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“King’s Speech” Wins Toronto’s Audience Award; “Incendies” Takes Canadian Prize

"King's Speech" Wins Toronto's Audience Award; "Incendies" Takes Canadian Prize

Tom Hooper’s “The King’s Speech” and Denis Villeneuve’s “Incendies” were among the big winners at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival’s awards ceremony. At a brunch at the Intercontinental Hotel on Front Street this afternoon, a variety of prizes were announced, with “Speech” taking the top audience prize and “Incendies” the top juried prize.

“I am absolutely thrilled,” “Speech” director Tom Hooper said in a statement that was read at the ceremony. “The fact that the award is voted exclusively by audiences makes this award especially special. Holding the world premiere here was such a privilege. On behalf of all the cast and crew, I want to thank TIFF and the festival audience.”

“Speech” won the festival’s overall audience award, with Justin Chadwick’s “The First Grader” the runner-up. Audience awards specific to documentary and genre subsection Midnight Madness went to Sturla Gunnarsson’s “Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie” and Jim Mickle’s “Stake Land,” respectively.

Upon taking the stage to begin the ceremony, TIFF CEO Piers Handling noted the impressive array of Canadian films this year, echoed in how honored the winners of the festival’s Canadian-centric awards.

“This is a huge honor,” Deborah Chow, winner of the $15,000 SKYY Vodka Award For Best Canadian First Feature Film. “It was honor even to get into the festival, let alone win an award. And I need to thank [award sponsor] SKYY Vodka, not just for this award but for saving me for having to work at Starbucks last weekend.”

Denis Villeneuve accepts his award for “Incendies” at the Toronto International Film Festival. Photo by Nigel M. Smith.

“It was a huge honor to be part of the Canadian selection this year,” Denis Villeneuve said after winning for the best Canadian feature award (which comes with a $30,000 prize), noting how much he appreciated the work of Xavier Dolan, Richard J. Lewis, Bruce McDonald and Denis Cote, among others, in this year’s festival. “I don’t work at Starbucks but the federal Canadian income tax agencies keep calling me about 2009, so I thank TIFF for not making me have to go to jail next week.”

The complete list of winners at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival are below. Check out indieWIRE‘s roundup of critical reaction from the festival here.

Cadillac People’s Choice Award:
The King’s Speech
Directed by Tom Hooper

Runner-Up The First Grader
directed by Justin Chadwick

Cadillac People’s Choice Award For Documentary:
Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie
Directed by Sturla Gunnarsson

Runner-Up: Nostalgia For The Light
Directed by Patricio Guzmán

Cadillac People’s Choice Award For Midnight Madness:
Stake Land
Directed by Jim Mickle

Runner-Up: Fubar II
Directed by Michael Dowse

City of Toronto and Astral Media’s The Movie Network Award Award For Best Canadian Feature Film:
directed by Denis Villeneuve

SKYY Vodka Award For Best Canadian First Feature Film:
The High Cost of Living
directed by Deborah Chow

Prizes of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Special Presentations Section:
L’Amour Fou
directed by Pierre Thoretton

Prizes of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Discovery Section:
Beautiful Boy
directed by Shawn Ku

Award For Best Canadian Short Film:
Les fleurs de l’âge (Little Flowers)
directed by Vincent Biron, Montreal, Canada

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