As the 2015 Toronto Film Festival is all but in the history books, but not before a Grolsch People’s Choice Award is crowned. The top prize of the festival, this year celebrating its fortieth year, went to Room, a critically admired drama starring Brie Larson (The Gambler) and newcomer Jacob Tremblay. The award, voted on by TIFF festival goers, has definitive cache as an early bellwether for future awards traction. Past winners of the prize include Academy embraced titles like The Imitation Game (2014), 12 Years a Slave (2013), Silver Linings Playbook (2012) and The King’s Speech (2010).
Directed by Lenny Abrahamson and adapted by Emma Donoghue (based upon her novel), Room tells the unflinching story of a five year old boy (Tremblay) who is trapped in a windowless, 10-by-10-foot space alongside his mother (Larson), who goes to great lengths to keep her young son safe and happy. Since premiering at the Telluride Film Festival, Room has been praised by critics, particularly the performances of Larson and the young Tremblay- both are seen as potential spoilers in the Oscar race. The People’s Choice triumph will certainly solidify that assertion. Joan Allen (The Upside of Anger) and William H. Macy (Fargo) co-star in the film that A24 Films plans to open in theaters on October 16th.
The first runner-up for the People’s Choice Award was Pan Nalin’s Indian film Angry Indian Goddesses, while the second runner-up was Tom McCarthy’s acclaimed ensemble drama Spotlight. Full list of prizes out of Toronto below:
- Short Cuts Award for Best Canadian Short Film: Overpass, directed by Patrice Laliberté
- Short Cuts Award for Best Short Film: Maman(s), directed by Maïmouna Doucouré
- City of Toronto Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film:Sleeping Giant, directed by Andrew Cividino
- Canada Goose Award for Best Canadian Feature Film: Closet Monster, directed by Stephen Dunn
- International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) Prize for Discovery: Eva Nová, directed by Marko Skop
- International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) Prize for Special Presentations: Desierto, directed by Jonás Cuarón
- NETPAC Award for World or International Asian Film Premiere: The Whispering Star, directed by Sion Sono
- Toronto Platform Prize: HURT, directed by Alan Zweig
- Grolsch People’s Choice Award: Room, directed by Lenny Abrahamson
- Grolsch People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award: Hardcore, directed by Ilya Naishuller
- Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award: Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom, directed by Evgeny Afineevsky
- Dropbox Discovery Programme Filmmakers Award: Black, directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah