Billed as one of the top film festivals in the world, the Toronto International Film Festival is always something amazing to behold, but after 10 days it’s come to a close with a mix of awards for some of the best of the fest.
Topping that list, after a whopping 328 films from over 60 countries, are Terry George’s Hotel Rwanda and Pete Travis’ Omagh. The annual Awards Brunch, which was held at the Four Seasons Hotel, passed out the following honors:
AGF PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD Hotel Rwanda – Terry George (United Kingdom/South Africa/Italy)
The true story of an ordinary man whose love for his family inspired him to an extraordinary act of courage that saved the lives of more than one thousand helpless Rwandans during the 1994 genocide.
DISCOVERY AWARD (Awarded by the international media) Omagh – Pete Travis (Ireland/UK)
A powerful and intense story about the unsung victims and the grieving families left behind by a catastrophe, Omagh examines the tragic 1998 IRA bombing of the small Irish market town of Omagh.
FIPRESCI PRIZE (Awarded to a world premier at the fest to an emerging director) In My Father’s Den – Brad McGann (New Zealand/UK)
In My Father’s Den follows a prize winning war journalist as he returns to his remote New Zealand hometown after a 16-year absence and is forced to confront the secret that has surrounded him for his entire adult life.
[The Festival welcomed an international FIPRESCI jury for the 13th consecutive year. The 2004 jury comprises president Henry Sheehan, (KPCC-FM and KCET-TV, USA), Katherine Tulich (Sunday Magazine and Seven Network Australia, Australia), and Norman Wilner (Metro Toronto, Canada).]
CITYTV AWARD FOR BEST CANADIAN FIRST FEATURE FILM La Peau Blanche – Daniel Roby
“[F]or its audacious genre bending as well as its mix of race politics, romance and horror.”
TORONTO – CITY AWARD FOR BEST CANADIAN FEATURE FILM It’s All Gone Pete Tong – Michael Dowse
“[F]or its funny, engaging and flawless portrayal of a flawed character as well as for its ability to capture the infectious rhythms of the club scene.”
A special jury citation is also awarded to Velcro Ripper’s Scaredsacred, “for its ability to take the audience on a very personal journey that has universal resonance in a time of paranoia and uncertainty, and for finding hope in moments of despair.”
The Citytv Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film and the Toronto – City Award for Best Canadian Feature Film were selected by the following jury members: director Catherine Martin (Mariages); Ellen Baine, Vice-President of Programming at CHUM Television; Kyle Rae, Toronto City Councillor; Luc Déry, head of micro_scope, and director Clement Virgo (Love Come Down).
BRAVO!FACT SHORT CUTS CANADA AWARD Man Feel Pain – Dylan Akio Smith
Crisply written, darkly hilarious, and sparsely staged, this comedy explores a weighty subject through the banality of the everyday. The jury comprises director Jennifer Baichwal (The True Meaning Of Pictures: Shelby Lee Adams’ Appalachia); editor, actor, and director Robert Kennedy (Hi, I’m Steve); and Kelly M. DeVine, a buyer for the Independent Film Channel.
For more on the festival check out our ongoing coverage @ tiff.thegate.ca or head over to the official website at www.bell.ca/filmfest.