Cord Jefferson's directorial debut has taken home TIFF's top prize.
Following two weeks of screenings at the Toronto International Film Festival, American Fiction received this year's coveted People's Choice Award. Jefferson (an Emmy-winning writer for HBO's Watchmen) scripted and directed the adaptation of Percival Everett's 2001 novel Erasure, a publishing industry satire starring Jeffrey Wright as an artist told his writing "isn't Black enough."
"Thank you so much for this incredible honor. Winning this award was beyond my wildest dreams when we first submitted the film," Jefferson said. "I really wanted to thank the audience at TIFF. Thank you for coming out and watching the film and supporting the film and engaging with the material. Making this movie and premiering it at TIFF was truly the honor of my entire life."
Alexander Payne's The Holdovers and Hayao Miyazaki's The Boy and the Heron were awarded the first and second runners-up, respectively. Past People's Choice winners include The Fabelmans — which won the award last year — along with Belfast, Nomadland, Jojo Rabbit, and Green Book.
See the full list of winners below.
People's Choice Award
American Fiction, directed by Cord Jefferson
First runner-up: The Holdovers, directed by Alexander Payne
Second runner-up: The Boy and the Heron, directed by Hayao Miyazaki
People's Choice Midnight Madness Award
Dicks: The Musical Story, directed by Larry Charles
First runner-up: Kill, directed by Nikhil Nagesh Bhat
Second runner-up: Hell of a Summer, directed by Finn Wolfhard and Billy Bryk
People's Choice Documentary Award
Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make Believe, directed by Robert McCallum
First runner-up: Summer Qamp, directed by Jen Markowitz
Second runner-up: Mountain Queen: The Summits of Lhakpa Sherpa, directed by Lucy Walker
Platform Jury Award
Dear Jassi, directed by Tarsem Singh Dhandwar
Best Short Film
Electra, directed by Daria Kashcheeva
Best Canadian Short Film
Motherland, directed by Jasmin Mozaffari
Shé (Snake), directed by Renee Zhan
Honorable mention: Gaby’s Hills, directed by Zoé Pelchat
Best Canadian Feature Film Award
Solo, directed by Sophie Dupuis
Honorable mention: Kanaval, directed by Henri Pardo
Amplify Voices Award - Best BIPOC Canadian Feature
Kanaval, directed by Henri Pardo
Amplify Voices Award - Best BIPOC Canadian First Feature
Tautuktavuk (What We See), directed by Carol Kunnuk, Lucy Tulugarjuk
We Grown Now, directed by Minhal Baig
A Match, directed by Jayant Digambar Somalkar
Seagrass, directed by Meredith Hama-Brown