Garin Hovannisian’s I Am Not Alone and Bryce Dallas Howard’s Dads named runners up
Before the Toronto International Film Festival began, chief documentary programmer Thom Powers told us to keep an eye on Feras Fayyad's The Cave.
"I thought it was so outstanding," he remarked to Nonfictionfilm.com. Turns out TIFF audiences agreed.
Fayyad's follow up to his Oscar-nominated film Last Men in Aleppo won the Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award, a prize voted on by TIFF attendees. The Cave, which like Last Men in Aleppo focuses on the catastrophic civil war in Fayyad's native Syria, held its world premiere at TIFF.
It's really an extraordinary work.
"It's almost like watching a Mad Max film of people who are literally driven underground because the surface of the earth has been made uninhabitable by warlords," Powers says of The Cave. "In this film, we follow a group of doctors, led by a woman doctor, in the tunnels that have been carved for a hospital under the city that is experiencing constant bombardments. It's really an extraordinary work."
Fayyad's documentary also won the audience award at the Camden International Film Festival, which just wrapped in Maine. National Geographic Documentary Films will release The Cave in theaters October 18.
I Am Not Alone was named first runner up for the Grolsch People's Choice Documentary Award. Garin Hovannisian’s film revolves around the peaceful 2018 revolution in Armenia. The second runner up for the award was Dads, directed by actress/filmmaker Bryce Dallas Howard.
"The film draws on the testimonies of famous funnymen such as Judd Apatow, Will Smith, Jimmy Fallon, Neil Patrick Harris, Kenan Thompson, Jimmy Kimmel, and Ken Jeong," Powers noted in the TIFF program. "Their reflections are combined with portraits of non-celebrity dads from different parts of the world — Brazil, Japan, the United States — who are creating new models of patriarchy."
At TIFF, Apple acquired Dads for its new streaming service Apple TV Plus. The competitor to Netflix (and Disney's upcoming streaming service Disney+) launches November 1.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.