Cooper, DeNiro pic earns coveted prize

David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook” won the Toronto Intl. Film Festival’s People’s Choice Award, it was announced at a brunch awards ceremony early Sunday afternoon.

News of the pic’s win leaked via Twitter more than an hour before the ceremony, with congratulations and “official” stories popping up all over the Web well before any kudos were handed out.

The Weinstein Co.’s “Silver Linings Playbook,” which stars Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro, world preemed on the fest’s Gala screen last week.

The aud award, widely considered an early boost toward kudos season recognition, has previously gone to such titles as “Slumdog Millionaire” and “The King’s Speech.”

Ben Affleck’s “Argo” was first runner-up for aud kudos, Eran Riklis’ “Zaytoun” second-runner-up.

Martin McDonagh’s “Seven Psychopaths” nabbed the aud award for favorite pic in the Midnight Madness program; first runner-up was Barry Levinson’s “The Bay,” second runner-up Don Coscarelli’s “John Dies at the End.”

Bartholomew Cubbin’s “Artifact” took the aud prize for top docu. Christopher Nelius and Justin McMillan’s “Storm Surfers” was first runner-up, Rob Stewart’s “Revolution” second runner-up.

Xavier Dolan’s “Laurence Anyways” scooped the jury prize for best Canadian feature film and a cash prize of C30,000 ($30,886). Pic world preemed at Cannes, screened in Special Presentations in Toronto and opens in English-Canadian theaters on Friday.

The award for best Canadian first feature and its $15,443 prize was split between Brandon Cronenberg’s “Antiviral,” which screened in Special Presentations, and Jason Buxton’s “Blackbird,” which preemed in Discovery. Fest director Cameron Bailey confirmed both pics will receive the full amount of the cash prize.

The Intl. Critics’ (FIPRESCI) jury prize for best film in the Discovery program went to Swedish helmer Mikael Marcimain’s “Call Girl” while French helmer Francois Ozon’s “In the House” nabbed the FIPRESCI jury prize for top pic in Special Presentations.

A new prize for best first or second Asian film receiving its world or international preem at the festival went to Japanese helmer Kibou No Kuni’s “The Land of Hope,” which world preemed in Contemporary World Cinema.

The juried award for best Canadian short film and C$10,000 went to Deco Dawson’s “Keep a Modest Head.” Mike Clattenberg’s “Crackin’ Down Hard” got an honorable mention in the category.

Rola Nashef’s “Detroit Unleaded” nabbed the Grolsch Film Works Discovery Award, which includes a C$10,000 cash prize to support the winner’s next project.

List of winners for the 37th annual Toronto Film Festival Awards:

People’s Choice Award

Winner: “Silver Linings Playbook,” dir. David O. Russell

First runner-up: “Argo,” dir. Ben Affleck

Second runner-up: “Zaytoun,” dir. Eran Riklis

People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award

Winner: “Seven Psychopaths,” dir. Martin McDonagh

First runner-up: “The Bay,” dir. Barry Levinson

Second runner-up: “John Dies at the End,” dir. Don Coscarelli

People’s Choice Documentary Award

Winner: “Artifact,” dir. Bartholomew Cubbins

First runner-up: “Storm Surfers,” dir. Christopher Nelius, Justin McMillan

Second runner-up: “Revolution,” Rob Stewart

Best Canadian Feature Film (Juried)

Winner: “Laurence Anyways,” dir. Xavier Dolan

Best Canadian First Feature Film (Juried)

Winner (split): “Antiviral,” dir. Brandon Cronenberg, “Blackbird,” dir. Jason Buxton

Best Canadian Short Film (Juried)

Winner: “Keep a Modest Head,” dir. Deco Dawson

Honorable mention: “Crackin’ Down Hard,” dir. Mike Clattenberg

International Critics (Fipresci) prizes:

Winner (Special Presentations): “In the House,” dir. Francois Ozon

Winner (Discovery): “Call Girl,” dir. Mikael Marcimain

Best First or Second Feature World or International Asian Film Premiere

Winner: “The Land of Hope,” dir. Sion Sono

Discovery Award

Winner: “Detroit Unleaded,” dir. Rola Nashef

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