'Imitation Game' Takes People's Choice Award at Toronto

Photo courtesy of TIFF.
The people have spoken! The Imitation Game takes the Grolsch People’s Choice Award at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, thus making Benedict Cumberbatch a back to back champ at the Festival after opening TIFF last year with The Fifth Estate and appearing in 2013’s People’s Choice Award winner, 12 Years a Slave. TIFF’s official hashtag should really be #Cumberbitchin’.

The Imitation Game doesn’t come as much of a surprise as a winner, since the screening of the film I attended was one of the few press and industry screenings that had turnaways, which is doubly surprising since I caught the third P&I screening of The Imitation Game and it was at 8:30 in the morning. Word of mouth drives a film even in the jaded industry crowd. It’s a decent choice from the People (I’ll have a review up soon).

Other winners that I caught are the doc champ Beats of the Antonov and the Canadian short The Weatherman & theShadowdancer. Both films are worthy choices with the latter being especially so. (Weatherman is far and away the best short at the Festival.) Canadian winner Felix and Meira is the big surprise among the winners (I didn’t see it), since folks at the Fest were all a-chatter over Mommy and In Her Place. Bang Bang Baby nabs the prize for Best Canadian First Feature, which makes me happy because it’s the one Canadian film that I really wanted to see but missed. (I had penned it into my schedule but had to drop it due to an interview time.) Hope a distributor nabs it!

The list of winners is as follows:

-Grolsch People’s Choice Award: The Imitation Game, directed by Morten Tyldum (1st runner-up: Learning to Drive, 2nd runner-up: St. Vincent.)
-Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award: Beats of the Antonov, directed by Hajooj Kuka (1st runner-up: Do I Sound Gay?, 2nd runner-up: Seymour: An Introduction [will link to review at POV when they post it.])
-Grolsch People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award: What We Do in Shadows, directed by Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi (1st Runner-up: Tusk, 2nd runner-up: Big Game)
-Best Canadian Feature Film: Felix and Meira, directed by Maxime Giroux
-Best Canadian First Feature Film: Bang Bang Baby, directed by Jeffrey St. Jules
-Best Canadian Short Film: The Weatherman and the Shadowdancer, directed by Randall Okita (honourable mention goes to What Doesn’t Kill You by Rob Grant)
-Best International Short Film: A Single Body, directed by Sotiris Dounoukos
-FIPRESCI Prize, Special Presentations: Time Out of Mind, directed by Oren Moverman
-FIPRESCI Prize, Discovery: May Allah Bless France!, directed by Abd Al Malik
- NETPAC Award for World or International Asian Film Premiere:  Margarita, with a Straw, directed by Shomali Bose

But all in all, seeing three of the prize winners is pretty good! Don’t forget that there is a free screening of The Imitation Game at Ryerson tonight at 6:00pm!

What was your choice film of the Festival?