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British director Steve McQueen takes People's Choice award at Toronto Festival

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British director Steve McQueen takes People's Choice award at Toronto Festival

Post by Admin on Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:29 am

15 September 2013 Last updated at 17:47 ET

British director Steve McQueen takes People's Choice award at Toronto Festival
By Neil Smith Entertainment reporter, BBC News, in Toronto

12 Years A Slave, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Chiwetel Ejiofor, was hotly tipped by many critics

Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave has staked its claim to Oscar glory by winning the People's Choice award at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The historical drama, about a free black man kidnapped and sold into slavery, is already considered a leading contender to win the Academy's best picture prize on 2 March.

In a message sent from Amsterdam, its British director said it was "a fantastic honour" and that he was "deeply grateful".

Recipients of the festival's audience-voted accolade have previously gone on to enjoy recognition at other awards events.

Slumdog Millionaire and The King's Speech are among recent People's Choice winners that have subsequently won the Academy's best picture prize.

Last year's victor, Silver Linings Playbook, was nominated for best picture and saw its leading lady Jennifer Lawrence named best actress.

"At a festival that has shown so many brilliant films, I cannot be more thrilled to receive this award," said McQueen.

"I'd like to thank the Toronto audience who have supported my work ever since I was fortunate enough to show my first film there."

The film 12 Years a Slave has been receiving rave reviews ever since its first screening at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado on 30 August.

Its Toronto gala one week later was attended by many of the film's stars, among them Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch and Brad Pitt.

Winner of the Turner Prize in 1999, London-born McQueen previously directed the films Hunger and Shame.
'Wonderful award'

Stephen Frears' fact-based drama, Philomena, starring Dame Judi Dench as an Irish Catholic seeking her long-lost son, was named first runner-up on Sunday.
Philomena Philomena was directed by British filmmaker Stephen Frears

Prisoners, starring Hugh Jackman as a father seeking his missing daughter, was named second runner up.

The People's Choice documentary award went to The Square, a record of the protests that have been taking place in Cairo's Tahrir Square since 2011.

Its Egyptian director, Jehane Noujaim, told the BBC that the honour was "a wonderful award for the film to win".

"This is the only kind of award that really means anything to the team back in Cairo and to everybody who's been fighting on the streets," she continued.

"To understand that people internationally care about the struggle and relate to it is crucially important."

The documentary also won an audience award at the Sundance Film Festival in January and will play at the New York Film Festival next month.

Its producer Karim Amer said the film had yet to secure UK distribution but that its makers were "fighting to get it out there properly".

A third People's Choice award for titles in the festival's Midnight Madness strand went to the Japanese film Why Don't You Play in Hell?

Oculus, a horror film starring former Doctor Who actress Karen Gillan, was named the first runner-up.

A host of international stars have been seen in Toronto since the festival kicked off 11 days ago.

The event has also seen a flurry of sales activity, with Keira Knightley's Can a Song Save Your Life? and Colin Firth's The Railway Man among those to lock up distribution deals.

"The vibrant film sales that take place each year in Toronto are testament to the strength of the industry overall," said artistic director Cameron Bailey.

"It is [this that] attracts territories from around the globe to make this festival part of the main agenda."

The next Toronto International Film Festival will run from 4 to 14 September 2014.

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Re: British director Steve McQueen takes People's Choice award at Toronto Festival

Post by Admin on Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:31 am

Steve McQueen's Masterpiece '12 Years a Slave' Tops TIFF
By Hillary Weston , September 16, 2013

“Right now I couldn’t do a better film than Shame,” said director Steve McQueen back in 2012. “I couldn’t do better, but I hope the next one that I do will be better. It will be better.” And although Shame was an masterpiece of emotionally gutting intimate psychology in its own right, McQueen’s follow up has proved to surpass everyone’s expectations, and apparently, even his.
As an unflinching and astounding director whose brilliance is evident in everything he touches, McQueen has delivered, what is sure to be, the year’s most epic film, 12 Years a Slave. With a passion and talent for exposing brutality with an honest and emotional eye, McQueen’s film showcases the work of a man who harbors an uncompromising vision and an incredible ability to pull performances from the marrow of his actors. Without pandering to an audience, without trying to dull down the absolute horror of Solomon Northup’s story or the atrocity of slavery, McQueen’s film unravels you emotionally from its very start and leaves you with the sensation that you have truly just watched a film—that feeling you cannot shake even hours leaving the theater, that’s what cinema is about.

And after its warm reception at TIFF and in Venice, last night 12 Years a Slave took home the award for BlackBerry’s People Choice award—and rightfully so. Is this an indication of Oscar contention? Will all the ravenous hype thus far elevate the film to a Best Picture award? Who cares. All that matters is that with this film McQueen has created a picture that will last in Hollywood and illuminate an enormous part of American history with an unwavering and beautifully-crafted authenticity. Looking at his progression from Hunger to Shame to this, we can only anticipate what he could possibly do next. “ I’m not reactionary; I’m not trying to stir the pot. I’m just trying to make films that have a reason to be made.”

