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9/13/2008| Festival Closes 2008 Edition With Awards Announcement

Toronto - The 33rd Toronto International Film Festival announced its awards at the Awards Reception at the Intercontinental on Front Street today.

The award for Best Canadian Short Film goes to Chris Chong Chan Fui's Block B. The film examines the lives of an expatriate Indian community weaving itself through the contradicting soundscapes of contemporary Malaysia. The jury notes: "simple, graphic, hypnotic - this is an achievement of bringing cinema to its bare essentials." A special citation goes to Denis Villeneuve's Next Floor. The short film jury members are filmmakers Louise Archambault and Min Sook Lee, and Rotterdam International Film Festival programmer Peter van Hoof. The award offers a $10,000 cash prize and is supported by the National Film Board of Canada.

The Citytv Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film goes to Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Madeline Piujuq Ivalu's Before Tomorrow "for its arresting beauty, its humanist, innovative storytelling and its artistic integrity in capturing the narrative of a people through an intimate tale." Based on the novel by acclaimed Danish author Jørn Riel, Before Tomorrow is a moving drama about a strong Inuit woman and her beloved grandson, who become trapped on a remote island as they face the ultimate challenge of survival. A special citation goes to Lyne Charlebois' Borderline. Established by Citytv, the award carries a cash prize of $15,000.

The City of Toronto-Citytv Award for Best Canadian Feature Film goes to Rodrigue Jean's Lost Song. Elisabeth (Suzie LeBlanc), Pierre (Patrick Goyette) and their new-born baby move to a summer cottage in a remote area north of Montreal. Isolation and the difficulty of coping with her new situation and surroundings send Elisabeth into a spiral of depression. The jury described the film as "constantly surprising," and "profound, masterful and devastatingly sad." A special citation goes to Atom Egoyan's Adoration. Generously co-sponsored by the City of Toronto and Citytv, the City of Toronto-Citytv Award for Best Canadian Feature Film carries a cash prize of $30,000.

Winners of the Citytv Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film and the City of Toronto-Citytv Award for Best Canadian Feature Film were selected by a jury of film industry professionals, consisting of filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming, filmmaker and actor Sarah Polley, programmer for the Locarno Film Festival Vincenzo Bugno, and producer Michael Burns.

The Diesel Discovery award goes to Steve McQueen's Hunger. The film follows Bobby Sands and the other political inmates of Northern Ireland's Maze Prison in 1981 as they seek to gain special category status for republican prisoners. The Festival press corps, which consists of 1000 international media, voted on the Diesel Discovery Award. The award offers a $10,000 cash prize and a custom award sponsored by DIESEL Canada.

The Festival welcomed an international FIPRESCI jury for the 17th consecutive year. This year's jury was expanded and considered eligible films in the Discovery and Special Presentation programmes. The jury members consist of jury president Jonathan Rosenbaum (USA), Nick Roddick (United Kingdom), Elie Castiel (Canada), Ranjita Biswas (India), Kim Linekin (Canada) and Pablo Scholz (Argentina).

The Prize of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Discovery is awarded to Derick Martini's Lymelife. From the filmmaking team behind Smiling Fish and Goat on Fire (TIFF 1999) comes an examination of first love, family dynamics and the American Dream in late 1970s Long Island, as seen through the innocent eyes of a 15-year-old. Scott Bartlett (Rory Culkin) is a gentle boy - a direct contrast to his blustery father, Mickey (Alec Baldwin). After an outbreak of Lyme disease hits their suburban community, the lives of the Bartletts and their neighbours begin to crumble in the wake of illness, confrontation and paranoia.

The Prize of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Special Presentations is awarded to Steve Jacobs' Disgrace. Professor David Lurie's (John Malkovich) life falls apart after he has an impulsive affair with one of his students. Forced to resign from Cape Town University, he escapes to his daughter's farm in the Eastern Cape. Their relationship is tested when they both become victims of a vicious attack. In order not to lose the love of his daughter, David stands by her as she accepts her tragic circumstances. She continues her life on the farm and their individual disgrace finally settles to an uneasy grace.

The Cadillac People's Choice Award is voted on by Festival audiences. This year's award goes to Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire. From acclaimed director Danny Boyle comes a story about a kid with nothing, who has everything to lose. Jamal Malik, an 18-year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India's "Who Wants to be A Millionaire?" Arrested on suspicion of cheating, he tells the police the amazing tale of his life on the streets, and of the girl he loved and lost. But what is a kid with no interest in money doing on the show? And how does he know all the answers? First runner-up is Kristopher Belman's More Than A Game and the second runner-up is Cyrus Nowrasteh's The Stoning of Soraya M. The award offers a $15,000 cash prize and custom award, sponsored by Cadillac.

The Cadillac People's Choice Award presents a free screening of the Cadillac People's Choice Award winning film tonight. The screening takes place at 9 p.m. in the Visa Screening Room at the Elgin. Tickets will be available on a first-come, firstserved basis beginning at 7 p.m. at the Visa Screening Room at the Elgin. For more information on this screening, visit

Bell Lightbox
Currently under construction in downtown Toronto, Bell Lightbox is soon to be the world's leading destination for film lovers. This major new cultural institution on the Canadian and international landscape will be structured around five state-of-the-art cinemas celebrating film from around the world. Bell Lightbox programming will give context to films through innovative cross-media exhibitions, lectures, and film-related learning opportunities for all ages. Designed by innovative architecture firm KPMB, Bell Lightbox's fluid design encourages exploration, movement and play within its soaring atriums.

The campaign to build Bell Lightbox is generously supported by founding sponsor Bell. The Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario each have contributed $25 million to realize Bell Lightbox. A gift of more than $22 million has been confirmed from the Reitman family - acclaimed filmmaker Ivan Reitman and his sisters Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels - and The Daniels Corporation, who together form the King and John Festival Corporation. The project is also supported by RBC as Major Sponsor and Official Bank, Visa†, Copyright Collective of Canada, NBC Universal Canada, The Allan Slaight Family, The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation, CIBC, and many other individuals and corporations. The Board of Directors, staff and many generous individuals have also contributed to the campaign. The total amount raised to date is $147 million, three quarters of the total campaign of $196 million. For more information on the Bell Lightbox campaign, visit

We are a charitable, not-for-profit, cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. Our vision is to lead the world in creative and cultural discovery through the moving image.

Canada First! and Short Cuts Canada programmes are generously sponsored by CTV
The Citytv Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film is generously sponsored by Citytv.
The City of Toronto-Citytv Award for Best Canadian Feature Film is generously co-sponsored by the City of Toronto and Citytv.
The Award for Best Canadian Short Film is generously supported by the National Film Board.
Discovery and the DIESEL Discovery Award are generously sponsored by DIESEL Canada.
The Cadillac People's Choice Award is generously sponsored by Cadillac.
The Awards Reception is generously hosted by the Intercontinental Hotel.


For information, contact the Communications Department at 416-934-3200 or email [email protected]

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