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India-linked films win two prizes at Toronto festival

Toronto, Sep 17 (UNI) Two India-linked films won the top prizes for documentary movies at the 42nd Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), which concluded today.
'Long Time Running', a documentary directed by Indian-origin Canadian filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal, was the First Runner-Up for the Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award.
The Second Runner-Up was American filmmaker Morgan Spurlock’s 'Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!', the animation for which was directed by Indian animation director Kunal Sen.
The Canada-based Baichwal's 'Long Time Running', the story of popular Canadian music band The Totally Hip, was an audience favourite for its emotional story of the band's 2016 tour after its member Gord Downie was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Biachwal, who was born in Montreal, directed the film with compatriot Nicholas de Pencier.
The 'Super Size Me' sequel, Spurlock's second documentary on the food industry, has a three-and-half minute animation, directed by Sen, who was born in Kolkata.
Sen, who is based in Vancouver, also directed animation for the Afghanistan feature film 'Black Kite', an entry at the Toronto festival this year.
Indian entries at the Toronto festival this year included Anurag Kashyap's 'Mukkabaaz', Hansal Mehta's 'Omerta', Bornila Chatterjee's 'The Hungry', Paakhi Y.
Tyrewala's 'Pahuna: The Little Visitors', and 'Village Rockstars' by Rima Das.
The Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award went to celebrated Belgium-French director Agnès Varda and French singer JR’s 'Faces Places', a film based on photographic images shot by both the directors.
The Grolsch People's Choice Award, the top prize at TIFF, was bagged by American filmmaker Martin McDonagh's 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missourie', an intense drama about the death and suffering.
The award carries a purse of 15,000 dollars.
The first runner-up was Australian director Craig Gillespie’s 'I, Tonya', while the second runner-up was Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino’s 'Call Me By Your Name'.
Previous winners of the Toronto festival's People's Choice Award, which sets the Oscar Awards race, include 'Slumdog Millionaire', 'La La Land' and '12 Years a Slave'.
The jury for Network for the Promotion of Asian Pacific Cinema, headed by Indian film historian Rashmi Doraiswamy, awarded the Best Asia-Pacific Film prize to Taiwanese director Huang Hsin-Yao’s 'The Great Buddha+'.
The Platform Prize, the TIFF's competition section introduced three years ago, went to Australian indigenous filmmaker Warwick Thornton’s 'Sweet Country'.
The Platform Prize jury comprised of Chinese director Chen Kaige, Polish filmmaker MaƂgorzata Szumowska and German director Wim Wenders.
The Platform Prize carries a cash award of 25,000 dollars.
"This is a spiritual epic taking place in 1929 in Australia’s Northern Territory,” said the jury citation.
“It is a great saga of human fate, and its themes of race and struggle for survival are handled in such a simple, rich, unpretentious and touching way, that it became for us a deeply emotional metaphor for our common fight for dignity," the jury added.
The Platform Prize jury awarded a Special Mention to British director Clio Barnard's 'Dark River'.
The Grolsch People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award was bagged by a korean-American director Joseph Kahn’s 'Bodied'.
The First Runner-Up was American actor-director James Franco’s 'The Disaster Artist'.
The Second Runner-Up was American filmmaker Craig Zahler’s 'Brawl in Cell Block 99'.
The 11-day Toronto film festival, which concluded today, registered an audience of 470,000, who watched 280 feature and documentary films and 84 short films from 74 countries.
"One-third of the films this year were made by women," said TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey.
"We will continue to increase the share of women's participation in the coming years," Bailey said.
The festival came to a close tonight with the screening of the People's Choice Award winner 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missourie'.
UNI XC AKC0728

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