Bella, a film by Mexican-born first-time feature film director Alejandro Gomez Monteverde, has won the People’s Choice Award award at the 31st Toronto Film Festival. The romantic drama tells the story of a former Mexican soccer star turned chef and a troubled waitress.
Screen Africa readers may recall that last year the South African Oscar-winning film Tsotsi won the People’s Choice Award, considered the top award at Toronto.
International critics at Toronto awarded their prize to the controversial British TV movie, Death of a President. Gabriel Range’s film centres on a fictionalised assassination of US President George W Bush.
French director Patrice Leconte’s Mon meilluer ami (My best friend) was the first runner-up for the People’s Choice Award, followed by Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck’s documentary, Dixie Chicks: Shut up and Sing.
The Swarovski Cultural Innovation Award went to the Turkish-German co-production, Takva – A Man’s Fear of God. Noweigian director Joachim Trier’s feature debut Reprise won the Diesel Discovery Award.
The festival screened 352 films over 10 days.