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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri takes top audience award at Toronto

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Story by Jack Foley

MARTIN McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which is set to close this year’s London Film Festival, has taken one of the top prizes at the Toronto Film Festival – the audience award.

The dark comedy-drama stars Frances McDormand as a mother whose daughter was brutally raped and murdered, prompting her character to decide to call out the police chief, played by Woody Harrelson, on three giant billboards for failing to find the killer.

The film also won the best screenplay prize in Venice, on its way to Toronto, meaning that it should form a major part of the forthcoming awards season conversation. Past audience winners at Toronto have included Silver Linings Playbook, The King’s Speech and last year’s La La Land.

The second runner-up in the main audience winner category was Luca Guadagnino’s romance drama Call Me By Your Name, starring Armie Hammer and Timothee Chalamet, while the first runner-up was I, Tonya, the ice skating biopic starring Margot Robbie.

Further audience prizes included JR and Agnes Varda’s Faces Places, which claimed the award for best documentary.

The first runner-up was Long Time Running, the Tragically Hip concert film by Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas De Pencier, while the second runner-up was Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!.

Joseph Kahn’s Bodied, which follows a grad student who becomes obsessed with battle rapping, took the Midnight Madness audience award, while first runner-up in the most popular Midnight Madness film competition was James Franco’s real-life comedy The Disaster Artist, and the Vince Vaughn-starring Brawl in Cell Block 99 was second runner-up.

The juried Platform award for best international film went to Warwick Thornton’s critically-acclaimed Outback Western Sweet Country, which follows the tale of an Aboriginal stockman and his wife as they try to stay ahead of a fervent posse in the harsh outback of the Northern Territory after being accused of a murder.

And the Discovery award went to Ava, directed by Sadaf Foroughi.