[ 2006-09-18 09:03 ]
Alejandro Gomez Monteverde's romantic drama "Bella" has won the Toronto film festival's
top prize awarded by audiences, but critics picked "Death of a
|Alejandro Monteverde of the film "Bella" poses
for portraits in the Chanel Celebrity Suite at the Four Season hotel
during the Toronto International Film Festival, 10 September 2006 in
The film about two individuals whose lives converge and turn upside
down on a single day in New York City is Monteverde's first feature film.
"I really hope that this is not a dream and that I don't wake up at
film school," said Monteverde Saturday. "This festival is my first
festival. It's my first film. It's my first everything."
The film follows cook Jose, played by Eduardo Verastegui, on a tour of
New York City with a striking, but distraught waitress (Tammy Blanchard)
whom he barely knows, but tries to comfort and begs to know after she is
fired from his brother's (Manny Perez) restaurant.
Previously, "American Beauty" and "Chariots of Fire" won Oscars for
best picture after Toronto audiences gave them a nod.
Last year's People's Choice Award winner "Tsotsi" went on to win an
Oscar for best foreign-language film.
"Death of a President" about a fictional assassination of US President
George W. Bush, despite poor reviews, won the Prize of International
Critics "for the audacity with
which it distorts reality, to reveal a larger truth," the jury said in a
British director Gabriel Range's cautionary tale told in documentary
style about an October 2007 assassination of Bush in Chicago amid Iraq war
protests mixes archival footage with narrative elements to explore the
loss of civil liberties, the ramifications of war and the manipulation of
The film has already sparked controversy in the United States about the
US president's world view, fed mostly by Bush's detractors, and others who deemed it
inappropriate to bespeak the death of a living person, especially a US