Toronto Urban Film Festival Holds 10th Anniversary Awards Party

Over $20,000 in Cash and Prizes Awarded to Filmmakers at Gladstone Hotel Awards Ceremony

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - September 20, 2016) - Toronto Urban Film Festival (TUFF), North America's largest commuter film festival, celebrated its successful 10th edition with an awards ceremony hosted at the Gladstone Hotel on Sunday night. Over $20,000 in cash and prizes was awarded to talented filmmakers from Canada and across the globe. TUFF cofounder and Director Sharon Switzer, President of PATTISON Outdoor Randy Otto, and Vice President/General Manager of PATTISON Onestop Cam Milne spoke at the ceremony that culminated in its first prize (selected by TUFF 2016 guest judge and Toronto Film Commissioner Zaib Shaikh) of $3000 cash from PATTISON Onestop and a permanent license for Storyboard Pro software from Toon Boom Animation being awarded to Torontonians Spencer Ryerson and Peter Widdrington for their short film A NEW HOME.

"It was a remarkable year with tremendous talent," says Sharon Switzer who was featured on CP24 earlier this September. "These were difficult decisions but the acclaim is well deserved. We thank our dedicated filmmakers for their contributions and continual support over the past ten years and look forward to another ten years of TUFF."

The full list of winners/awards is as follows:

2016 Prizes selected by TUFF Founder Sharon Switzer & TUFF Programmer Angie Driscoll

VIEWERS' CHOICE AWARD - Presence of Time

The award comes with a $500 prize.

  • Voting was open to everyone online from Sept 10 - 17, and we are happy to announce that the Viewers' Choice winner this year is The Presence of Time by Rakib Boby from Bangladesh, who received 1047 online votes.


A $200.00 workshop voucher from the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT). 2 FINISHIT Screenwriting passes and 2 Filmmaker Sandbox passes from Raindance Toronto.

  • This year's TORONTO LENS AWARD recipient turns a subway ride into an otherworldly trip down memory lane, as a woman travels backwards in this moody neo-gothic. Wonderful cinematography and high-contrast black and white film utterly transforms the TTC in JORDAN RANDALL's film GOING BACK!

CITY STORIES AWARD - Los Angeles Del Prado

A $1,500 grant for Lighting and Grip Equipment from William F White.

  • This year's CITY STORIES AWARD goes to a film that captures the energy, danger and mad skills of a group of talented young Cuban street dancers and acrobats. A filmmaker who puts the "life" in slice of life, congratulations go to FOTIS KANTERES' film LOS ANGELES DEL PRADO!


A Spacing Magazine gift pack, including a 1-yr subscription and $60 gift card. Two 10-pack of festival tickets for Hot Docs.

  • Both entertaining and educational, this colourful work transforms pathogens into pieces of art and paints infectious disease as beautiful instead of fearful. The CANADIAN URBANISM AWARD goes to SCREENED FOR a film by JULIA KROLIK, OWEN FERNLEY and ELAINE WHITTAKER!


A permanent License for Vegas Pro 13 Suite editing software from Sony Creative Software.

  • A woman makes some profound realizations about domesticity and marriage in this dance film that uses movement as narrative and creates novel juxtapositions between contemporary and traditional dance and gender roles. A film that deserves to be singled out with a SPECIAL JURY PRIZE at this year's TUFF, is RINGING by ALICIA KRAWCHUK!


A permanent License for Vegas Pro 13 Suite editing software from Sony Creative Software.

  • A sepia-toned, capoeira-inspired dance battle that tackles the landscape of skyscrapers, race, and urban anomie deserves this year's 2nd SPECIAL JURY PRIZE. Two men help each other escape their headphones and separateness, and hold one another up to see the city in a completely new way… and by extension, the audience too! Let's hear it for HANG ON – CARRY ON by MICHIEL VAANHOLD!


A 1-Year Associate Membership and a $1,200 Programming Pass from Women in Film and Television Toronto. 2 Benefactor Memberships to the Inside Out LGBT Film Festival.

  • The jury's choice for MOST ORIGINAL FILM BY A LOCAL FEMALE DIRECTOR was made easy by this mesmerizing memoir that employs an arsenal of animated techniques and elements to bring a girl's diary to life. This perfectly succinct short about Dad's double life and his daughter's anguish over having to keep his secrets, is a raw, gut-wrenching and earnest exercise in hypocrisy. Big congratulations go to B.H YAEL for her film NO LIES!


A permanent License for Vegas Pro 13 Suite editing software from Sony Creative Software. 2 All-Access passes to the Images Festival.

  • An atmospheric and haunting film about small town boredom, adolescence, female friendship, and the urgent desire to get the hell outta Dodge grabbed the jury's attention. Demonstrating a real sense of time, place, and mystery, this year's BEST EMERGING FILMMAKER AWARD goes to UNWANTED WAR by JAIDEN DALBELLO!


