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Awards announced at TIFF 2017

The 42nd Toronto International Film Festival officially concluded on September 17th with free screenings of Grolsch People’s Choice Award honouree Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri by Martin McDonagh at Roy Thompson Hall and Platform Prize-winner Sweet Country directed by Warwick Thornton at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.  “Sweet Country is a spiritual epic taking place in 1929 in Australia’s Northern Territory,” stated the international jury consisting of Chen Kaige, Małgorzata Szumowska, and Wim Wenders in a statement.  “It is a great saga of human fate, and its themes of race and struggle for survival are handled in such a simple, rich, unpretentious and touching way, that it became for us a deeply emotional metaphor for our common fight for dignity.”

Sweet Country

Other winners included Grolsch People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award to Bodied by Joseph Kahn and Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award to Faces Places by Agnès Varda and JR.  The City of Toronto Award for Best Canadian First Feature film went to Luk’ Luk’l by Wayne Wapeemukwa while the Canada Goose Award for Best Canadian Feature was given to Les Affamés by Robin Aubert, an art-house film described by jury members as managing “the rare feat of featuring genuinely interesting and well-rounded characters; surprising dramatic and comedic moments with well thought-out multi-generational female roles [who were totally badass, I might add] while also dealing with poignant and contemporary issues, set against a striking rural backdrop and hundreds of ‘ravenous’ zombies.”

Prizes of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) for the Discovery programme and Special Presentations were respectively lauded to Sadaf Foroughi for Ava and Maneul Martin Cuenca for The Motive (El Autor).  For the six consecutive year Network for the Promotion of Asian Pacific Cinema for World or International Asian Film was handed out this time to The Great Buddha+ by Huang Hsin-Yao.  Short films were also in the spotlight with IWC Short Cuts Award for Best Canadian Short Film going to Pre-Drink by Marc-Antoine Lemire and IWC Short Cuts Award for Best Short Film to The Burden (Min Börda) by Niki Lindroth von Bahr which was described as being, “Whimsical but tragic, imaginative and just plain weird, this is exactly what one can expect from a Scandinavian musical with fish in bath robes singing out their existentialist crisis.”

The 42nd Toronto International Film Festival ran from September 7 to 17, 2017 and for more information visit

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