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Toronto: ‘Imitation Game’ Wins Festival’s People’s Choice Award

Director Morten Tyldum’s “The Imitation Game ” (TWC) has won the Grolsch People’s Choice Award at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. The pic, which also screened at Telluride, stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Cambridge mathematician, cryptanalyst and pioneering computer scientist Alan Turing, who led the Enigma code-breaking operation during World War II.

The first runner-up for the overall aud award was Isabel Coixet’s “Learning to Drive,” and the second runner up was Theodore Melfi’s “St. Vincent.”

“What We Do In The Shadows,” a mockumentary about a trio of vampires living in New Zealand co-directed by and starring Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement, nabbed the People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award. The film had its world premiere at Sundance earlier this year.

The first runner-up for the Midnight aud award was Kevin Smith’s “Tusk,” and the second runner-up was Jalmari Helander’s “Big Game.”

People’s Choice Documentary Award went to Hajooj Kuka’s “Beats of the Anatov,” which follows the lives and struggles of Sudanese farmers, herders and rebels in the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountain region.

The first runner-up for the doc aud award was David Thorpe’s “Do I Sound Gay?,” and the second runner-up was Ethan Hawke’s “Seymour: An Introduction.”

Oren Moverman’s “Time Out of Mind,” which stars Richard Gere as a man trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter, nabbed the Prize of the International Critics (FIPRESCI) for the best film in Special Presentations.

FIPRESCI Prize for best film in the Discovery program went to French rapper and author Abd Al Malik’s directorial debut “May Allah Bless France!,” an adaptation of his 2004 autobiography that chronicles his upbringing in Strasbourg.

Montreal filmmaker Maxime Giroux’s “Felix and Meira” nabbed the Canada Goose Award for best Canadian feature and CAN$30,000. On Sept. 12, Oscilloscope Laboratories announced it had acquired U.S. rights to the romance following its world preem in Toronto. The pic screens next month at the San Sebastian Film Festival.

Jeffrey St. Jules won the City of Toronto Award for best first Canadian feature and a $15,000 cash prize for his genre-twisting musical “Bang Bang Baby.”

The Vimeo award for best Canadian short film and a $10,000 cash prize went to Toronto filmmaker Randall Okita’s “The Weatherman and the Shadowboxer,” while the inaugural Vimeo Award for best international short film went to Aussie filmmaker Sotiris Dounoukos’ “A Single Body.”

Shonali Bose’s “Margarita, With a Straw” won the NETPAC Award for an Asian film premiering at the festival.

The 39th annual Toronto Film Festival wrapped Sept. 14, 2014, with 41 confirmed film sales, including 24 major sales to U.S. distributors. The sale of Chris Rock’s “Top Five” to Paramount for a reported $12.5 million marks the festival’s highest film sale to date.

The industry office said the number of registered delegates increased by more than 7% from 2013, with 5,000 delegates from 80 countries, and notable increases from China, South Africa and the U.S. There were 1,900 buyers in the mix this year.

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