Monday, January 22, 2018
  • Sunday, Sep. 17, 2017
"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" Wins Audience Award At Toronto Film Fest
Director Martin McDonagh appears during a press conference at the Toronto International Film Festival for the movie "Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri" on Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. (Chris Donovan/The Canadian Press via AP)
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Martin McDonaugh's "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" took the Toronto International Film Festival's People's Choice Award on Sunday, an early bell-weather for Hollywood's coming awards season.

Piers Handling, chief executive and director of the festival, announced the awards for the 42nd annual Toronto festival.

The People's Choice Award, voted on by festival audiences, went to the British playwright's third feature film, which stars Frances McDormand as a mother who goes to war with police in her town after her daughter's murder.

"As much as we had a lovely time in Canada, and as much it seemed like the audiences had a good time, too, you never really know if a story that's as heartfelt but also as outrageous and funny and unusual as ours has really connected to, you know, real people," said McDonaugh ("In Bruges," ''Seven Psychopaths"), said in a statement. "So it's brilliant to hear that it has."

Not since 2007's "Eastern Promises" has a Toronto People's Choice winner failed to score an Academy Awards best-picture nomination. Many People's Choice winners have also gone on to win the Academy Awards' top honor, including "12 Years a Slave," ''The King's Speech" and "Slumdog Millionaire."

"La La Land" last year took Toronto's big prize but Damien Chazelle's musical ultimately lost to "Moonlight" for best picture.

Fox Searchlight will release "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" on Nov. 10.

This year's runner up went to Craig Gillespie's Tonya Harding tale "I, Tonya," starring Margot Robbie as the former Olympic ice skater. In one of the festival's biggest sales, "I, Tonya" was acquired by Neon and 30West for $5 million.

The second runner up was "Call Me By Your Name," Luca Guadagnino's Italy-set coming-of-age story.

That film, which also drew raves at the Sundance Film Festival earlier in the year, is due for release Nov. 24 from Sony Pictures Classics.

The People’s Choice Documentary Award was bestowed upon Agnès Varda and JR’s "Faces Places." The second runner-up was Morgan Spurlock’s "Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!" The first runner-up was "Long Time Running" directed by Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas De Pencier.

The People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award went to Joseph Kahn’s "Bodied." The second runner-up was Craig Zahler’s "Brawl in Cell Block 99." The first runner-up was James Franco’s "The Disaster Artist."

Here’s a rundown of other Toronto International Film Festival winners:

Toronto Platform Prize
This is the third year for Platform, the Festival’s juried program that champions directors’ cinema from around the world.

Winner: Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country

A special mention was given to Clio Barnard’s Dark River.

As selected by a jury from the Network for the Promotion of Asian Pacific Cinema for the sixth consecutive year, the NETPAC Award for World or International Asian Film Premiere went to to Huang Hsin-Yao’s The Great Buddha+.

Prize of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) for the Discovery program was awarded to Sadaf Foroughi for Ava.

Prize of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) for Special Presentations was awarded to Manuel Martín Cuenca for The Motive (El Autor).

Best Canadian Feature Film
Best Canadian Feature Film distinction went to Robin Aubert’s Les Affamés

Scoring honorable mention was Simon Lavoie’s The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches (La petite fille qui aimait trop les allumettes).

Best Canadian First Feature
The City of Toronto Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film went to Wayne Wapeemukwa’s Luk’ Luk’l

The jury gave honorable mention to Sadaf Foroughi’s Ava.

Best Short Film
Winner: Niki Lindroth von Bahr’s The Burden (Min Börda). 

The jury gave honorable mentions to Matthew Rankin’s The Tesla World Light (Tesla: Lumière Mondiale) and Qiu Yang’s Xiao Cheng Er Yue (A Gentle Night). 

Best Canadian Short Film
Winner: Marc-Antoine Lemire’s Pre-Drink