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Firth movie lands Toronto Film Festival prize

image captionRush and Firth play characters who form an unlikely friendship

The King's Speech, starring Colin Firth as King George VI, has won the main prize at the Toronto Film Festival.

The film, about the stammering monarch as he prepares for war, picked up The People's Choice Award - voted for by film fans.

The movie also stars Geoffrey Rush as the king's speech therapist, and Helena Bonham Carter as the Queen Mother.

The film festival's director, Piers Handling, predicted Oscar nominations for the three leads.

"So many people were talking about that film during the festival," said Handling.

Its director, Tom Hooper, said: "I am so proud that people responded to this film in a positive way."

Previous winners include Precious, which won two Oscars last year, and Slumdog Millionaire, which won eight Academy Awards.

The First Grader

The King's Speech was part-funded by the UK Film Council, who backed it with £1m of lottery money, as was another film which premiered at Toronto, Made in Dagenham.

In July, the government announced the closure of the UK Film Council.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said it would ensure "greater value for money".

At the time of the announcement in July, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said film funding would continue but would be distributed through other bodies.

The runner-up for the People's Choice Award at Toronto was Justin Chadwick's The First Grader, about an 84-year-old illiterate man who tries to register at a Kenyan primary school to take advantage of government-sponsored education.

The Toronto Film Festival, which does not award jury prizes, is the biggest film festival in North America.

More on this story

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