The Toronto International Film Festival has firmly established itself among the top film festivals worldwide. Held every year in the beautiful and multinational city of Vancouver, the festival brings the cream of world cinema to Canada from over 90 countries around the world. The festival's program showcases a wide variety of North American and International feature films as well as provocative short films, documentaries, music videos, animation films, experimental films, student films, a screenplay competition, and much more.
The festival acts as a platform for artistic interface and exchange of ideas between independent filmmakers and the worldwide audience. Festival goers have their own share of fun with everything from Canadian and World movie Premiers to close gatherings and night-long parties. The festival opens with a filmmaker reception and concludes with the Closing Awards Ceremony honoring the impressive work by some of today's brilliant and most creative artists.
Each year, awards are given in all main categories for top films, filmmakers, writers and actors. The coveted Grand Jury Award is presented to the best motion picture in the festival selected from among all the participating films.
Apart from the jury awards, the festival also gives out an annual Audience Award to the film with the highest rating as decided by the festival audience.
Cash prizes are presented for the Grand Jury Prize, awarded to the best film in the competition amongst all categories. The top three prize winners of the Screenplay Competition also receive handsome cash prizes.
This year at the Canadian International Film Festival 2012, there are a number of awards that were presented in various categories. Grand Jury Award, Audience Award, Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Documentary Short, Best of Canada, Best Foreign Feature, Best Foreign Short, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Short Film, Best Student Film, Best Experimental Film, Best Animation, Best Music Video, Best Environmental Film, Best Humanitarian Film, Best Comedy, Best Family Film, Best Television Pilot and Best "Made on Mobile" are the various categories in this year's festival.
Toronto Film Festival - Full list of winners 2012
This year's Toronto International Film Festival, the 37th of its kind, awards were given to a number of movies of different tastes. With a variety of awards at stake, Festival highlights such as "Silver Linings Playbook" and "Seven Psychopaths" took home 11 awards in a ceremony that took place at the Intercontinental Hotel in Toronto. The full list of winners is below:
- Best Canadian Short Film: The award was presented to Deco Dawson for "Keep a Modest Head". The jury comprised of journalist and author Matthew Hays, journalist Katrina Onstad and filmmaker Reginald Harkema. The film was chosen over the others as the film "expands the boundaries of documentary and perfectly reflects its surreal subject". The award was a $10,000 cash prize.
- The City of Toronto plus 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. The film was chosen "For its breathless cinematic energy and its entirely new love story, the jury felt honored to watch such unfettered genius at play." The award came with a cash prize of $30,000.
- The SKYY Vodka Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film: This category saw a tie between Brandon Cronenberg's "Antiviral" and Jason Buxton's "Blackbird". 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. The cash prize - which was originally $15,000 -, was doubled this year and both Brandon and Jason received a cash prize of $15,000 each.
- The BlackBerry People's Choice Award: The BlackBerry People's Choice Award was decided by the Festival audience. This year's award was given to David O. Russell for "Silver Linings Playbook". According to Toronto International Film Festival or TIFF, "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 was a $15,000 cash prize and a custom award which was sponsored by BlackBerry. The first and second runner-up was Ben Affleck's "Argo" and Eran Riklis' "Zaytoun".
- The BlackBerry People's Choice Midnight Madness Award: This award was presented to Martin McDonagh for his movie "Seven Psychopaths".. The first and second runner-up was Barry Levinson's "The Bay", and Don Coscarelli's "John Dies at the End".
- The BlackBerry People's Choice Documentary Award: The award was given to Bartholomew Cubbins for his movie "Artifact". The first runners-up were Christopher Nelius and Justin McMillan's "Storm Surfers 3D" and the second runner-up was "Revolution" by Rob Stewart.
- NETPAC Award for the Best First or Second Feature World or International Asian Film Premiere: Sion Sono's "The Land of Hope" was the recipient of this award. The jury was made up of Laurice Guillen (Philippines), Shelly Kraicer (Toronto/Beijing) and Azize Tan (Istanbul). The movie was selected for its "subtle, complex and artful account of the social and political aspects of a national trauma that ends in hope and love".
- Grolsch Film Works Discovery Award: This inaugural award was presented to Rola Nashef for "Detroit Unleaded".
Top events at the Canada Film Festival - India in Focus this year
For the 21st successive year, the Toronto International Film Festival gathered an international FIPRESCI jury for the competition. The jury members consisted of jury president Peter Keough (United States), Jon Asp (Sweden), Ashok Rane (India), Louis-Paul Rioux (Canada), Juan Manuel Dominguez (Argentina) and Brian McKechnie from Canada. The following award winners were decided by the jury:
- The Prize of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Special Presentations: this award was presented to Francois Ozon's "Dans la maison". According to the jury, the movie was awarded "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".
- Prize of the International Critics (FIPRESCI) for the Discovery Program: Mikael Marcimain's "Call Girl" was awarded this prestigious award by the FIPRESCI jury. According to them, the movie was "an intense sense of cinema reminiscent of the American thrillers of the 1970s... 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".
This year at the 37th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival, the audience got a heavy dose of Indian Cinema at its very best. The movies ranged from mainstream Bollywood movies to off-beat cinema made by both renowned and upcoming directors and film-makers. The Indian contingent kicked off the Festival with Indo-Canadian director Deepa Mehta's movie "Midnight Children". This was followed by famed director Meera Nair's movie "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" and Gauri Shinde's "English Vinglish". The latter is the story about the struggle and problems faced by an Indian middle-aged woman (played by Sridevi), who has no knowledge about the English language. Sridevi was seen on the silver screen after a gap of almost 15 years. The film "English Vinglish" also marks the debut of famed director R Balki's wife Gauri Shinde.
Deepa Mehta's "Midnight's Children" is based on Salman Rushdie's Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name. Salman Rushdie has also written the screenplay for the movie and this was his first stint as a screenplay writer. This multi-starrer film is a fantasy in which children born on the brink of India's independence from Britain are gifted with strange, magical powers.
Another noteworthy Indian film in this year's line-up was Meera Nair's "The Reluctant Fundamentalist". This movie is based on Mohsin Hamid's international best-selling novel and stars Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland and Liev Schreiber.
The Toronto International Film Festival even hosted 10 films from Mumbai as a part of its City-to-City initiative. Some of the movies were Vasan Bala's "Peddlers", Hansal Mehta's "Shahid", Dibakar Banerjee's "Shanghai" and Habib Faisal's "Ishaqzaade".
There were several award winners from India in this year's edition of TIFF. Koushik K.R.'s "An Human", Rohit Gupta's "Life! Camera Action... " and "The View" by Tanveer Goyal received the 2012 Golden Reel Award at this year's Toronto International Film Festival.
Manan Singh Katohora received the 2012 Rising Star Award for his movie "9 Eleven". "9 Eleven", a Bollywood-styled thriller also won the best narrative award at the 2012 Third World Independent Film Festival (TWIFF). Written and directed by Katohora, the movie fast-paced thriller with undertones of terrorism and questions that fact as to how will one survive in meeting the growing phenomenon of terrorism face-to-face. "9 Eleven", which had earlier won the Best Feature Film and Best Director awards at the 2012 World Music & Independent Film Festival (WMIFF) in Washington, is scheduled for a West coast premiere on September 22nd.
The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival will be held from March 30th till March 31st, 2013 at the stunning Edgewater Casino in downtown Vancouver.