American Fiction, Cord Jefferson’s drama starring Jeffrey Wright, Sterling K. Brown and Tracee Ellis Ross has officially moved ahead in the Best Picture race, winning the People’s Choice Award at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
In a statement, Jefferson said, “My gratitude towards everyone who watched American Fiction, discussed it afterwards among friends and colleagues is endless. The film is now in your hands and I’m so grateful that it was embraced in this way.” The film edged out runners-up The Holdovers (directed by Alexander Payne) and Hayao Miyazaki’s on-again-off-again “final” film The Boy and the Heron.
American Fiction is in some fantastic company by winning the People’s Choice Award at TIFF. Check out the last 10 winners: The Fabelmans, Belfast, Nomadland, Jojo Rabbit, Green Book, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, La La Land, Room, The Imitation Game, and 12 Years a Slave. That’s 10 Best Picture nominees with three winners. If we’re playing the odds, Cord Jefferson’s debut will be competing with films by Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan and Greta Gerwig.
As per TIFF: “Starring Jeffrey Wright in one of his most beautifully nuanced performances, American Fiction is both a wickedly smart satire about the commodification of marginalized voices and a bittersweet portrait of an artist forced to re-examine the terms of his integrity…Adapted from Percival Everett’s novel Erasure, Cord Jefferson’s directorial debut is a wildly entertaining send-up of our hunger for so-called authenticity. Featuring stellar supporting turns from Issa Rae and Erika Alexander, and a string of cheeky cameos, American Fiction is a timely reflection on the fictions we tell ourselves about race, progress, and community.”
Here is the complete list of winners from this year’s Toronto International Film Festival:
People’s Choice Documentary Award: Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe
People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award: Dicks: The Musical
Platform Award: Dear Jassi
Best Canadian Feature Film: Solo
Best Canadian Short: Motherland
Best Short Film: Electra
FIPRESCI Jury Award: Seagrass
NETPAC Award: A Match
Amplify Voices Award for Best BIPOC Canadian Feature: Kanaval
Amplify Voices Award for Best BIPOC Canadian First Feature: Tautuktavuk
Amplify Voices BIPOC Canadian Trailblazer Award: Damon D’Oliveira
Changemaker Award: We Grown Now
#ShareHerJourney Award: She
For more complete coverage of TIFF, be sure to check out our man Chris Bumbray’s reviews!