This year's Toronto International Film Festival, the 37th of its kind, announced its award recipients today. With a variety of awards at stake, Festival highlights such as Silver Linings Playbook and Seven Psychopaths took home big honors. In a ceremony that took place at the Intercontinental Hotel in Toronto, eleven awards were handed out for their achievements. The full list of winners is below.
Best Canadian Short Film
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 honourable mention goes to Mike Clattenburg’s Crackin’ Down Hard for its unpredictable zaniness."
The City of Toronto + Canada Goose Award for Best Canadian Feature Film
Xavier Dolan's Laurence Anyways. The 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--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
A tie between Brandon Cronenberg's Antiviral and Jason Buxton's Blackbird was announced. The 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--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." Generously supported by SKYY Vodka, the award carries a cash prize of $15,000. TIFF takes great pride in our role of supporting championing emerging filmmakers and as such, TIFF will be doubling the prize, so that both Brandon and Jason will receive a cash prize of $15,000 each.
The BlackBerry People's Choice Award
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. TIFF explained in a press release that "the film is an intense, loving, emotional and funny family story from the director of The Fighter, David O. Russell, 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 BlackBerry People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award
Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths. 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
Bartholomew Cubbins for Artifact. First runner up is Christopher Nelius and Justin McMillan's Storm Surfers 3D. Second runner up is Rob Stewart's Revolution.
NETPAC Award for the Best First or Second Feature World or International Asian Film Premiere
Sion Sono's The Land of Hope. The jury--made up of Laurice Guillen (Philippines), Shelly Kraicer (Toronto/Beijing) and Azize Tan (Istanbul)--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."
Grolsch Film Works Discovery Award
The inaugural award went to Rola Nashef for Detroit Unleaded.
For the 21st consecutive year, TIFF welcomed an international FIPRESCI jury for the competition. 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 following awards were decided upon by the above jury.
The Prize of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Special Presentations
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
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."
[Photo Credit: TIFF]
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Top Story: Aniston Cries on Oprah
Jennifer Aniston, embarking on a marketing blitz for her upcoming comedy Along Came Polly, told Vogue magazine for its January issue that she cried during her appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. "She was doing a show about [Friends'] final year, and there was an audience, and I, unfortunately, am one of those blithering idiots who cried on Oprah," Aniston said. "I couldn't stop myself. I really wish I hadn't but it was this reality check. We've all been in sort of a state of denial about the ending of Friends and this kind of made it real." NBC will tape the last episode of Friends, now in its 10th season, at the end of January, the AP reports. Along Came Polly, starring Ben Stiller, hits theaters Jan. 16.
Oprah Still America's Favorite TV Personality
Despite her penchant for bringing celebrities and others to tears--or perhaps because of it--Oprah Winfrey held on to her title this year as America's favorite TV personality, according to The Harris Poll, conducted by the worldwide market research and consulting firm Harris Interactive. This is the fourth time Winfrey has been No. 1; she also won in 1998, 2000 and 2002, and since the poll began in 1993, she has consistently been in the top three. David Letterman, who achieved his best ever ranking last year at No. 3, moved up to second place, followed by Bill O'Reilly, Ray Romano and Jay Leno. Other celebrities to make the Top 10 were Dr. Phil McGraw and Jon Stewart, who tied for sixth place. CSI's William Petersen came in eighth while Whoopi Goldberg finished ninth. Jennifer Aniston, Ellen DeGeneres and Martin Sheen, meanwhile, all tied for 10th place. The Harris Poll, now in its 11th year, was conducted online with 2,376 adults in the United States from Nov. 17 to Nov. 23.
Letterman Visits Troops in Iraq
David Letterman, who visited troops in Afghanistan for Christmas last year, dropped in Wednesday for a Christmas Eve visit with U.S. troops in Baghdad, the AP reports. The Late Show host visited the military's main combat hospital and one of Saddam Hussein's ransacked palaces that now serves as part of the U.S.-led coalition's headquarters. Letterman got some big laughs when he read off the Top 10 signs soldiers have been in Iraq too long: "No. 9: You've heard a crazy rumor that Arnold Schwarzenegger is the governor of California," Letterman said. Number two was, "Camel: It tastes like chicken." The top slot was aimed at the soldiers running the hospital: "And the No. 1 sign you've been in Iraq too long: Dave's heard about our outstanding health care and came to us for his hemorrhoids."
WGA, Studios Clash Over DVDs
The Writers Guild of America is making the sizzling DVD market its main concern as it heads into negotiations with studios. But according to Variety, studios aren't likely to turn generous when it comes to doling out profits from DVD revenues. The current payouts are based on an antiquated 1985 formula that leaves writers with uncommonly small residuals amid the existing DVD craze. Studios, however, stand by the formula and argue that with only one in 10 features recouping its costs from the domestic box office, DVD profits are an essential tool in keeping studios afloat. Talks have not yet been scheduled between the WGA and the studios, but with the May 2 contract expiration date looming, the DVD issue is expected to heat up.
Johansson a "Rising Star"
Scarlett Johansson, who received two Golden Globe nominations last week for her roles in Lost in Translation and Girl With a Pearl Earring, will be honored at the 15th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival with the first ever Rising Star Award, the AP reports. The awards ceremony will be held Jan. 11 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Chairman-elect Earl Greenburg said in a statement: "We are very excited to be honoring Scarlett Johansson with the festival's first-ever Rising Star Award. She has already established herself as one of Hollywood's most versatile and talented young actresses." The 19-year-old also starred in The Horse Whisperer and Ghost World. The festival will be held Jan. 8-19.
Jesse Ventura's America on Indefinite Hiatus
Former Minnesota governor and pro wrestler Jesse Ventura can add former TV host to his title. A spokeswoman for cable news channel MSNBC told Reuters Wednesday that Ventura's Saturday evening talk show, Jesse Ventura's America, has been taken off the air with no immediate plans to bring it back. But Ventura, once known as "The Body" in wrestling circles, will continue to serve as a political commentator for the network during the 2004 campaign season. Ventura's show, which debuted in October, has struggled in the ratings. It was originally conceived by MSNBC as a nightly prime-time program but was limited to Saturday evenings by the time it launched.
Trailer Park Boys Coming Stateside
BBC America has picked up the first two seasons of mockumentary Trailer Park Boys, a profanity-laced, low-budget tale of life on the wrong side of the tracks, Variety reports. Now in its third season, the show, shot in Halifax, Nova Scotia, has developed a cult following and some critical praise. BBC America plans to run an edited version in primetime and an uncensored version later in the evening, and has optioned the third, fourth and fifth seasons. Trailer Park Boys creator and director Mike Clattenburg describes the show as Cops from a criminal's point of view and says it has "a lot of heart." This will be the show's first sale Stateside; it currently airs on Canada's Showcase network and Australia's Comedy Network.