For the rest of TIFF’s winner, see below:

The BlackBerry People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award

Why Don’t You Play in Hell? (Sion Sono)

The BlackBerry People’s Choice Documentary Award

The Square (Jehane Noujaim)


Qissa (Anup Singh)


All the Wrong Reasons (Gia Milani)


Requiem for a Robot (Christoph Rainer)


Noah (Walter Woodman and Patrick Cederberg)


When Jews Were Funny (Alan Zweig)


Asphalt Watches (Shayne Ehman and Seth Scriver)

Prize of the International Critics (FIPRESCI) for Special Presentations

Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski)

Prize of the International Critics (FIPRESCI) for the Discovery Programme

The Amazing Catfish (Claudia Sainte-Luce)

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Re: British director Steve McQueen takes People's Choice award at Toronto Festival

Post by Admin on Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:31 am

'12 Years a Slave' wins Toronto People's Choice Award
By Katie Atkinson on Sep 15, 2013 at 2:16PM @ktatkinson

Image Credit: Jaap Buitendijk

Apparently Toronto audiences agree that 12 Years a Slave is the one to watch this awards season: The Steve McQueen-directed film, starring Brad Pitt and Chiwetel Ejiofor, won the People’s Choice Award at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

After seeing 12 Years in Toronto, EW film critic Owen Glieberman called it a “landmark of cruelty and transcendence,” while our awards expert Anthony Breznican declared Oscar nominations a “certainty.” The movie hits theaters Oct. 18.

Among the other TIFF awards:

• The People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award went to Sion Sono’s Why Don’t You Play in Hell?

• Jehane Noujaim won the People’s Choice Documentary Award for The Square.

GET MORE EW: Subscribe to the magazine for only 33¢ an issue!

• The Cory Monteith-starring All the Wrong Reasons won the Film Works Discovery Award for director Gia Milani.

• Walter Woodman and Patrick Cederberg won Best Canadian Short Film for Noah.

• Alan Zweig’s When Jews Were Funny won Best Canadian Feature Film.

• Shayne Ehman and Seth Scriver won Best Canadian First Feature Film for Asphalt Watches.

• Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida won Special Presentations from the international critics (FIPRESCI).

• Claudia Sainte-Luce’s The Amazing Catfish won the FIPRESCI jury prize for Discovery.

• Anup Singh’s Oissa won the NETPAC Award for World or International Asian Film Premiere.

• Christoph Rainer’s Requiem for a Robot won the Emerging Filmmakers Competition.

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Re: British director Steve McQueen takes People's Choice award at Toronto Festival

Post by Admin on Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:32 am

Toronto: '12 Years a Slave' Wins Audience Award
10:36 AM PDT 9/15/2013 by Etan Vlessing

Director Steve McQueen grabs the top prize and a wave out of TIFF to possible awards season success.

TORONTO -- 12 Years a Slave was named the top audience prize winner at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday.

The Steve McQueen-directed film now numbers among previous TIFF audience award winners like American Beauty, Slumdog Millionaire and Silver Linings Playbook that received a lift in Toronto on their way to Academy Awards glory.

"At a festival that has shown so many brilliant films, I cannot be more thrilled to receive this award," McQueen said in a statement following news of his award.

VIDEO: THR's Behind the Lens Toronto Filmmaker Interviews

"I am deeply grateful to all the people who have worked on this film, and that their amazing work has been recognized," he added.

The film portrays the true story of Solomon Northup, a free Black man from upstate New York who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841 and finally freed in 1853.

Fox Searchlight will release 12 Years a Slave in theaters on Oct. 18. The film had its world premiere on Sept. 6 at the Princess of Wales Theater, following what was billed as a sneak preview presentation at the Telluride Film Festival.

The first runner-up in the People's Choice Award competition was Stephen Frear's Philomena, which will be released by The Weinstein Company, while the second runner-up was Denis Villeneuve's Prisoners, from Warner Bros, which stars Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal.

The People's Choice Midnight Madness award went to director Sion Sono's Why Don't You Play in Hell?

"This is what we always wanted… I can clearly picture that the film is jumping around and expressing the happiness," Sono said in a statement from Japan.

And the People's Choice documentary award went to Jehane Noujaim's film The Square, which looks at recent unrest in Cairo.

"This is a film about people who relentlessly fight for their rights, even when there is no hope or light at the end of the tunnel," Noujaim said on accepting the award, and giving a shout-out to Egyptian activists in Tahir Square in Cairo where they are campaigning for democracy and political reforms.

The first runner-up in the People's Choice Midnight Madness award competition was Mike Flanagan's Oculus, while the second runner-up was Alex de la Iglesia for Witching & Bitching.

In the People's Choice documentary competition, the first runner-up was Canadian director Alanis Obomsawin's Hi-Ho Mistahey! and the second runner up was Leanne Pooley's Beyond the Edge.

Director Anup Singh's Qissa was honored with the NETPAC Award for World or International Asian Film Premiere.

