After a two week run that included a slew of buzzy world premieres and screenings of previous favorites from the international festival circuit, the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival has come to a close. Toronto is often considered the unofficial kickoff to Oscar season (along with the Venice and Telluride film festivals), so the films that take home the coveted People’s Choice Awards often get an early boost for their award campaigns.
The top prize went to “American Fiction,” Cord Jefferson’s publishing industry satire that stars Jeffrey Wright as a novelist who finds massive success after writing a deliberately stupid novel about Black life. Alexander Payne’s “The Holdovers” and Hayao Miyazaki’s “The Boy and the Heron” were honored as the first and second runners up, respectively.
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The MRC title could have a bright future at the Academy Awards, as 11 of the last 14 People’s Choice Award winners have gone on to receive Best Picture nominations. Recent winners include eventual Best Picture selections “Nomadland” and “Green Book,” as well as Oscar darlings like “JoJo Rabbit,” “La La Land,” and “Belfast.”
A24’s raunchy hit “Dicks: The Musical,” one of the festival’s buzziest titles, also received a boost with the People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award. The People’s Choice Documentary Award went to “Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe,” Robert McCallum’s tribute to the beloved Canadian children’s show.
Keep reading for a complete list of the award winners from the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival.
People’s Choice Award: “American Fiction” (dir. Cord Jefferson)
People’s Choice Documentary Award: “Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe” (dir. Robert McCallum)
People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award: “Dicks: The Musical” (dir. Larry Charles)
Platform Award: “Dear Jassi” (dir. Tarsem Singh Dhandwar)
Best Canadian Feature Film: “Solo” (dir. Sophie Dupuis)
Best Short Film: “Electra” (dir. Daria Kascheeva)
Best Canadian Short: “Motherland” (dir. Jasmin Mozaffari)
#ShareHerJourney Award: “She” (dir. Renee Zhan)
NETPAC Award: “A Match” (dir. Jayant Digambar Somalkar)
FIPRESCI Jury Award: “Seagrass” (dir. Meredith Hama-Brown)
Amplify Voices Award for Best BIPOC Canadian Feature: “Kanaval” (dir. Henri Pardo)
Amplify Voices Award for Best BIPOC Canadian First Feature: “Tautuktavuk” (dir. Carol Kunnuk and Lucy Tulugarjuk)
Amplify Voices BIPOC Canadian Trailblazer Award: Damon D’Oliveira
Changemaker Award: “We Grown Now” (dir. Minhal Baig)
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