On Sept. 15, 2013, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) announced that "12 Years a Slave" won this year's BlackBerry People's Choice Award for best picture. All of the festival's People's Choice Awards are voted on by festival attendees.
"12 Years a Slave" (from Fox Searchlight Pictures) is scheduled for release in the U.S. and Canada on Oct. 18, 2013.
Here is the description of the movie from Fox Searchlight Pictures:
"'12 Years a Slave' is based on an incredible true story of one man's fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender), as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the 12th year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt) will forever alter his life."
Pitt, who has a small role in "12 Years a Slave," is one of the movie's producers.
Many of the winners for best picture at TIFF's People's Choice Awards go on to get nominated or win Academy Awards for Best Picture. The most recent examples include "Slumdog Millionaire" (2008), "Precious" (2009), "The King's Speech" (2010) and "Silver Linings Playbook" (2012).
In addition, several movies that won Best Picture at the Academy Awards had premieres at TIFF. The most recent examples are "No Country for Old Men" (2007), "Slumdog Millionaire" (2008), "The Hurt Locker" (2009), "The King's Speech" (2010), "The Artist" (2011) and "Argo" (2012).
"12 Years a Slave" is getting considerable Oscar buzz. Many people are predicting that the movie will get nominated for Best Picture. Also likely to get Oscar nominations are "12 Years a Slave" star Ejiofor, director Steve McQueen and screenwriter John Ridley.
Here is the complete list of the BlackBerry People's Choice winners at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival:
Best Picture: "12 Years a Slave"
Midnight Madness: "Why Don't You Play in Hell?"
Documentary: "The Square"
Here are the winners of the Canadian Awards, as voted by the Canadian Film Jury:
The City of Toronto & Canada Goose Award for Best Canadian Feature Film: "When Jews Were Funny"
Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film: "Asphalt Watches'
YouTube Award for Canadian Best Short Film: "Noah"
Here are the winners of the International Film Critics' Award winners:
FIPRESCI Prize – Discovery: "Ida"
FIPRESCI Prize – Special Presentation: "The Amazing Catfish"
Grolsch Film Works Discovery Award: Gia Milani for "All the Wrong Reasons."
NETPAC Award: "Qissa"
RBC Emerging Filmmakers Competition: "Requiem for a Robot"