Sunday, September 14, 2014

'The Imitation Game' Wins TIFF's People's Choice Award

The 2014 Toronto Film Festival has come to a close and with it their top prize-- the People's Choice Award.  Toronto is somewhat different than other major film festivals (Sundance, Cannes, Venice, Berlin) in that their top prize is chosen by festival filmgoers rather than a designated jury.  They do hand out a few smaller jury prizes, but the biggie is the People's Choice Award.

The Imitation Game- directed by Morten Tyldum

1st runner-up: Learning to Drive- directed by Isable Coixet
2nd runner-up: St. Vincent- directed by Theodore Melfi

The Imitation Game from Headhunters director Tyldum stars Benedict Cumberbatch as mathematician Alan Turing, who cracked the German enigma code during WWII.  Branded a hero until his homosexuality was discovered.  Keira Knightley and Mark Strong co-star in the awards hopeful coming to cinemas this November courtesy of The Weinstein Company.  Last year, eventual Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave won the same prize in Toronto.  Other eventual Best Picture winners that have won the People's Choice in Toronto include Slumdog Millionaire, American Beauty and The King's Speech, a comparable title to The Imitation Game, or at least its distributor hopes so.  Curiously, The Imitation Game had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival before playing Toronto, the same year Toronto organizers made a big fuss about Telluride premieres being sidelined to the back end of the Toronto slate.  The win for The Imitation Game sort of renders that decision even sillier, perhaps.

Beats of the Anotonov- directed by Hajooj Kuka
1st runner-up: Do I Sound Gay?- directed by David Thorpe
2nd runner-up: Seymour: An Introduction- directed by Ethan Hawke

PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD (Midnight Madness)
What We Do in the Shadows- directed by Taika Waititi & Jemaine Clement
1st runner-up: Tusk- directed by Kevin Smith
2nd runner-up: Big Game- directed by Jalmari Helander

BEST CANADIAN FEATURE FILM: Felix & Maria- directed by Maxime Giroux
BEST CANADIAN FIRST FEATURE FILM: Bang Bang Baby- directed by Jeffrey St. Jules

Special Presentation Section: Time Out of Mind- directed by Oren Moverman
Discovery Section: May Allah Bless France!- directed by Abd Al Malik

NETPAC AWARD FOR BEST ASIAN FILM: Margarita, With a Straw- directed by Shonali Bose

BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM: A Single Body- directed by Sotiris Dounoukos
BEST CANADIAN SHORT FILM: The Weatherman and the Shadowboxer- directed by Randall Okita

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