Brie Larson Drama ‘Room’ Wins Toronto Audience Award

Five TIFF audience winners have gone on to win the Oscar for Best Picture; “HURT” takes new jury prize

Last Updated: September 20, 2015 @ 11:24 AM

“Room” has been chosen by the audience as the best film at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, winning the festival’s Grolsch People’s Choice Award at a ceremony in Toronto on Sunday.

The Lenny Abrahamson film stars Brie Larson as a woman who is abducted and kept imprisoned in a garden shed for years, and tries to protect and raise the five-year-old son (Jacob Tremblay) fathered by her captor.

A24 will release the film later this year.

Runners-up for the People’s Choice Award include Tom McCarthy’s “Spotlight” and Pan Nalin’s “Angry Indian Goddesses.”

Other films eligible for the award included Ridley Scott‘s “The Martian,” Stephen Frears‘ “The Program,” Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson’s “Anomalisa,” Cary Fukanaga’s “Beasts of No Nation,” Scott Cooper‘s “Black Mass,” John Crowley’s “Brooklyn,” Tom Hooper‘s “The Danish Girl,” Marc Abraham‘s “I Saw the Light,” Denis Villeneuve‘s “Sicario,” Laszlo Nemes’ “Son of Saul,” Michael Moore‘s “Where to Invade Next,” Jay Roach‘s “Trumbo” and James Vanderbilt‘s “Truth.”

“Hardcore” won the audience award in the Midnight Madness section, while “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom” won the documentary award.

The Platform Prize, a new juried competition at the festival, chose “HURT” by Alan Zweig from among 12 films by international auteurs. The award carried with it a $25,000 prize.

In the Platform section, Pablo Trapero‘s “The Clan,” Gabriel Mascaro’s “Neon Bull” and He Ping’s “The Promised Land” received honorable mentions.

“Closet Monster” was named the best Canadian film, while “Sleeping Giant” won the award for the best Canadian first feature.

Jonas Cuaron‘s “Desierto” won the FIPRESCI critics’ prize for films in the Special Presentations section, while Marko Skop’s Slovakian film “Eva Nova” won the FIPRESCI prize in the Discovery program. Sian Sono’s “The Whispering Star” won the NETPAC award for Asian cinema.

Five TIFF audience winners have gone on to win the Oscar for Best Picture: “12 Years a Slave” in 2013, “The King’s Speech” in 2010, “Slumdog Millionaire” in 2008, “American Beauty” in 1999 and “Chariots of Fire” in 1981. Other recent TIFF winners include “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Precious,” “Eastern Promises,” the Lebanese movie “Where Do We Go Now?” and last year’s winner, “The Imitation Game.”

Every film screening publicly at the festival is eligible for the award, apart from short films and revivals in the TIFF Cinematheque section.

Audience members cast ballots for films by depositing their ticket stubs as they leave the theater, or by entering their ticket numbers online. The winners are not the films with the largest number of votes, but the ones that received the largest percentage of votes from the total audience that saw the movie.

The winners:

Grolsch People’s Choice Award: “Room,” Lenny Abrahamson
Runners-up: “Angry Indian Goddesses,” Pan Nalin; Spotlight,” Tom McCarthy
People’s Choice Documentary Award: “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom,” Evgeny Afineevsky
Runners-up: “This Changes Everything,” Avi Lewis; “Al Purdy Was Here,” Brian D. Johnson
People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award: “Hardcore,” Ilya Naishuller
Runners-up: “The Final Girls,” Todd Strauss-Schulson; Green Room,” Jeremy Saulnier

Platform Prize: “HURT,” Alan Zweig
Honorable Mentions: “Neon Bull,” Gabriel Mascaro; “The Promised Land,” He Ping; “The Clan,” Pablo Trapero

Best Canadian First Feature: “Sleeping Giant,” Andrew Cividino
Best Canadian Feature Film: “Closet Monster,” Stephen Dunn
Special Citation: “My Internship in Canada,” Philippe Falardeau

International Critic (FIPRESCI) Prize for Special Presentations: “Desierto,” Jonas Cuaron
International Critic (FIPRESCI) Prize for Discovery Program: “Eva Nova,” Marko Skop
NETPAC Award for Best Asian Film: “The Whispering Star,” Sion Sono

Short Cuts Award for International Short Film: “Mama(s),” Maimouna Doucoure
Honorable Mention: “Rate Me,” Fyzal Boulifa
Short Cuts Award for Canadian Short Film: “Overpass,” Patrice Laliberte
Honorable Mention: “Bacon and God’s Wrath,” Saul Friedman

Dropbox Discovery Programme Filmmaker Award: “Black,” Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah