Lebanese war film wins top Toronto film fest award

TORONTO: A film about the struggles of a village in war-torn Lebanon took the People's Choice award at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday, an audience trophy that has often been a harbinger of Oscar glory.

"Where Do We Go Now", by Lebanon-born Nadine Labaki, tells the story of village inhabited by both Muslims and Christians. When a wider inter-religious conflict threatens to seep into the village, its women go to inventive and sometimes extreme ends to prevent violence.

The film, which debuted at Cannes earlier this year, is already Lebanon's official entry into the Foreign Language Film category at for next year's Academy Awards.

A festival official said Labaki wrote the film in Beirut in2007 when armed clashes had broken out. Pregnant at the time, she began thinking about what she could do to change the world as a filmmaker.

"I'm running around jumping up and down at the Frankfurt airport," Labaki said in a message read to the awards ceremony audience.

Last year's winner of the People's Choice award was "The King's Speech", which went on to win the Oscar for best picture. "American Beauty," "Crash," and "Slumdog Millionaire" also won the award at Toronto before going on to Oscar glory.(Reuters)

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