The Toronto InternationalFilm Festival ended on Saturday, with Gavin Hood's UK/South Africaco-production Tsotsi winning thecoveted People's Choice Award voted on by festival audiences. The award has, inthe past, signaled enormous popular successes such as Crouching Tiger,Hidden Dragon (2000), Amelie (2001), Whale Rider (2002) Zatoichi (2003), and last year Hotel Rwanda.
Sarah Watt's Australianhit Look Both Ways won theDiscovery Award for $15,000 which was voted on by 750 members of theinternational media.
Meanwhile the festival's keyjuried awards for Canadian films named Jean-Marc Vallee's C.R.A.Z.Y. the winner of the Toronto-City Award for BestCanadian Feature Film. The jury announced a tie for the Citytv Award for BestCanadian First Feature Film between Louise Archambault's Familia and Michael Mabbott's The Life And Hard Times OfGuy Terrifico.
Vallee won a cash prize of$30,000 from the co-sponsors of his prize - City Of Toronto and Citytv. Thefilm, a family movie set in the 70s about a sexually confused teenager tryingto win his father's approval, was cited "for its standout acting, itsincredible emotional resonance and extraordinary visual inventiveness."
Archambault and Mabbottshare a cash prize of $15,000 provided by Citytv for their films. Familia was cited for its "strong female cast, accomplisheddirecting, finely observed writing and skill at balancing a variety of tones." TheLife And Hard Times Of Guy Terrifico,a fictional documentary about a Canadian singer, was cited "for its witty andentertaining satire of the music industry, its exuberant performances and itsdeadpan comedy cinema verite techniques."
The Canadian jury consistedof academic Kay Armatage, CHUM Television programming executive Ellen Baine,journalist and Screen International contributor Leonard Klady, film-maker andprofessor Brenda Longfellow and film-maker Ron Mann.
The FIPRESCI Prize for anemerging film-maker was awarded to Korea's Kang Yi-kwan for Sak-wa, the story of an emotionally damaged woman's searchfor true love.
Howard Feinstein (US), RuiPedro Tendinha (Portugal) and Charles-Stephane Roy (Canada) were the members ofthe FIPRESCI jury.
First runner-up in thePeople's Choice Award was Radu Mihaileanu's Live And Become, which received several standing ovations at itsfestival screenings. In third place was DreamWorks' popular family film Dreamer:Inspired By A True Story directed byJohn Gatins. In fourth place was Ang Lee's Venice Golden Lion winner BrokebackMountain and in fifth place wasKlaus Haro's emotional Swedish/Finnish period drama Mother Of Mine.
The Bravo!FACT Short CutsCanada award for best short went to Renuka Jeyapalan's Big Girl.
335 feature films from 52countries, including 109 world premieres, screened at the festival.