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Toronto 2011: 'Where Do We Go Now,' 'Island President' win awards

September 18, 2011 | 10:54 am

Where do we go now

The Toronto International Film Festival handed out its prizes Sunday, giving its audience award -- the Cadillac People's Choice award -- to Nadine Labaki's "Where Do We Go Now?"

"Where Do We Go Now?" is a fable that shows what women in a Lebanese village split between Christians and Muslims are willing to do; it premiered in the Cannes Film Festival's Un Certain Regard section in May. It is Labaki's first feature since the international triumph of her debut work "Caramel." That movie, a bittersweet tale of love, heartache and friendship centering on a group of women whose lives revolve around a Beirut hair salon, debuted at Cannes in 2007 and went on to play in more than 40 countries. (Read L.A. Times film critic Kenneth Turan's interview with Labaki from 2011 Cannes here.)

Runners-up for the audience award were Asghar Farhadi’s "A Separation" and Ken Scott's "Starbuck."

The audience award for best documentary went to Jon Shenk for "The Island President," which follows the president of the Maldives as he battles to save his nation from rising seas and global warming. The City of Toronto award for best Canadian feature went to Philippe Falardeau for "Monsieur Lazhar."

The audience's selection for the best Midnight Madness film went to "The Raid," directed by Gareth Huw Evans. The thriller, set in Indonesia, is about a SWAT team trapped in a rundown apartment block filled with heavily armed drug dealers and killers.  

Nathan Morlando, meanwhile, was given the award for best Canadian first feature for "Edwin Boyd," and Ian Harnarine was handed the prize for best Canadian short for "Doubles With Slight Pepper."

The International Federation of Film Critics also awarded its prizes Sunday, giving its Discovery award to Axel Petersén for "Avalon" and its special presentations prize to Gianni Amelio for "The First Man."

The Toronto International Film Festival winds down today.


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-- Julie Makinen

Photo: A scene from 'Where Do We Go Now?' Credit: Courtesty Toronto International Film Festival

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