"Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire" won the top award at the Toronto International Film Festival today, Saturday, September 19th. "Precious" captured the festival's People's Choice award, which is voted on by filmgoers. Last year it went to 2009 Best Picture Oscar winner "Slumdog Millionaire."
The 2009 drama is adapted from the 1996 Sapphire novel Push about a teenage girl living in Harlem, who has been impregnated twice by her father and is withstanding a hurtful relationship with her mother. The film premiered in January 2009 at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize for best drama, as well as a Special Jury Prize for supporting actress Mo'Nique.
"Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire" is directed by Lee Daniels and co-produced by Daniels' company, Lee Daniels Entertainment, and Smokewood Entertainment Group, which is owned by Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness; the two production companies also collaborated on Tennessee. The theme song for the film, titled "Push," was written and produced by Robin Thicke.
Precious was picked up for distribution by Lionsgate and has received promotional assistance from Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions and Tyler Perry's 34th Street Films. The movie will be released nationwide on November 6, 2009.
The Toronto International Film Festival ranks among the most prestigious international film festivals in the world. For ten days, film lovers, filmmakers, industry professionals and media watch the best in new cinema from established masters and new talent.
Photos by Walter McBride