40th Toronto International Film Festival Coverage: Day Eleven
Sunday, September 20th, 2015 by Ian Evans
Roll up the carpets, turn off the projectors, vacuum up the popcorn. With the announcement of its awards, the 40th Toronto International Film Festival is now officially over.
Here’s a look at the winners:
SHORTS CUTS AWARD FOR BEST CANADIAN SHORT FILM
- Patrice Laliberté for Overpass. The jury remarked, “For its seductive, elliptical and graceful manner of exploring the nature of grief and the unconventional ways that families react to loss, all of which was elevated by the performance of Téo Vachon Sincennes.” The award offers a $10,000 cash prize.
- Honourable mention: Sol Friedman’s Bacon & God’s Wrath, “For its whimsical and wry examination of religious conviction and intellectual conversion, and the acknowledgment that courage and transformation can be achieved at any age and involve any manner of pork by-product.”
SHORT CUTS AWARD FOR BEST SHORT FILM
- Maïmouna Doucouré’s Maman(s). The jury remarked, “For its daring and revelatory exploration of a family’s dysfunction and upheaval through the eyes of a child and its refusal to cast characters as villains but rather as complex, and highly conflicted, human beings the jury selects Maman(s). The jury also wanted to acknowledge the vulnerable, defiant performance of the gifted Sokhna Diallo.” The award offers a $10,000 cash prize.
- Honourable mention: Fyzal Boulifa’s Rate Me, “For its blithely unconventional approach to new media and new mores, and a sense of humour as wry as it was rude.”
CITY OF TORONTO AWARD FOR BEST CANADIAN FIRST FEATURE FILM
- Andrew Cividino’s Sleeping Giant. The jury remarked, “For its sophisticated plotting, indelible characters and insightful critique of masculinity through a fateful rite of passage on the north shore of Lake Superior, the jury selects Sleeping Giant.” This award carries a cash prize of $15,000, made possible by the City of Toronto.
CANADA GOOSE AWARD FOR BEST CANADIAN FEATURE FILM
- Stephen Dunn’s Closet Monster. The jury remarked, “For its confidence and invention in tackling the pain and yearning of the first love and coming of age of a young gay man in Newfoundland, the jury recognizes the remarkable artistry and vision of first-time feature director Stephen Dunn for Closet Monster.” This award carries a cash prize of $30,000 and a custom award, sponsored by Canada Goose.
- Honourable mention: Philippe Falardeau’s My Internship in Canada, “For its dexterous intelligence and cinematic wit.”
THE PRIZES OF THE INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF FILM CRITICS (FIPRESCI PRIZES)
- Prize of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) for the Discovery programme: Marko Škop for Eva Nová. The jury remarked, “For exploring themes of humanity, dignity, addiction and redemption in a naturalistic, deceptively simple and non-exploitative manner, FIPRESCI is pleased to present the prize in the Discovery programme to Marko Škop’s haunting debut feature Eva Nová.”
- Prize of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) for Special Presentations: Jonás Cuarón’s Desierto. The jury remarked, “For using pure cinema to create a strong physical sensation of being trapped in a vast space and hunted down by hatred in its most primal form, FIPRESCI presents the prize in the Special Presentations programme to Desierto by Jonás Cuarón.”
As selected by a jury from the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema for the 4th consecutive year, the NETPAC Award for World or International Asian Film Premiere went to Sion Sono for The Whispering Star. The jury remarked, “For its poetic, moving and brave attempt to express a grief that’s inexpressible, combining all too real elements with lo-fi sci-fi, the NETPAC jury awards the prize to The Whispering Star.”
TORONTO PLATFORM PRIZE
This is the inaugural year for Platform, the Festival’s new juried programme that champions director’s cinema from around the world. The Festival welcomed an international jury composed of acclaimed filmmakers Jia Zhang-ke, Claire Denis and Agnieszka Holland.
- Alan Zweig for HURT. The jury remarked, “Following a long discussion, the jury has chosen unanimously to give the Platform prize to HURT. It is a film that explores the complexity and fragility of human destiny in a country that much of the world sees as a paradise.” The award offers a $25,000 cash prize and a custom award.
- Honourable mentions: Gabriel Mascaro’s Neon Bull, He Ping’s The Promised Land, and Pablo Trapero’s The Clan.
GROLSCH PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD
- Lenny Abrahamson for Room.
GROLSCH PEOPLE’S CHOICE MIDNIGHT MADNESS AWARD
- Ilya Naishuller for Hardcore.
- 1st runner up: Todd Strauss-Schulson for The Final Girls.
- 2nd runner up: Jeremy Saulnier for Green Room.
GROLSCH PEOPLE’S CHOICE DOCUMENTARY AWARD
- Evgeny Afineevsky for Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight For Freedom.
- 1st runner up: Avi Lewis’s This Changes Everything.
- 2nd runner up: Brian D. Johnson’s Al Purdy Was Here.
DROPBOX DISCOVERY PROGRAMME FILMMAKERS AWARD
Announced earlier in the Festival, the winner of the Dropbox Discovery Programme Filmmakers Award went to Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah for Black. The award carries a $5,000 cash prize along with free Dropbox for Business accounts.
That’s it for 2015. See you next year!