A permanent license for Harmony animation software from Toon Boom Animation.

  • Extremely rich, eye-popping animation and detailed world-creation is at the heart of this visually-arresting story that impressed the jury with its empathy and existential angst. A unique vision of surveillance, uniformity and repetition, this year's AWARD FOR BEST ANIMATED FILM goes to a short in which wind-up robots with stapled skulls riding unicycles alert us to a possible future in DANIEL ZAGÓRSKI's film UTOPIA!


A permanent License for Vegas Pro 13 Suite editing software from Sony Creative Software.

  • A seemingly simple game of volleyball reveals gender inequality in this smart, surprising and useful reminder of what is allowed and deemed appropriate in sport and society for girls in Iran. This year's AWARD FOR BEST NARRATIVE FILM is given to TEYMOUR GHADERI's film THE WALL!

AWARD FOR EXPERIMENTAL FILM - Relic of Lumen (excerpt)

A permanent License for Vegas Pro 13 Suite editing software from Sony Creative Software.

  • Using images from three different archives, this gorgeous film explores photography as timeless moments drawn in light. Reminding us of the persistent human desire towards discovery and adventure, RelicS of Lumen (excerpt) by Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof wins this year's AWARD FOR BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM.


A permanent license for Harmony animation software from Toon Boom Animation.

  • This year's AWARD FOR BEST COMEDY goes to a funny, fresh, and adorable film about a hero who dreams of playing professional soccer… despite his species. An idea is so strong and amusing, that it makes you laugh while reconsidering all notions of discrimination, put your hands together for EUNSOO AHN's short DARE TO DREAM?!


A $1,500 grant for Lighting and Grip Equipment from William F White.

A permanent license for Storyboard Pro software from Toon Boom Animation.

  • A Canadian soldier and a young Afghan teach each other lessons that transcend language in this hopeful call for peace and understanding, education and encouragement, all set against a backdrop of conflict, both external and internal. Complex and sharply written, this year's AWARD FOR BEST LOCAL FILM belongs to SALAR PASHTOONYAR's short film HOPE!

TUFF 2016 Prizes selected by Toronto Film Commissioner Zaib Shaikh

Honorable Mentions

Art by Mykyta Leskov from the Ukraine - Effects Suite from Red Giant Software

The Moment by Akilesh Kathamuthu from India - Magic Bullet Suite from Red Giant Software

Fireworks in the Ghetto by Shay Roddick from USA - Keying Suite from Red Giant Software


$750 cash from PATTISON Onestop.

  • 3rd Prize goes to a stop-motion short that playfully yet skillfully brings to life the creative process behind independent animation, deftly showing how certain ideas can push through our imagination to become a reality. Our guest judge Zaib Shaikh was wowed by ELECTRIC DREAM CHUTE by WILLIAM ALLINSON.


$1,500 Cash from PATTISON Onestop.

  • In the film that wins 2nd Prize, a little girl runs late, in a subtle ode to everyday adventures and small moments. Our guest judge would have been remiss not to honour the visual poetry on display in this elegant full-circle story about intersections, AUTUMN LEAVES by SAMAN HOSSEINPOUR! Saman is from Iran, but he has sent us a video.


$3000 cash from PATTISON Onestop and a permanent license for Storyboard Pro software from Toon Boom Animation.

  • A short that reaches well beyond the bounds of 60 seconds receives our top honours of 2016. The pain and confusion of a young boy caught between worlds is subtly yet powerfully told in a story turns a drive across the city into a heartbreaking journey. Our guest judge awarded 1st Prize to A NEW HOME by SPENCER RYERSON and PETER WIDDRINGTON.

About Toronto Urban Film Festival - | @TUFFest

North America's first, largest, and longest running subway film festival, the Toronto Urban Film Festival (TUFF), features silent, 60-second film video and animation from across the globe. Reaching more than one million daily commuters on subway platform screens across the Toronto transit system, TUFF blurs the line between art and reality within the utilitarian setting of public transit every September.

About PATTISON Onestop - | @onestopmedia

PATTISON Onestop, a division of PATTISON Outdoor Advertising Canada's largest Out-of-Home advertising company serving 200 markets coast-to-coast, is a world leader in the development and operation of Digital Out-of-Home Media (DOOH) for mass transit, mall, retail, hospitality, residential, office, and outdoor environments. Art in Transit represents PATTISON Onestop's ongoing arts and culture programme.

About Art for Commuters - | @art4commuters

Art for Commuters (A4C) was founded in 2007 by Sharon Switzer, and brings over 100 artworks per year to the PATTISON Onestop TTC subway platform screens. Through these projects, Art for Commuters offers a wide range of contemporary artistic voices the opportunity to showcase their work in the public spaces frequented by urban travelers.

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TUFF2016 Awards