Cord Jefferson's satire "American Fiction" is the winning film at the 48th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). This was announced by the head of the festival, Cameron Bailey, in Toronto. Jefferson's directorial debut, starring Jeffery Wright in the lead role as a disillusioned academic, thrilled audiences in the Canadian metropolis, which traditionally chooses the winner instead of a jury.
"Thank you for this incredible honor. Winning this award is beyond my wildest dreams," Jefferson said in a video message on Twitter after the winning film was announced. The veteran TV writer has worked on hit shows like "Watchmen" and "Succession," and presenting his first film at TIFF "was the greatest honor of my life," said Jefferson.
"American Fiction" addresses racial dynamics in the United States and portrays a black academic (Wright) who is annoyed that the literary industry is only interested in books about black subjects that serve the stereotypes of white audiences.
Second place to “The Holdovers”
Second place went to Alexander Payne's "The Holdovers" with Paul Giamatti in the lead role as a grumpy boarding school teacher who takes in a handful of students over the Christmas holidays in the 1970s. Hayao Miyazaki's anime film "The Boy and the Heron" came in third.
For best documentary, the audience voted Robert McCallum's "Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe," about the life and career of children's show entertainer Ernie Coombs. Second place went to “Summer Qamp” by Jen Markowitz.
The Platform Award, which is selected by an international jury, went to “Dear Jassi” by Tarsem Singh Dhandwar. This year's Platform jury consisted of Barry Jenkins, Nadine Labaki and Anthony Shim.
At the ten-day film festival in Toronto, almost 240 films competed for the audience's attention. Among other things, Hanna Slak's drama "Kein Wort" with Maren Eggert, as well as "Achilles" by Farhad Delaram and the road movie "Arthur