Film Circuit™, TIFF’s national film outreach program, revealed that audiences across the country awarded Don McKellar’sThe Grand Seduction and Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox as winners of the 11th annual Film Circuit People’s Choice Awards. The Grand Seduction was named Best Canadian Film and The Lunchbox was selected as the Best International Film.
Film Circuit operates through domestic grassroots networks and strong community partnerships, bringing Canadian and international independent films and artists to communities across Canada. From Prince Rupert to Charlottetown, Film Circuit has 174 groups in 155 locations. 2014 saw record attendance, with 342,091 people attending 2,116 screenings.
“Now in its 20th year, Film Circuit continues to grow and establish new groups across the country,” said Jesse Wente, Director of Film Programmes, TIFF. “Along with that growth, films are working Film Circuit into their release plans as a way to reach new and engaged audiences.”
In 2014, guests travelled to communities across Canada to introduce their films and participate in 95 Q&A sessions. Guests included Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club), Don McKellar (The Grand Seduction), Sturla Gunnarsson (Monsoon), Jody Shapiro (Burt’s Buzz), Elizabeth Klinck (Arctic Defenders), Richie Mehta (Siddharth), Maxime Giroux (Felix and Meira), Katie Boland (Gerontophilia), Daniel Perlmutter (Big News From Grand Rock), and Peter Keleghan and Leah Pinsent (Big News From Grand Rock).
The Grand Seduction follows the residents of a small Newfoundland fishing village who, in order to secure a vital factory contract, conspire to charm a big-city doctor into becoming the town’s full-time physician. This sparkling comedy from director Don McKellar (Last Night) and screenwriter Michael Dowse (Goon, The F Word) has screened in 63 Film Circuit communities and was seen by over 10,700 people.
In The Lunchbox, a misdelivered lunchbox brings together two very different people — a neglected housewife (Nimrat Kaur) and a grumpy, solitary widower on the verge of retirement (Bollywood star Irrfan Khan) — in this funny and touching comedy-drama from first-time writer-director Ritesh Batra. The Lunchbox has screened in 80 Film Circuit communities and was seen by over 14,300 people.
Now in its 11th year, the annual Film Circuit People’s Choice Awards are decided by audiences across the country who vote for their favourite film shown at a Film Circuit screening.