Yao (Taiwan)
Best Canadian Feature Film
Les Affamés – Robin Aubert (Canada)
The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches – Simon Lavoie (Canada)
Best Canadian First Feature Film
Luk' Luk'l – Wayne Wapeemukwa (Canada)
Best Short Film
The Burden – Niki Lindroth von Bahr (Sweden)
The Tesla World Light – Matthew Rankin (Canada)
A Gentle Night – Xiao Cheng Er Yue (China/France)
Best Canadian Short Film
Pre-Drink – Marc-Antoine Lemire (Canada)
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