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Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri took home the top prize at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday.
The dark dramedy managed to beat out other favourites like The Shape of Water, and I, Tonya for this year’s coveted Grolsch People’s Choice Award.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri stars Frances McDormand as a mother who becomes frustrated by the police’s lack of progress in solving her daughter’s murder that she rents out three billboards and posts them with a message for the town’s chief of police.
Also starring Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell, the film has already received significant Oscar buzz since its North American premiere at TIFF.
The People’s Choice Award is often considered a wind vane for Oscar buzz. Past recipients include 12 Years a Slave, Slumdog Millionaire and The King’s Speech. Last year’s prize went to La La Land.
Other People’s Choice winners this year include Bodied, which won the Midnight Madness Award and Faces Places, which snagged the Documentary Award.
Bodied is based on a script by Toronto rapper Alex Larsen, a.k.a. Kid Twist, and is also based on his life. The movie has been described a “satirical exploration” of battle rapping and was directed by director Joseph Kahn.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri will be screened for free Sunday night at Roy Thomson Hall. The film’s general release is set for Nov. 10.
TIFF has drawn 470,000 visitors so far this year. The festival wraps up tonight.
There will be change in the wind come next year’s festival. Piers Handling, TIFF’s director and CEO, has already announced that 2018 will be his last year as head. He has been at the helm for 23 years. The 2018 festival will run from Sept. 6-18.
This year’s full awards ceremony along with a full list of the winners is available below.
IWC Short Cuts Award for Best Canadian Short Film: Pre-Drink, directed by Marc-Antoine Lemire
IWC Short Cuts Award for ?Best International Short Film: Min Börda (The Burden), directed by Niki Lindroth von Bahr
City of Toronto Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film: Luk’ Luk’l, directed by Wayne Wapeemukwa
Canada Goose Award for Best Canadian Feature Film: Les Affamés, directed by Robin Aubert
The International Federation of Film Critics — Discovery prize: Ava, directed by Sadaf Foroughi
The International Federation of Film Critics — Special Presentations: The Motive (El Autor), directed by Manuel Martín Cuenca
NETPAC Award for World or International Asian Film Premiere: The Great Buddha+, directed by Huang Hsin-Yao
Toronto Platform Prize: Sweet Country, directed by Warwick Thornton
Grolsch People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award: Bodied, directed by Joseph Kahn
Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award: Faces Places, directed by Agnès Varda
Grolsch People’s Choice Award: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, directed by Martin McDonagh