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TORONTO ’07 | Cronenberg and Maddin Win Top TIFF Prizes; Mexican Films Also Honored

TORONTO '07 | Cronenberg and Maddin Win Top TIFF Prizes; Mexican Films Also Honored

Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg‘s “Eastern Promises” won the People’s Choice Award today (Saturday) at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival. Marking the end of an event that screened some 349 films over 10 days this year, Toronto festival co-directors Piers Handling and Noah Cowan presented prizes on the final day of the event. Cronenberg’s latest, a crime thriller which opened theatrically this weekend, stars Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts, Vincent Cassel, and Armin Mueller-Stahl.

Runners-up for the audience award were Jason Reitman‘s popular comedy “Juno” and Ellen Spiro & Phil Donahue‘s Iraq war doc, “Body of War,” Cowan announced on Saturday afternoon, during an awards brunch held at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York Hotel.

Expressing “heartfelt gratitude to the festival,” filmmaker Guy Maddin accepted the award for best Canadian feature film at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival for his latest, “My Winnipeg,” a documentary about his hometown. Thanking the audience, Maddin also singled out Winnipg’s mayor who took long walks with the filmmaker as Maddin was developing the project. Acceping the award with Maddin, producer Jody Shapiro confirmed the film’s three recently announced distribution deals, with IFC Entertainment acquiring the film in the U.S., while Soda Pictures will release it in the UK and Maximum Films is distributing it in Canada.

Mexican films were also celebrated at the ceremony with Rodrigo Pla‘s “La Zona” winning the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize and Israel Cardenas & Laura Amelia Guzman‘s “Cochochi” receiving the festival’ Discovery Award.

The festival concludes with Saturday night’s gala closing night screening of Paolo Barzman‘s “Emotional Arithmetic” starring Susan Sarandon, Christopher Plummer, Gabriel Byrne, Roy Dupuis, Max von Sydow, and Dakota Goyo.

Festival co-directors Noah Cowan and Piers Handling at Saturday’s Toronto festival awards ceremony. Photo by Brian Brooks/indieWIRE

COMPLETE LIST OF WINNERS:

Cadillac People’s Choice Award:
Eastern Promises,” directed by David Cronenberg

FIPRESCI International Critics Prize:
La Zona,” directed by Rodrigo Pla

Artistic Innovation Award:
Encarnacion,” directed by Anahi Berneri

Diesel Discovery Award:
Cochochi,” directed by Israel Cardenas & Laura Amelia Guzman

CityTV Award for Best Canadian Feature Film:
My Winnipeg,” directed by Guy Maddin

Toronto-City Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film:
Continental, Un Film Sans Fusil,” directed by Stephane Lafleur

Award for Best Canadian Short Film:
Pool,” directed by Chris Chong Chan Fui

indieWIRE’s coverage of the Toronto International Film Festival is available anytime in special section here at indieWIRE.com.

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