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TORONTO 2021 Awards

Belfast wins the People’s Choice Award at Toronto

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- Kenneth Branagh has taken home the coveted prize often seen as an indicator of Oscars glory, while Kamila Andini’s Yuni won the Platform Prize

Belfast wins the People’s Choice Award at Toronto
Belfast by Kenneth Branagh

The audience award at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is one of the biggest prizes on the festival circuit and often hints at Oscars glory. This year, the festival took place under COVID-19 restrictions, with films playing in person (at reduced capacity) and online on TIFF’s own platform. Only movies that agreed to play in person and on the platform were considered for the People’s Choice Award.

The big winner was Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
. The film was written by the director during lockdown and was based on his own experiences growing up during The Troubles in Northern Ireland. Told from the perspective of young Buddy (Jude Hill), the mostly black-and-white film takes us back to the late 1960s, a time of sectarian violence, when neighbours would turn against each other. The troubled situation has led to Buddy’s Pa (Jamie Dornan) deciding that the family should emigrate to Australia, but will his wife (Caitríona Balfe) agree? The cast of this light-hearted and hugely entertaining drama is rounded off by Ciarán Hinds and Judi Dench.

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Julia Ducournau’s Titane [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Julia Ducournau, Vincent Li…
film profile
]
continues to wow the public wherever it plays. The Palme d’Or winner won the People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award. E Chail Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin followed up their Oscar winner Free Solo with The Rescue, a documentary about the young boys in a Thai football team who went missing and were stranded in a cave. The film captures how they were saved and scooped the People’s Choice Documentary Award at TIFF.

The other big winner of the night, snagging the Platform Prize, was Kamila Andini’s Yuni [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
. A coming-of-age tale set in Indonesia, the film is a Singaporean-Indonesian-French-Australian co-production, and tells the story of a teenager caught between her parents’ wishes for her to marry and her own desire for self-discovery. The jury was headed up by Riz Ahmed.

Here is the full list of Toronto prizewinners:

People’s Choice Award
Belfast [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Kenneth Branagh (UK)

First Runner Up
Scarborough - Shasha Nakhai, Rich Williamson (Canada)

Second Runner Up
The Power of the Dog - Jane Campion (UK/New Zealand/Australia/Canada/USA)

People’s Choice Documentary Award
The Rescue - E Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin (USA/UK)

First Runner Up
Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over - Dave Wooley, David Heilbroner (USA)

Second Runner Up
Flee [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jonas Poher Rasmussen
film profile
]
- Jonas Poher Rasmussen (France/Sweden/Norway)

People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award
Titane [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Julia Ducournau, Vincent Li…
film profile
]
- Julia Ducournau (France)

First Runner Up
You Are Not My Mother - Kate Dolan (Ireland)


Second Runner Up
DASHCAM - Rob Savage (UK)

Platform Prize Recipient
Yuni [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Kamila Andini (Singapore/Australia/France/Indonesia)
Honourable Mention
Mlungu Wam (Good Madam) - Jenna Cato Bass (South Africa)

Amplify Voices Award for Best Canadian Feature Film
Ste. Anne - Rhayne Vermette (Canada)
Special Mention
Scarborough - Shasha Nakhai, Rich Williamson

Amplify Voices Award
The Gravedigger’s Wife [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Khadar Ayderus Ahmed (France/Somalia/Germany/Finland)
A Night of Knowing Nothing [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
- Payal Kapadia (India/France)

IMDbPro Short Cuts Award for Best Film
Displaced / Pa Vend - Samir Karahoda (Kosovo)

IMDbPro Short Cuts Award for Best Canadian Film
Angakusajaujuq: The Shaman's Apprentice / Angakusajaujuq - Zacharias Kunuk (Canada)

IMDbPro Short Cuts Share Her Journey Award
ASTEL - Ramata-Toulaye Sy (France/Senegal)

Shawn Mendes Foundation Changemaker Award Winner
Scarborough - Shasha Nakhai, Rich Williamson

NETPAC Award Winner
Costa Brava, Lebanon [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
- Mounia Akl (Lebanon/France/Spain/Sweden/Denmark/Norway/Qatar)

FIPRESCI Prize Recipient
Anatolian Leopard [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Emre Kayiş (Turkey/Germany/Poland/Denmark)

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