Pierre Thoretton’s first feature doc, L’amour fou and Sturla Gunnarsson’s Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie received awards and accolades as the Toronto International Film Festival came to a close on Sunday.
The winner for the Cadillac People’s Choice award for best documentary was Gunnarsson’s film, focusing on scientist, environmental activist and longtime host of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s science/natural history program The Nature of Things, David Suzuki. The film frames footage from the 74-year-old Suzuki’s Legacy lecture to students at the University of British Columbia. In an interview with realscreen, Gunnarsson said the Entertainment One/National Film Board of Canada coproduction, made in association with the CBC, captured Suzuki ‘at a particular moment in his life where he’s looking back on things and trying to get a handle on what it’s all about – his legacy, his mortality… that struck me as a very powerful idea for a film.’
The runner-up for the Cadillac People Choice Award for docs was Nostalgia for the Light, a coproduction between Germany, France and Chile directed by Patricio Guzmán.
Thoretton’s film, which focuses on the love story between fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent and longtime partner Pierre Bergé, won the Prize of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Special Presentations. In an interview with realscreen last week, director Thoretton said the film was a story about ‘love against all odds over a period of 50 years.’ In awarding the film, the jury of international critics, hailing from India, Tunisia, Poland, Turkey and Canada, said it ‘portrays the poignant, emotional and cinematic expression of the life and times of an internationally renowned artist, exploring his stark loneliness and artistic overtones.’
‘I think I have found something while working on this subject,’ Thoretton said in the realscreen interview. ‘How to live together despite it all.’
The Toronto International Film Festival took place from September 9-19. Look for more on the fest in the September/October issue of realscreen.