Toronto Film Festival: The 2014 Winners

Toronto Film Festival Winners 2014
Keira Knightley, Matthew Beard, Matthew Goode, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Allen Leech star in ‘THE IMITATION GAME’ (Photo © 2014 The Weinstein Company. All Rights Reserved. / Photo: Jack English)

The 39th Toronto International Film Festival came to an end today with The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch earning the People’s Choice Award, a win which helps its shot at Oscar glory. Other films earning awards recognition at the festival were Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s What Do We Do in the Shadows and Oren Moverman’s Time Out of Mind.

Here’s the complete list of the 2014 TIFF winners:

VIMEO AWARD FOR BEST CANADIAN SHORT FILM:
The winner of the Vimeo Award for Best Canadian Short Film goes to Randall Okita for The Weatherman and the Shadowboxer. The jury remarked, “For its bold blend of live action and digital animation to produce a striking meditation on the nature of memory and its legacy, the jury awards the Vimeo Award for Best Canadian Short Film to Randall Okita’s The Weatherman and the Shadowboxer.” The award offers a $10,000 cash prize.

Honorable Mention: Rob Grant’s What Doesn’t Kill You

VIMEO AWARD FOR BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM:
The winner of the Vimeo Award for Best International Short Film goes to Sotiris Dounoukos’s A Single Body (Un seul corps). The jury remarked, “For its extraordinary exploration of the value of friendship, hope, and aspiration in an unusually brutal and austere environment… and world — made especially heartbreaking by striking performances by Doudou Masta and Mexianu Medenou — the jury awards the Vimeo Award for Best International Short Film to Sotiris Dounoukos for A Single Body.” The award offers a $10,000 cash prize.


Honorable Mention: Atsuko Hirayanagi’s Oh Lucy!

CANADA GOOSE AWARD FOR BEST CANADIAN FEATURE FILM:
The Canada Goose Award for Best Canadian Feature Film goes to Maxime Giroux’s Felix and Meira (Félix et Meira). The jury remarked, “For its immense sophistication and craftsmanship in telling a brave story bridging two disparate worlds, its generosity of spirit, masterful use of music, and exquisite performances that fuel the film’s power as both an intimate love story and a profound statement on the value of passion, family and community, the Canada Goose Award for Best Canadian Feature Film goes to Maxime Giroux’s Felix and Meira.” This award is made possible thanks to Canada Goose and comes with a cash prize of $30,000.

CITY OF TORONTO AWARD FOR BEST CANADIAN FIRST FEATURE FILM:
The City of Toronto Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film goes to Jeffrey St. Jules for Bang Bang Baby. The jury remarked, “For its ingenious mixing of genres, sophisticated blend of tones and ability to create its own strange, tragicomic and original world without sacrificing any richness in regards to story, character and emotion, the jury recognizes as Best Canadian First Feature Film Bang Bang Baby by Jeffrey St. Jules.” The award carries a cash prize of $15,000.

Prize of the International Critics (FIPRESCI) for Special Presentations:
The Prize of the International Critics (FIPRESCI) for Special Presentations is awarded to Oren Moverman’s Time Out of Mind. The jury remarked, “For Oren Moverman’s sensitive and human depiction of homelessness, and Richard Gere’s remarkable performance, the FIPRESCI jury is pleased to grant the Special Presentations prize to Time Out of Mind.”

Prize of the International Critics (FIPRESCI) for the Discovery:
The Prize of the International Critics (FIPRESCI) for the Discovery programme is awarded to Abd Al Malik for May Allah Bless France! (Qu’Allah bénisse la France!) The jury remarked, “The FIPRESCI jury is pleased to grant the Discovery prize for a story of a youth displaced in their own country, struggling to find the balance between chaos and serenity, on the strength of art, music and human spirit. While the startling cinematography is purely black and white, the director Abd Al Malik managed to show the different shades of grey in his daring debut May Allah Bless France!. Félicitations.”

NETPAC AWARD:
As selected by a jury from the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema, the NETPAC Award for World or International Asian Film Premiere goes to Shonali Bose for Margarita, with a Straw. Jury members include Lekha Shankar (India), Hannah Fisher (China) and Anderson Le (Hawaii). The jury remarked, “Margarita, with a Straw is both universal and groundbreaking. Director Shonali Bose and actress Kalki Koechlin have jointly created a character and a world that embody a love letter to life, with all its highs and lows, in spite of overwhelming physical limitations.”

GROSLCH PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS:
This year marked the 37th year that Toronto audiences were able to cast a ballot for their favourite Festival film, with the Grolsch People’s Choice Award. This year’s award goes to Morten Tyldum for The Imitation Game. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing, the genius British mathematician, logician, cryptologist and computer scientist who led the charge to crack the German Enigma Code that helped the Allies win WWII. Turing went on to assist with the development of computers at the University of Manchester after the war, but was prosecuted by the UK government in 1952 for homosexual acts which the country deemed illegal. The award offers a $15,000 cash prize and custom award, sponsored by Grolsch.

First Runner Up: Isabel Coixet’s Learning to Drive

Second Runner Up: Theodore Melfi’s St. Vincent

The Grolsch People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award:
The Grolsch People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award goes to Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement for What We Do in the Shadows. The film follows three flatmates who are just trying to get by and overcome life’s obstacles — like being immortal vampires who must feast on human blood.

First Runner Up: Kevin Smith’s Tusk

Second Runner Up: Jalmari Helander’s Big Game

The Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award:
The Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award goes to Hajooj Kuka for Beats of the Antonov. Beats of the Antonov follows refugees from the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains in Sudan as they survive displacement and the trauma of civil war. Music, a cornerstone of their traditions and identity, becomes itself a vehicle for survival.

First Runner Up: David Thorpe’s Do I Sound Gay?

Second Runner Up: Ethan Hawke’s Seymour: An Introduction

-By Rebecca Murray

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