There are few festival awards that have much actual bearing on the awards season, but TIFF‘s People’s Choice Award has for years been a key augur of which films could be major players on the road to Oscar. Past winners include “The King’s Speech,” “The Imitation Game,” “12 Years a Slave,” and “Slumdog Millionaire,” and this year the coveted trophy went to a movie that certainly got a lot of talk around Toronto.
TIFF announced that Lenny Abrahamson‘s “Room” won the People’s Choice Award. The moving drama starring Brie Larson is based on the acclaimed novel by Emma Donoghue and tells the harrowing story of a young woman and her son, held captive in the titular room, who plot an escape to freedom. It’s one of the movies that was a big highlight for me at the fest, and given the chatter I’d heard, this win isn’t a big surprise (particularly when many of the World Premiere’s were such flops — “Room” premiered at Telluride).
Check out the full list of winners below, with links to our reviews where applicable, and see you next year in Toronto.
People’s Choice Award: “Room,” directed by Lenny Abrahamson
People’s Choice Award For Documentary: “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom,” directed by Evgeny Afineevsky
People’s Choice Award For Midnight Madness: “Hardcore,” directed by Ilya Naishuller
Best Canadian Feature Film: “Closet Monster,” directed by Stephen Dunn
Special Citation, Canadian Feature Film: “My Internship in Canada,” directed by Phillippe Falardeau
Best Canadian First Feature Film: “Sleeping Giant,” directed Andrew Cividino
Prizes of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Special Presentations Section: “Desierto,” directed by Jonas Cuaron
Prizes of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Discovery Section: “Eva Nova,” directed by Marko Skop
Discovery Programme Filmmakers Award: “Black,” directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah
NETPAC Award For Best Asian Film: “The Whispering Star,” directed by Sion Sono
Best International Short Film: “Maman(s),” directed by Maimouna Doucoure
Best Canadian Short Film: “Overpass,” directed by Patrice Laliberte
Platform Prize: “Hurt,” directed by Alan Zweig