TUFF celebrates the best of subway films

Toronto filmmakers James Vandewater and William Allinson are recognized for their short film Slow Win as one of the top three films in the fest.

The Toronto Urban Film Festival (TUFF) celebrated its 2013 award winners Sunday night at The Drake Hotel in Toronto, selecting Timothy David Orme’s Afterlight (USA) as the top film of the fest.

Targeted at Toronto commuters and taking place across subway station information screens in Toronto’s transit system from Sept. 6 to 16, TUFF screens, and recognizes with awards, silent films under one minute in length.

The top three films of the fest were decided by veteran filmmaker Bruce McDonald.

“There was so much talent on display both on a local and international level and so many memorable films that when it came down to it, I had no choice but to go with a few films that hit me on a gut level, ” McDonald said in a statement.

In second place behind Orme were Toronto filmmakers James Vandewater and William Allinson, for their short film Slow Winand in third was Inked, by Nathan Hughes-Barry and Madeleine Sims-Fewer from London, U.K.

Kenny Wong and Alex Gravenstein of Montreal were chosen for the Viewers Choice Award for The Roommate, with  1, 154 votes. As well, the City of Toronto’s Naish McHugh Award for Emerging Toronto Filmmakers was presented to co-directors, Joanne Mau and Gordon Yao for Reminisce. The duo won a $2,500 cash award and Viral Van rental from William F. White International Inc.

Other awards, selected by TUFF director Sharon Switzer and programmer Angie Driscoll, were presented as follows:

Best International Film – A Piece of Peace, Ozan Yildirim, Eskisehir, Turkey

Best Animation – Ix Chel, Nancy Jean Tucker, Los Angeles, USA

Canadian Urbanism Award – The Green Line, Hala Alsalman & Sarah Olivia Mizrahi, Los Angeles, USA/Montreal, PQ

Most Ambitious Film by a Female Director – Handle with Care 2.0, Elene Mekete, Toronto, ON

The Drake Award for Best Local Film – Happiness, Mike Barlas & DuRae O’Shea Wilkinson Toronto, ON

Best Documentary – Home, Griffin Schultz & Alex Heider, Buffalo, USA

Best Experimental Film – Shamans, the Cunning, Peter Dudar, Toronto, ON

Special Jury Prize – Coping Mechanism, Candace Couse, Aylmer, ON

Toronto Lens Award – TVCITY Street Style, Daniel Goodbaum, Toronto, ON

City Stories – Her Chance to Dream, Sebastien Heins & Albert Huh, Toronto, ON

Winners were given cash prizes and in-kind products and services.

The seventh annual festival received 390 entries from 35 countries.

TUFF was held from Sept. 6-16, 2013.  The one-minute, silent films played every 10 minutes on more than 300 screens at 63 subway stations and other venues during the duration of the festival (which coincides with the Toronto International Film Festival) to an audience of over 1.3 million commuters everyday.