(Toronto) The film SOLO, by Sophie Dupuis, won the award for best Canadian film, while American Fiction by Cord Jefferson, a satire on race and personal action, won the audience award at this year’s International Festival from Toronto Film.

The feature film stars Jeffrey Wright as an African-American novelist who is forced to limit himself to works about trauma and poverty.

The Public Prize is awarded following a vote which takes place on the internet. The winner is often considered for the subsequent Academy Awards ceremony.

Last year, the chosen film was The Fabelman, by Steven Spielberg, which subsequently received a nomination in the best film category at the Oscars.

The award was presented during a breakfast concluding the 11 days of the festival.

The prize for best Canadian film, with a $10,000 grant and chosen by a jury, was awarded to the film SOLO by Quebecer Sophie Dupuis. The feature film tells the story of a star of the Montreal drag scene and stars Théodore Pellerin, Félix Maritaud and Alice Moreault.

“With this film, we brought everyone together. I loved this. I want to say thank you for this award because it will allow it to be seen even more and allow us to connect to even more people,” said the director while accepting the award.

“Every step of this production confirmed to us how important it was to make this kind of film so that queers can see themselves, accept themselves and love themselves,” she added.

The Platform Award to recognize a film with unique directorial perspectives was awarded to Dear Jassi, by Indian director Tarsem Singh Dhandwar. The feature film tells the story of two lovers kept at a distance by geographical distance and family constraints.

The People’s Choice Documentary Award went to Robert McCallum’s Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe, a reflection on children’s comedian Ernie Coombs.

The film Karnaval by director Henri Pardo, whose family emigrated from Haiti to Quebec, won the award for best Canadian BIPOC film in the Centrepiece section.

“I salute all the Black, Indigenous and people of color filmmakers at TIFF 2023. We are underrepresented, but we have so many wonderful stories to tell,” he said while accepting the award.

The 2023 festival lost a little luster due to the absence of the usual Hollywood stars who were unable to travel due to the strike affecting them. Several directors took advantage of the platforms offered to them to demand salary increases for workers and protection against the use of artificial intelligence.

“It was a complex festival to organize. We knew that the writers’ and actors’ strikes in the United States would affect us in some way, said the festival’s CEO, Cameron Bailey, in an interview. But people came, directors came and several actors came. And more importantly, the films were well received. »