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Toronto Film Festival Awards: Bollywood-ish Movie Tops

Slumdog Millionaire by Danny Boyle

The fantastic story of a teenager from the slums of Mumbai told in flashback after his arrest on suspicion of cheating at India's version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire received the People's Choice Award at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival – and is already being touted as one of the top contenders for the 2009 Oscars.

Runners-up in the audience award category were Kristopher Belman's More Than a Game and Cyrus Nowrasteh's The Stoning of Soraya M. The former film is a documentary about five high-school basketball players from Akron, Ohio, one of whom (LeBron James) becomes a NBA star; based on a true story and on Freidoune Sahebjam's bestseller (co-adapted by Cyrus and Betsy Giffen Nowrasteh), the latter film stars Shohreh Aghdashloo as a woman from a small Iranian village who recounts the tragic story of her friend Soraya (Mozhan Marnò) – a victim of human viciousness and religious intolerance – to a stranded French journalist (Jim Caviezel).

Other 2008 Toronto Film Festival winners:

  • Rodrigue Jean's Lost Song follows a couple (Suzie LeBlanc, Patrick Goyette) whose lives take a drastic turn for the worse after they move to an isolated area north of Montreal;
  • Based on Jørn Riel's novel, Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Madeline Piujuq Ivalu's Before Tomorrow depicts the fight for survival of an Inuit woman and her grandson after they're trapped on a remote island;
  • Set in 1970s Long Island, Derick Martini's Lymelife revolves around a 15-year-old (Rory Culkin) and his family (Alec Baldwin, Jill Hennessy) whose world is turned upside down after an outbreak of Lyme disease hits their suburban community, spreading illness and paranoia. Also in the cast: Timothy Hutton, Cynthia Nixon, and Kieran Culkin;
  • and based on J. M. Coetzee's novel, Steve Jacobs' Disgrace is about a Cape Town University professor (John Malkovich), who, following a scandalous affair with a student, seeks refuge at a farm belonging to his daughter (Jessica Haines) – where trouble follows him.


Toronto Film Festival 2008 Winners

Slumdog Millionaire with Dev Patel, Freida Pinto

CADILLAC PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD: Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire

The Stoning of Soraya M. with Shohreh Aghdashloo

Runners-up: Kristopher Belman's More Than a Game , Cyrus Nowrasteh's The Stoning of Soraya M. (above)

Lost Song with Suzie LeBlanc


Atom Egoyan's Adoration

Special Citation: Atom Egoyan's Adoration

Before Tomorrow by Marie-Helene Cousineau and Madeline Piujuq

CITYTV AWARD FOR BEST CANADIAN FIRST FEATURE FILM: Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Madeline Piujuq Ivalu's Before Tomorrow

Lyne Charlebois' Borderline

Special Citation: Lyne Charlebois' Borderline

Chris Chong Chan Fui's Block B


Denis Villeneuve's Next Floor

Special Citation: Denis Villeneuve's Next Floor

Hunger with Michael Fassbender


Lymelife with Rory Culkin

International Critics (FIPRESCI) Prize for Discovery: Derick Martini's Lymelife

Jessica Haines, John Malkovich in Disgrace

International Critics (FIPRESCI) Prize for Special Presentations: Steve Jacobs' Disgrace


Filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming, filmmaker and actor Sarah Polley, programmer for the Locarno Film Festival Vincenzo Bugno, and producer Michael Burns

SHORT FILM JURY: Filmmakers Louise Archambault and Min Sook Lee, and Rotterdam International Film Festival programmer Peter van Hoof

Jonathan Rosenbaum, freelance - USA - Jury President
Nick Roddick, London Evening Standard - United Kingdom
Elie Castiel, Séquences - Canada
Ranjita Biswas, The Hindu - India
Kim Linekin, CBC Radio - Canada
Pablo Scholz, Clarin - Argentina

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1 Comment to Toronto Film Festival Awards: Bollywood-ish Movie Tops

  1. slumkitty

    Who would have guessed that Slumdog would be the year's Oscar winner…