Steven Spielberg chose the Toronto International Film Festival to debut his newest movie, The Fabelmans — the director's first time ever launching a film at TIFF — and wound up winning the festival's top prize.
On Sunday, following two weeks of screenings and more than 200 feature films, The Fabelmans was announced as the winner of the People's Choice Award, as voted by the viewing public. Past People's Choice honorees include last year's recipient, Belfast, along with Nomadland, Green Book, La La Land, and more.
"Above all, I'm glad I brought this film to Toronto!" Spielberg said in a statement upon his win. "This is the most personal film I've ever made, and the warm reception from everyone in Toronto made my first visit to TIFF so intimate and personal for me and my entire Fabelman family. Thank you to Cameron Bailey and the incredible staff at TIFF; thank you to Universal Pictures; and a very special thank you to all the movie fans in Toronto who have made this past weekend one I'll never forget."
The semi-autobiographical family drama is a coming-of-age story about a 16-year-old boy, Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel LaBelle), who dreams of making movies. Spielberg scripted the movie with Tony Kushner, and the cast includes Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, and Seth Rogen.
Below, see the full list of winners.
People's Choice Award
The Fabelmans, directed by
First runner-up: Women Talking, directed by Sarah Polley
Second runner-up: Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, directed by Rian Johnson
People's Choice Midnight Madness Award
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, directed by Eric Appel
First runner-up: Pearl, directed by Ti West
Second runner-up: The Blackening, directed by Tim Story
People's Choice Documentary Award
Black Ice, directed by Hubert Davis
First runner-up: Maya and the Wave, directed by Stephanie Johnes
Second runner-up: 752 Is not a Number, directed by Babak Payami
Best Short Film
Snow in September, directed by Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir
Best Canadian Short Film
Simo, directed by Aziz Zoromba
Nanitic, directed by Carol Nguyen
Sweet As, directed by Jub Clerc
FIPRESCI Jury Award
A Gaza Weekend, directed by Basil Khalil
Amplify Voices Award for Best Canadian Feature Film
To Kill a Tiger, directed by Nisha Pahuja
Amplify Voices Award
Leonor Will Never Die, directed by Martika Ramirez Escobar
While We Watched, directed byVinay Shukla)
Shawn Mendes Foundation Changemaker Award
Something You Said Last Night, directed by Louis De. Filippis
Platform Jury Award
Riceboy Sleeps, directed by Anthony Shim