The Peoples Choice Awards
In 2012 MIFF directors created the Pomme d’Or and established a voting process to discover and award the film most enjoyed by the
audience that year at MIFF. Patrons are given a ballot as they enter the Opera House each evening, after the film you give your rating. As you leave the Opera House place your ballot in the ballot box. On Sunday evening, closing night of MIFF we will announce the winner. The film selected as The People’s Choice will have the films name engraved on the crystal Pomme d’Or and it will then be delivered to the director of the film.
Here are our Winners!
Director/Producer: Joe Burlinger
Country: USA, South Africa
Under African Skies is three films in one: How Paul Simon’s musical master work was born, including footage of the first recording sessions; the 25th anniversary tour of South Africa that reunited the original artists and an exploration of the charges of racism and exploitation that dogged Simon’s most commercially successful album. Featuring commentary from Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Quincy Jones, Harry Belafonte, Paul McCartney, David Byrne and more. A feast of music, the film is an anatomy of a profound artistic achievement and a meditation on the role of the artist in society.
“A pure-bliss celebration of Paul Simon’s landmark album Graceland, coupled with an interesting if not unbiased look at the controversy surrounding its release” – The Hollywood Reporter “Under African Skies is a cultural lightning bolt that soars on its music and an unshakable belief in the transcendence of art.” – Rolling Stone
Country: South Africa-U.S.A
Director: Malik Bendjelloul
The incredible true story of Rodriguez, the greatest ’70s rock icon who never was. Discovered in a Detroit bar by two celebrated producers struck by his soulful melodies and prophetic lyrics, he recorded an album they believed would make him the greatest recording artist of his generation. The album bombed. Rodriguez disappeared into obscurity amid rumours of a gruesome on-stage suicide. But in white South Africa, the bootlegged album became an anthem for the anti-apartheid revolution. Rodriguez was more popular than The Rolling Stones. He never knew. The film follows two South African fans who set out to find out what really happened to their hero and uncovers a story about hope, inspiration and the power of music.
“An extraordinary journey.” – David Edwards, Daily Mirror “You should see it. A disarming take on the meaning of success” – Time Out Magazine “An unexpected window on the secret history of white South Africa” – The Guardian
Director: Felix van Groeningen
Language: Flemish & English with subtitles
Country: Belgium, Netherlands
Awards: 16, including “Audience Choice” Berlin, “Best Foreign Language Film” Palm Springs and Washington DC Critics Association.
Rating 18A. Coarse Language, Sexual Content
The Broken Circle Breakdown takes what could have been a melodramatic, cliché-ridden story and turns it into a compassionate portrait of human beings coping with the impact of great tragedy while lacing it with joy, humour, and some of the best bluegrass music this side of the Appalachia. And it’s set in Belgium! Elise and Didier fall in love at first sight, in spite of their differences. He talks, she listens. He’s a romantic atheist, she’s a religious realist. When their daughter becomes seriously ill, their love and their beliefs are put to a severe test.
“A potent blend of true love, tragic illness and bluegrass music…plenty of joy to offset the sorrow.” – Chicago Sun Times “It’s a thrill to see a film in which the makers really go for it: musically, dramatically, politically.” Sydney Morning Herald
Awards: 56, including Movie of the Year American Film Institute, Best Song; Oscar & Golden Globes
Director: Ava DuVernay
Rating: PG, Mature theme, violence, language, tobacco use.
Runs: 2 hours, 8 minutes
A passionate, compelling chronicle of the historic and bloody months in 1965, when black Americans in Selma, Alabama put their lives on the line to win the right to vote. In tight and effective dramatic sequences, director Ava DuVernay portrays the idealism, divisions, fortitude and personal anguish behind the moral triumph of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s crusade for dignity.
“Heartbreaking and inspiring” – The Guardian “The right movie for this moment in time” – The Village Voice “Hums with suspense and surprise” – The New York Times “A measured, resolute and levelheaded film.” – National Public radio “Oyelowo penetrates King’s soul and camps out there for two hours” – The Telegraph
Awards: 27, including the Oscar for Best Supporting Actresss
Director: Tom Hooper
Country: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, U.S., U.K.
Runs: 1 hr, 59 mins
An extraordinary love story, a visual feast, a journey of discovery and a testament to the courage of a transgender pioneer, all in one remarkable film based on a true story that is even more topical today than it was in the 1930s.
“Handsomely made, intelligent and sympathetic” The Guardian “You experience firsthand the challenges transgendered people endured nearly a century ago and still experience today” Rex Reed N.Y. Observer “What makes the performance even more powerful though is its female counterpoint” Hollywood Reporter
Awards:13, including the Oscar for Best Actor, Best Comedy European Film Awards, Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film 2017 Academy Awards, Director: Hannes Holm
Language: Swedish, Persian – with English subtitles
Runs: 1 hr, 56 mins
Ove, an ill-tempered, grumpy, loner spends his days enforcing association rules in his housing complex and visiting his wife’s grave. He’s finally given up on life just as an unlikely friendship develops with his boisterous new neighbours. Friendship is a funny thing, old ones can be healed and new ones can be surprising…
“A Man Called Ove hits all of the genre’s sweet spots, without ever tipping into the saccharine.” Globe and Mail. “Holm’s adaptation is a darkly funny, tragic, and ultimately heartwarming tearjerker about the life of one lonely but extraordinary man.” Entertainment Weekly. “Sweet and flinty in roughly equal measure.” Chicago Tribune. Watch the TRAILER, CLICK HERE
Awards: 17 awards, including European Film Award for Best Animated Feature Film, Golden Globe & Oscar nominated Best Animated Feature Film.
Director(s): Dorota Kobiela & Hugh Welchman
Country: Poland, United Kingdom
Runs: 1 hr, 34 mins
Film website The story is presented through oil painted animation, a 6 year labour of love. A total of 125 classically trained artists from all over the world, including Ottawa-born Val Fulford, created more than 1,300 paintings, which became 65,000 painted frames. A young man goes to Vincent van Gogh’s last hometown to deliver a final letter to the troubled artist. He ends up investigating van Gogh’s final days there – was it murder or suicide?
“Loving Vincent is a visual masterpiece unto itself ” The Globe & Mail “Brings a poetic sense of tragedy to the last act of van Gogh’s life, and fresh insight into the kind of man he was” Variety “Loving Vincent is a triumph in animation” We Live Entertainment
Awards: Audience Choice Award – Palm Springs Festival, Audience Choice Award – Calgary Film Festival
Director(s): Miranda de Pencier
Language: Inuktitut, English
Runs: 1 h, 42 mins
Film website In a small Arctic town struggling with the highest suicide rate in North America, a group of Inuit students’ lives are transformed when they are introduced to the sport of lacrosse.
Awards: Nominated for 1 oscar, 53 awards won including Best Actor at the Chicago Film Festival
Director(s): Jan Komasa
Country: Poland, France
Runs: 1 h, 55 mins
Daniel experiences a spiritual transformation in a detention center. Although his criminal record prevents him from applying to the seminary, he has no intention of giving up his dream and decides to minister a small-town parish.
2021 – No winner due to covid
Hedy Lamarr was a Hollywood movie star who was hailed as the most beautiful and glamorous in the world. However, that was only the surface that tragically obscured her astounding true talents.
Awards: 10 wins and 22 nominations, including winner of the Denver International Film Festival’s People’s Choice Awards
Language: English, Kazakh
Country: USA, UK, Mongolia
Runs: 1 h, 27 mins
This spellbinding documentary follows Aisholpan, a 13-year-old nomadic Mongolian girl who is fighting to become the first female eagle hunter in twelve generations of her Kazakh family