A24 awards hopeful “Room (October 16) directed by Lenny Abrahamson and starring Brie Larson, just got boosted into serious Oscar contention by winning the 38th Grolsch People’s Choice Award, the audience award at the Toronto International Film Festival. Why? Because so many past winners have been not only Oscar contenders but winners, going back to 1981’s “Chariots of Fire” and on through “Life is Beautiful,” “Shine,” “American Beauty,” “Precious,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “The King’s Speech,” and “Silver Linings Playbook.”
While “Room” came out strong from Telluride and played well in Toronto, this is a sign that it has the right stuff to be a hit. And tug the tear ducts. Brie Larson is a definite Best Actress contender, but also earning strong notices is Jacob Tremblay, her pint-sized co-star; A24 will campaign for him in the Best Actor category. Director Lenny Abrahamson and writer Emma Donoghue, who adapted her book, are also strong contenders.
Full list of awards below.
GROLSCH PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD
The award to “Room” offers a $15,000 cash prize. The second runner up is Tom McCarthy’s “Spotlight.” The first runner up is Pan Nalin’s “Angry Indian Goddesses.”
The Grolsch People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award goes to Ilya Naishuller for “Hardcore.” The second runner up is Jeremy Saulnier for “Green Room.” The first runner up is Todd Strauss-Schulson for “The Final Girls.”
The Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award goes to Evgeny Afineevsky for “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight For
Freedom.” The second runner up is Brian D. Johnson’s “Al Purdy Was Here.” The first runner up is Avi Lewis’s “This Changes Everything.”
SHORTS CUTS AWARD FOR BEST CANADIAN SHORT FILM
The Shorts Cuts Award for Best Canadian Short Film goes to Patrice Laliberté for “Overpass.” The award offers a $10,000 cash prize. The jury gave an honorable mention to Sol Friedman’s “Bacon & God’s Wrath.”
SHORT CUTS AWARD FOR BEST SHORT FILM
The Short Cuts Award for Best Short Film goes to Maïmouna Doucouré’s “Maman(s).” The award offers a $10,000 cash prize.
The jury gave an honorable mention to Fyzal Boulifa’s “Rate Me.”
CITY OF TORONTO AWARD FOR BEST CANADIAN FIRST FEATURE FILM
The City of Toronto Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film goes to for Andrew Cividino’s “Sleeping Giant.” This award carries a cash prize of $15,000, made possible by the City of Toronto.
CANADA GOOSE AWARD FOR BEST CANADIAN FEATURE FILM
The Canada Goose Award for Best Canadian Feature Film goes to Stephen Dunn’s “Closet Monster.” This award
carries a cash prize of $30,000 and a custom award, sponsored by Canada Goose. The jury gave an honorable mention to Philippe Falardeau’s “My Internship in Canada.”
THE PRIZES OF THE INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF FILM CRITICS (FIPRESCI PRIZES)
The Festival welcomed an international FIPRESCI jury for the 24th year. The jury members were president Engin Ertan (Turkey), Chris Alexander (Canada), Francisco Ferreira (Portugal), Kerstin Gezelius (Sweden), Pierre Pageau (Canada), and Alissa Simon (USA). The Prize of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) for the Discovery programme is awarded to Marko Škop for “Eva Nová.” The Special Presentations prize goes to Jonás Cuarón’s “Desierto.”
As selected by a jury from the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema for the 4th consecutive year, the NETPAC Award for
World or International Asian Film Premiere goes to Sion Sono for “The Whispering Star.”
TORONTO PLATFORM PRIZE
An international jury of filmmakers –Jia Zhang-ke, Claire Denis and Agnieszka Holland–awarded the first ever Toronto Platform Prize to Alan Zweig for “Hurt.” “It is a film that explores the complexity and fragility of human destiny in a country that much of the world sees as a paradise,” stated the jury. The award offers a $25,000 cash prize and a custom award. The jury gave honourable mentions to Gabriel Mascaro’s “Neon Bull,” He Ping’s “The Promised Land,” and Pablo Trapero’s “The Clan.”
DROPBOX DISCOVERY PROGRAMME FILMMAKERS AWARD
Earlier in the Festival, the winner of the Dropbox Discovery Programme Filmmakers Award went to Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah whose film, “Black,” was presented as part of the Discovery programme. The award carries a $5,000 cash prize along with free Dropbox for Business accounts.