'Like Father, Like Son' Takes Top Audience Prize in Vancouver

Hirokazu Kore-eda - H 2013

Hirokazu Kore-eda - H 2013

Hirokazu Koreeda's Japanese babies-switched-at-birth drama secured the people's choice award as festival head Alan Franey announced his departure.

TORONTO - Hirokazu Koreeda's Japanese babies-switched-at-birth drama Like Father, Like Son has won the top audience award at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Dreamworks has the remake rights to the Cannes jury prize winner that opened strongly at the Japanese box office in late September.

The latest honor for Like Father, Like Son came as Alan Franey, who has led the Vancouver festival for 26 years, announced he was stepping down.

STORY: 'Like Father, Like Son' Opens at No. 1 in Japan 

"It has been a privilege for me to lead this organization for so long, and there are many people I will remain grateful to," Franey said in a statement issued as the festival wrapped Friday night.

"Our senior staff and board have been working towards this executive transition for a few years, and we are fortunate to have several deeply knowledgeable and dedicated long-term employees who work 60-80 hour weeks on our behalf," he added.

In total, the Vancouver fest screened 341 films from 75 countries, including 92 Canadian films, during its latest run.

Other audience award winners included Ben Ratner's Down River, which was named the most popular Canadian feature, and Haifaa Al Mansour's Wadjda, which emerged as the most popular first feature.

And on the juried award front, the Vancouver festival gave its best Canadian first feature award to Jeff Barnaby's Rhymes for Young Ghouls, a breakout hit at the Toronto International Film Festival, and the Jason James comedy That Burning Feeling.