With a final tally of 339 films (including 63 world and 104 North American premieres), from 55 countries, unspooling over 10 days, the 28th Toronto International Film Festival wrapped on Sunday, September 14th with its annual Awards Brunch at the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto.
The AGF People’s Choice Award is voted on by the Festival audience. The 2003 award goes to Takeshi Kitano’s “ZATOICHI,” the mythic story of a blind, roving, seemingly frail masseur who is also the deadliest swordsman in the land.
The first runner-up is Ron Mann’s GO FURTHER, which follows actor and activist Woody Harrelson and a crew of fellow activists on what Harrelson calls the Simple Organic Living tour down the Pacific Coast of the USA. The second runner-up, “THE CORPORATION,” by filmmakers Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott, is a timely, critical, and engaging documentary that probes the history, ideology, and impact of this most dominant institution of our times.
The press corps, which consists of more than 750 international media, voted on the Discovery Award. The recipient of the Discovery Award is Toronto filmmaker Aaron Woodley for “RHINOCEROS EYES” (USA), a dark fantastical tale about a prop-house employee, Chep (Michael Pitt), who has a loose grip on reality.
The Award for Best Canadian Short Film, a $10,000 cash prize, was presented to Montreal’s Constant Mentzas for “ASPIRATION,” a lyrical examination of a man’s silent anguish and isolation.
The Citytv Award for Best Canadian First Feature went to Toronto filmmaker Sudz Sutherland for “LOVE, SEX AND EATING THE BONES.” This fun and sexy film welcomes a fresh and vibrant new voice.
The Toronto – City Award for Best Canadian Feature Film went to Denys Arcand’s “LES INVASIONS BARBARES.”
The FIPRESCI Prize was awarded to “NOVEMBER.”
For more info, visit the Toronto International Film Festival website.