September 17, 2017 / 10:18 PM / 2 years ago

'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing' wins at Toronto film festival

Director Martin McDonagh poses during red carpet event for the movie "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" at the 74th Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy September 4, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

TORONTO (Reuters) - Director Martin McDonagh’s comic drama, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” won the award for audience favorite at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday, giving the film a boost ahead of the upcoming awards season.

Frances McDormand plays a grieving mother frustrated with the police’s lack of progress in finding her daughter’s killer. The film, which screened in Venice earlier and is set for wide release later this year, won the Grolsch People’s Choice Award.

Craig Gillespie’s “I, Tonya,” about U.S. figure skater Tonya Harding, and Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me By Your Name,” a coming-of-age romance about forbidden love, were the runners-up.

Past audience winners and runners-up in Toronto have gone on to win or become best-picture Oscar nominees, solidifying the Toronto festival’s reputation as a launching pad for films that go on to receive critical acclaim.

Past winners and runners-up include “Spotlight,” “12 Years A Slave,” “The King’s Speech” and “La La Land.”

Other winners at this year’s festival included “Faces Places” for the audience’s favorite documentary. Warwick Thornton’s “Sweet Country” won the festival’s Platform prize, selected by a panel of filmmakers.

Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Peter Cooney

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