"Today's my wedding anniversary and my wife had just tucked away a bottle of champagne into the fridge when I had the phone call from my producer," Singh said in a statement as he accepted the jury award for the best world/international premiere in the Contemporary World Cinema sidebar in Toronto.

The FIPRESCI jury prize for best special presentation sidebar film went to Pawel Pawlikowski's Ida from Poland. The FIPRESCI Discovery award was given to The Amazing Catfish, directed by Claudia Sainte-Luce.

Director Alan Zweig claimed the honor for best Canadian feature film for When Jews Were Funny.

"Honey: I think we'll get a new kitchen," Zweig told his wife from the awards luncheon podium as he accepted the $30,000 prize.

The best Canadian short film prize was awarded to Walter Woodman and Patrick Cederberg for Noah and best Canadian first feature went to Shayne Ehman and Seth Scriver for Asphalt Watches.

TORONTO: 21 Hot Festival Titles For Sale

The Canadian films jury at TIFF in its citation recognized Asphalt Watches for an "animated road trip across western Canada that is like no other."

All the Wrong Reasons, which starred the late Glee actor Cory Monteith, was previously announced as the winner of the Discovery award.

The Toronto awards luncheon was held at the Intercontinental Hotel, with festival director Piers Handling and artistic director Cameron Bailey presenting the jury and audience awards.

The prize-giving Sunday capped off a 2013 edition of TIFF that included 4473 industry delegates in town for business, and 1200 media to cover red carpet premieres and press conferences by Hollywood stars and other international talent.

A vibrant film market in Toronto this week included U.S. market sales for A Touch of Sin, Bad Words, Bright Days Ahead, Burt's Buzz, Can a Song Save Your Life? and Fading Gigolo, among other titles

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Re: British director Steve McQueen takes People's Choice award at Toronto Festival

Post by Admin on Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:36 am

by Steve Greene
September 17, 2013 10:13 AM

'12 Years a Slave' and 'Gravity' Top Indiewire's Toronto Film Festival Critics Poll

After a week of grabbing much of the festival headlines from the last two weeks, the two films that seem poised to continue making waves for the rest of 2013 got another big boost from critics. "12 Years a Slave" and “Gravity" both received top marks in multiple categories of our end of festival poll of the best films and performances out of the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.


Thirty-five critics from our Criticwire Network who were at this year’s TIFF were asked to single out a few of their favorites in nine different categories. The aforementioned pair of films finished first and second in the Best Narrative Feature category, with Steve McQueen and Alfonso Cuarón the clear top picks in the Best Director tally.
"Dallas Buyers Club"

The festival’s People’s Choice winner “12 Years a Slave" also proved to be a popular acting showcase. Chiwetel Ejiofor topped the Best Lead Performance category handily, while Lupita Nyong'o and frequent McQueen collaborator Michael Fassbender took two of the top three slots in the Best Supporting Performance totals. Cuarón’s “Gravity,” which enjoyed a high volume of adulation at Venice and Telluride before landing in Canada, appeared on over a third of the ballots in the Best Scene category.

Sandra Bullock’s role as one of the astronauts trapped aboard the doomed vessel "Gravity" and Matthew McConaughey's turn as a man diagnosed with HIV in the late 1980s in Jean-Marc Vallée’s "Dallas Buyers Club" rounded out the top three behind Ejiofor. Although the overall film wasn't quite the hit that its cast's pedigree seemed to command, "August: Osage County" did clock in high on the Best Ensemble list, with six actors singled out on ballots for their individual work (Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Margo Martindale, Julianne Nicholson and Juliette Lewis).

The experimental "Manakamana," which follows a series of cable car rides to and from the titular temple in the Nepal Valley, finished in the top Documentary Feature spot. (Our Eric Kohn saw the film at Locarno and called it the “must-see cinematic experience of the year.”) Following close behind was "Tim’s Vermeer," Penn and Teller's look at the illustration technique of 17th century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer.

READ MORE: Why the Toronto International Film Festival Is the Most Unique Film Event of the Year

With the daunting number of features that play at the festival, critics have no chance of seeing everything that TIFF has to offer. "Dallas Buyers Club," featuring Best Supporting Performance runner-up Jared Leto, led our Most Anticipated After Toronto tally of noteworthy films that some critics missed. Second on the list is "Under the Skin," another film that -- like "Gravity" and Tsai Ming-liang's "Stray Dogs" -- built up intercontinental intrigue at both Venice and TIFF. For the alien-undercover-in-Scotland tale, Jonathan Glazer and Scarlett Johansson both picked up multiple votes for their work behind and in front of the camera, respectively.

Results in a few of these categories feature some previous festival favorites. Leading all vote-getters in the Best First Feature category is Ramon Zürcher’s “The Strange Little Cat,” a film that mesmerized more than a few critics who took part in our Berlin poll back in February. Cannes' runaway top Lead Performance, Adèle Exarchopoulos in "Blue is the Warmest Color," also cracked the top 5 here.

For a continuously updated list of grades and reviews from all of our Criticwire Network members, keep an eye on the Criticwire homepage.

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