George Clooney loses out to Lebanese comedy

September 19th, 2011

A comedy movie set in war-torn Lebanon has won the People's Choice award at the Toronto International Film Festival.

'Where Do We Go Now?', which features a largely-unknown cast, beat off competition from two entries starring George Clooney, 'The Descendants' and 'The Ides of March', to take the prestigious accolade - which is voted by festival audiences and was won last year by 'The King's Speech' - at the ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto yesterday (18.09.11).

Festival programmer Rasha Salti accepted the award on filmmaker Nadine Labaki's behalf, but the director explained she is "happy" and "ecstatic" to win the award.

She said in a statement: "I'm thrilled, I'm happy, I'm ecstatic, I'm excited my day that had started on the wrong foot because of a flight cancellation has just been turned upside down.

"I'm running around jumping up and down at the Frankfurt airport. Tomorrow we'll be screening 'Where Do We Go Now?' for the first time in Lebanon and I will be proud and happy to announce the news in front of my crew, my family and the Lebanese audience."

Other winners at the ceremony included Jon Shenk's 'The Island President', which picked up the People's Choice Documentary Award, and Nathan Morlando's 'Edwin Boyd' took home the Best Canadian First Feature Film gong.

List of award winners at the Toronto International Film Festival:

Best Canadian First Feature Film - Nathan Morlando, 'Edwin Boyd'

Best Canadian Feature Film - Philippe Falardeau, 'Monsieur Lazhar'

Best Canadian Short Film - Ian Harnarine, 'Doubles With Slight Pepper'

Prize of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for the Discovery programme - Axel Petersen, 'Avalon' (Sweden)

International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Special Presentations - Gianni Amelio, 'The First Man'

People's Choice Award - Nadine Labaki, 'Where Do We Go Now?'

People's Choice Documentary Award - Jon Shenk, 'The Island President'

People's Choice Midnight Madness Award - Gareth Evans, 'The Raid'