Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast has won the 2021 TIFF People’s Choice audience award in a boost to its award season prospects.
Winners of the award have gone on to garner a best picture Oscar nomination in the past 11 years with last year’s Nomadland and some years prior Green Book and Slumdog Millionaire winning the ultimate prize. Jamie Dornan, Caitriona Balfe, Jude Hill, Judi Dench and Ciarin Hinds star in Northern Ireland-born Branagh’s childhood memoir set during the onset of The Troubles.
Scarborough from Shasha Nakhai and Rich Williamson was runner-up and the second runner-up was Jane Campion’s The Power Of The Dog.
The TIFF 2021 People’s Choice Documentary Award went to The Rescue directed by E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin. The first runner-up was Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over from Dave Wooley and David Heilbroner and the second runner-up was Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s Flee.
The TIFF 2021 People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award winner was Julia Ducournau’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner Titane. Runners-up were You Are Not My Mother from Kate Dolan and Rob Savage’s Dashcam.
The 2021 Platform Prize went to Kamila Andini’s Yuni and an honourable mention went to Jenna Cato Bass’s Good Madam (Mlungu Wam). Earlier on Saturday (September 18) TIFF announced that Emre Kayiş’s Anatolian Leopard won the 2021 FIPRESCI jury award and Costa Brava, Lebanon the Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific Cinema (NETPAC) jury award.
The 46th edition of the festival ran from September 9-18 and closed with screenings of Zhang Yimou’s One Second at the Visa Screening Room at the Princess of Wales Theatre and Roy Thomson Hall.
Nearly 4,000 industry and press from around the world participated digitally and in-person in TIFF’s Industry platform. There were 105 market screenings and the Industry Conference hosted 37 digital sessions for delegates. Most of the festival selections had distribution in place and at time of writing there were no major acquisitions of films in selection or sales packages.
“2021 brought an exceptional selection of films that excited festival audiences around the world,” said TIFF co-heads Joana Vicente and Cameron Bailey. “Our line-up showcased beloved auteurs alongside fresh voices in filmmaking, including numerous women powerhouses. TIFF welcomed guest press, industry, international stars, and directors back to the city and into cinemas. The sweeping range in cinematic storytelling from around the world is a testament to the uniqueness of the films that are being made. We’re so grateful and proud of this year’s Festival.”
TIFF’s Satellite Screenings wrapped on September 13 after scheduling presentations of festival titles across Canada in seven cities.
As previously announced Jessica Chastain and Benedict Cumberbatch received the TIFF Tribute Actor Award. Denis Villeneuve received the TIFF Ebert Director Award and activist Alanis Obomsawin was honoured with the Jeff Skoll Award in Impact Media supported by Participant. Danis Goulet received the TIFF Emerging Talent Award and Dionne Warwick was honoured with the Special Tribute Award.
The 2021 Changemaker Award presented by the Shawn Mendes Foundation awarded to a Festival film that tackles issues of social change was presented to Scarborough. The award carries a C$10,000 cash prize. The winning film was selected by TIFF’s Next Wave committee.
The Amplify Voices Awards presented by Canada Goose to the three best features by under-represented filmmakers and a cash prize of C$10,000 each went to: Ste. Anne by Rhayne Vermette, The Gravedigger’s Wife by Khadar Ayderus Ahmed, and A Night Of Knowing Nothing by Payal Kapadia.