Date: 18th September 2000

Ang Lee takes Toronto Crown

Ang Lee's historical martial-arts film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, won the top People's Choice award at the 25th annual Toronto International Film Festival Monday.

The elegant film from the director of The Ice Storm and Sense and Sensibility, which was hailed by critics and filmgoers alike at the festival, had been approached warily by distributors, inasmuch as the actors speak Chinese.

Nevertheless, festival director Piers Handling commented that audiences were taken with the "pure magic of movement" displayed in the film. It is due to be released by Sony Pictures Classics on Dec. 22.

Two Australian films also impressed festival voters. Rob Sitch's The Dish, a comedy that describes how Australia "secretly" contributed to the first lunar landing, placed second, while Paul Cox's Innocence tied with British director Stephen Daldry's Billy Elliot for third place. The 328 films screened over the 10-day festival earned US$1.2 million at the Toronto box office.

Source: Studio Briefing