'Room' wins Toronto Film Festival audience award

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Posted: Sep 20, 2015 3:59 PM
'Room' wins Toronto Film Festival audience award

NEW YORK (AP) — The top award of the 40th Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday went to Lenny Abrahamson's "Room," an emotional tale of a captive mother and her five-year son.

The film took the festival's People's Choice award, determined by audience voting. Starring Brie Larson and 8-year-old Jacob Tremblay, "Room" is adapted from Emma Donoghue's 2010 novel. It's told from the perspective of a boy who has been locked in a room with his mother for his entire life.

Toronto's audience award has previously been a harbinger of awards season success. Past winners include "12 Years a Slave" and "The King's Speech." That bodes well for the prospects of "Room," which A24 will release October 16.

Runner-up went to Tom McCarthy's "Spotlight," a newspaper procedural starring Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo about the Boston Globe's investigative reporting on sexual abuse by Catholic priests.

The prize for the festival's inaugural Platform sidebar of international films was awarded to Alan Zweig's "Hurt," a documentary about Canadian cancer hero Steve Fonyo.

Evgeny Afieneevsky's "Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom" won the People's Choice documentary award. The audience award for the Midnight Madness section went to Ilya Naishuller's "Hardcore," a kinetic Russian action movie shot on GoPro cameras. Its $10 million sale to STX Entertainment was the largest purchase from the festival.

The Toronto Film Festival wrapped Sunday after 10 days of red-carpet premieres.

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Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP