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Toronto: 'Slumdog' bites prize

September 13, 2008 |  1:37 pm

As the 2008 edition of the Toronto International Film Festival drew to a close, during a Saturday afternoon awards luncheon it was announced that “Slumdog Millionaire,” directed by Danny Boyle, was the winner of the Cadillac People’s Choice Award.

Coming into TIFF off strong buzz from its screening at the Telluride Film Festival, “Slumdog” is a vibrant, crowd-pleasing tale of a young man who wins big on the Indian edition of the TV game show “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.” The film is set to be released in the U.S. in an unusual partnership between Fox Searchlight Pictures and Warner Brothers, after the shuttering of its initial distributor, Warner Independent Pictures.

“Hunger,” directed by British visual artist Steve McQueen, was announced as the winner of the Diesel Discovery Award. A stirring, emotionally wrenching telling of the 1981 Bobby Sands/IRA hunger strike, the film had previously won the Camera d’Or prize (best first film) at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. “Hunger” will be released in the U.S. by IFC Films.

Among other prizes, “Lost Song” won Best Canadian Feature, while “Before Tomorrow” won Best First Canadian Film. “Block B” took home the prize for Best Canadian Short film.

The International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) recognized “Lymelife,” starring Alec Baldwin, and “Disgrace,” with John Malkovich.