TIFF ’19: Antigone, Twentieth Century win big as festival wraps

Meanwhile Taika Waititi's Jojo Rabbit won the People's Choice Award and Chloe Robichaud's Delphine won best Canadian short film.
Antigone picture

Sophie Deraspe’s Antigone (pictured), Matthew Rankin’s The Twentieth Century and Chloé Robichaud’s Delphine were among the Canadian winners as Toronto International Film Festival wrapped its 44th edition on Sunday.

Antigone, making its world premiere in the Contemporary World Cinema section, won the Best Canadian Feature Film prize as well as the $30,000 cash prize.

Antigone stands out on its own as an electrifying piece of cinema,” noted the jury, which also gave an honourable mention to Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn’s The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open.

Meanwhile, Rankin’s The Twentieth Century was named Best Canadian First Feature Film, with the jury remarking that the project “is superb in its imaginative wildness, taking an otherwise staid historical Canadian figure and propelling him into the heart of one of the most creative, visual, and compelling experiences of the festival.” The award comes with a $15,000 cash prize. Rankin’s film, which premiered in TIFF’s Midnight Madness section, has already caught the eye of international sales agents, with Belgium-based sales outfit Best Friend Forever picking up worldwide sales rights (excluding U.S. and Canada) and Brooklyn-based Oscilloscope Laboratories handling U.S. sales.

The jury for the aforementioned prizes consisted of Magali Simard, Devyani Saltzman and Alicia Elliott.

Robichaud’s short Delphine won the IWC Short Cuts Award for Best Canadian Short Film, with the jury remarking that it offers a “refreshing twist on the coming-of-age genre.” Theodore Ushev’s The Physics of Sorrow also received an honourable mention from the jury. As well, All Cats Are Grey in the Dark (Switzerland) won the IWC Short Cuts Award for Best Short Film.

On the international front, Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit won the Grolsch People’s Choice Award. Often considered as an early indicator of contenders for the Oscars best picture race, the award has previously been won by Green BookThree Billboards Outside Ebbing, MissouriLa La Land and Room. The first runner-up for this year’s People’s Choice Award was Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, with Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite claiming the second runner-up spot.

Meanwhile, the Grolsch People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award went to Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia’s The Platform (Spain), while The Vast of Night (U.S.) was the first runner-up and Jeff Barnaby’s Blood Quantum (Canada) was the second runner-up.

Elsewhere, Feras Fayyad’s The Cave (Syria, Denmark, Germany, U.S., Qatar) won the Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award and Oualid Mouaness’ feature 1982 (U.S., Lebanon, Norway, Qatar) won the Network for the Promotion of Asian Pacific Cinema Award.

Last week TIFF revealed that it had cancelled its closing ceremony, which traditionally takes place on the final Sunday of the festival. This year’s winners were announced over social media and via a press release.

Picture courtesy of TIFF