OTTAWA, Sept. 15 2007
Eastern Promises, a thriller by Canadian director David Cronenberg, won the Cadillac People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival which closed Saturday after screening 349 films over ten days.
The London-set film follows the mysterious and ruthless Nikolai(starred by Viggo Mortensen), a Russian gangster tied to one of London's most notorious organized crime families. His carefully maintained existence is shaken when he crosses paths with Anna (starred by Naomi Watts), an innocent midwife who accidentally uncovers potential evidence against the family.
official movie homepage: www.focusfeatures.com/easternpromises/
“... nobody goes quite so far in making it (violence) all look realistic than Canadian director David Cronenberg, whose Russian mob movie Eastern Promises contains the single most disturbing moment of movie violence I have ever seen. It comes at the end of a bloody bathhouse battle between a buck-naked Viggo Mortensen and two hired assassins in black leather jackets, and Cronenberg himself, in an interview with Canadian news magazine Maclean’s, has likened it to the classic shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho as “the scene that will get (people) to see the movie.” But Cronenberg also says that the explicit scene — one of three graphic, violent moments in a tense, dark movie — is essential because it shows death for what it is, rather than the James Bond-style action-movie punch-ups, where the hero takes battering after battering, and still stands up to fight another day.” (source: http://blogs.reuters.com/category/events/toronto-2007/)
The Prize of the International Critics Association (FIPRESCI Prize) went to Rodrigo Pla's LA ZONA, a revenge drama set around a gated community in Mexico City. This award is annually bestowed upon a feature film directed by an emerging filmmaker, and making its world premiere at the festival.
The Diesel Discovery Award, voted on by the 1,000 members of the international media attending the festival, was awarded to Cochochi, from directors Israel Cardenas and Laura Amelia Guzman. The film is about two brothers who become separated when attempting to deliver a package to a faraway community.
The Artistic Innovation award went to another Spanish-language film, Anahi Berneri's Encarnacion, an Argentinean film about an aging actress who returns to her hometown, which was cited by the jury for its for its "critique of mainstream cinema" and issues around the "fetishization of the female body." (source: http://news.xinhuanet.com)