Icon Film gets trifecta at Toronto

[Press release by Icon Film]

Three films releasing across Australia and New Zealand through Icon Film Distribution were awarded top prizes at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival.

Australian director Steve Jacobs’ (La Spagnola) highly anticipated film Disgrace starring Academy Award winning actor John Malkovich, has won the Prize of International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize). Based on the 2003 Nobel Prize winning novel of the same name by J. M. Coetzee, Disgrace is written and produced by Australian writer/producer Anna-Maria Monticelli, who was also recently awarded the Best Feature Film Adaptation award at the Australian Writers Guild awards in Melbourne this year.

Disgrace follows Professor David Lurie as his life falls apart after he has an impulsive affair with one of his students. Forced to resign from Cape Town University he escapes to his daughter’s farm. The relationship is tested when they both become victims of a vicious attack. Disgrace will open in Australia first quarter 2009.

Another Icon film making headlines at the Toronto International Film Festival is the winner of the Cadillac People’s Choice Award, Slumdog Millionaire, from award winning British director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, 28 Days Later) and written by the Oscar nominated writer of The Full Monty.

Slumdog Millionaire is based on the award winning book Q & A by Indian writer Vikas Swarup and is the story of how impoverished Indian teen Jamal Malik (Patel) became a contestant on the Hindi version of "Who Wants to be A Millionaire?" – an endeavour made without prize money in mind, rather, an effort to prove his love for his friend Latika (Pinto), who is an ardent fan of the show.

The Cadillac People’s Choice Award is the audience demand for performance and innovation. The award is presented to the highest-rated film voted by the Toronto International Film audience following ten days and over 300 films. Cadillac People’s Choice Award is the most prestigious award at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The multi-award winning film Hunger, directed by installation artist Steve McQueen, was also presented with the Diesel Discovery Award, voted by the festival’s press corps of about 1000 journalists.

Prior to this success at Toronto, Hunger recently won the Sydney Film Prize at the Sydney International Film Festival and
opened the Un Certain Regard strand at this years’ Cannes International Film Festival and was awarded the prestigious
Camera D’Or award.

Hunger follows life in the Maze Prison, Northern Ireland with an interpretation of the highly emotive events surrounding the 1981 IRA Hunger Strike, led by Bobby Sands. With an epic eye for detail, the film provides a timely exploration of what happens when body and mind are pushed to the uttermost limit.

With compelling performances by Michael Fassbender (300, Wedding Belles) and Liam Cunningham (The Wind That Shakes the Barley), Hunger will open in Australia on 30 October, 2008.