Sunday, September 16, 2012

'Playbook,' 'Psychopaths' take TIFF prizes

TORONTO – The 37th Toronto International Film Festival announced its award recipients today at a reception at the Intercontinental Hotel Toronto.

The BlackBerry People's Choice Award is voted on by Festival audiences. This year’s award goes to David O. Russell for "Silver Linings Playbook." The film is an intense, loving, emotional and funny family story from the director of "The Fighter," in which Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence find themselves partners in a secret arrangement to rebuild their broken lives. Robert De Niro yearns to get closer to his son (Cooper), as he tries to keep the family afloat with his compulsive bookmaking. The award offers a $15,000 cash prize and custom award, sponsored by BlackBerry. First runner-up is Ben Affleck’s "Argo." The second runner-up is Eran Riklis’ "Zaytoun."

The Festival presents a free screening of the award-winning film 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 Martin McDonagh’s "Seven Psychopaths," which follows a struggling screenwriter (Colin Farrell) who inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends (Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell) kidnap a gangster’s (Woody Harrelson) beloved Shih Tzu. The film co-stars Abbie Cornish, Tom Waits, Olga Kurylenko and Zeljko Ivanek. First runner-up is Barry Levinson’s :"The Bay," and second runner-up is Don Coscarelli’s "John Dies at the End."

The BlackBerry People’s Choice Documentary Award goes to Bartholomew Cubbins for "Artifact." Telling harsh truths about the modern music business, the film gives intimate access to singer/actor Jared Leto and his band, Thirty Seconds to Mars, as they battle their label in a brutal lawsuit and record their album, This Is War. First runner-up is Christopher Nelius and Justin McMillan’s "Storm Surfers 3D." Second runner-up is Rob Stewart’s "Revolution."


The winner of the Award for Best Canadian Short Film goes to Deco Dawson for "Keep a Modest Head." The jury, comprised of journalist and author Matthew Hays, journalist Katrina Onstad and filmmaker Reginald Harkema, remarked: “For the winner of this year’s best short, we chose a film that expands the boundaries of documentary, one that perfectly reflects its surreal subject. The award offers a $10,000 cash prize. The honorable mention goes to Mike Clattenburg’s "Crackin’ Down Hard" for its unpredictable zaniness.”

The Canadian awards below were selected by a jury comprised of producer and filmmaker Jody Shapiro, CPH PIX Festival Director Jacob Neiiendam, actor and filmmaker Valerie Buhagiar, and director, writer and producer Patricia Rozema.

The City of Toronto + Canada Goose Award for Best Canadian Feature Film goes to Xavier Dolan’s "Laurence Anyways." The jury remarked: “For its breathless cinematic energy and its entirely new love story, the jury felt honoured to watch such unfettered genius at play."
This award is made possible thanks to the City of Toronto and Canada Goose and comes with a cash prize of $30,000.

The SKYY Vodka Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film is a tie between Brandon Cronenberg’s "Antiviral" and Jason Buxton’s "Blackbird." The jury remarked: “For Best Canadian First Feature Film, we have made a decision that reflects the broad spectrum of Canadian styles and voices. The prize this year has been split between "Blackbird," for its authenticity and clear-eyed social conscience, and for its ambitious commentary and visual sophistication, "Antiviral.” Supported by SKYY Vodka, the award carries a cash prize of $15,000. TIFF will be doubling the prize, so that both Brandon and Jason will receive a cash prize of $15,000 each.

The Festival welcomed an international FIPRESCI jury for the 21st consecutive year. The jury members consist of jury president Peter Keough (United States), Jon Asp (Sweden), Ashok Rane (India), Louis-Paul Rioux (Canada), Juan Manuel Dominguez (Argentina) and Brian McKechnie (Canada).

The Prize of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Special Presentations is awarded to Francois Ozon’s "Dans la maison (In the House)." The jury remarked: “For achieving an exquisitely crafted entertainment that blurs the distinction between the storyteller and the story told, and that assuages with playful complexity the tragedies of life with the consolations of art, the FIPRESCI award for Special Presentations goes to Francois Ozon’s 'In the House'.”

Prize of the International Critics (FIPRESCI) for the Discovery programme is awarded to Mikael Marcimain’s "Call Girl." The jury remarked: “With an intense sense of cinema reminiscent of the American thrillers of the 1970s, Mikael Marcimain’s debut feature achieves a portrait of an obscure world involving women’s rights and political corruption. Marcimain deals with his sensitive subject with immense ease and craftsmanship. Because of these accomplishments, the FIPRESCI Award for Best Film in the Discovery programme goes to Mikael Marcimain’s 'Call Girl'.”


New this year is the NETPAC Award for the Best First or Second Feature World or International Asian Film Premiere, as selected by a jury from the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema. Jury members include Laurice Guillen (Philippines), Shelly Kraicer (Toronto/Beijing) and Azize Tan (Istanbul).The award goes to Sion Sono’s "The Land of Hope." The jury remarked: “For its subtle, complex and artful account of the social and political aspects of a national trauma that ends in hope and love, the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival NETPAC Award for best feature film is given to 'The Land of Hope' by Sion Sono.”

Earlier in the Festival, the inaugural winner of the Grolsch Film Works Discovery Award was announced. The award went to Rola Nashef, whose film, "Detroit Unleaded," was presented as part of the Discovery program. Nashef was presented with the award, which includes a $10,000 cash prize to put toward her next project.

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