Here’s the complete list of Toronto International Film Festival award recipients for 2020. No cash prize is attached to TIFF People’s Choice winners this year
Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland has won the TIFF People Choice Award. The Oscar 2020 favourite for Best Picture Nomadland also was a Venice Golden Lion winner. Frances McDormand explores the vast landscape of the American West, in Chloé Zhao’s wise and intimate portrayal of life as a modern-day nomad. Adapting Jessica Bruder’s nonfiction book, Chloé Zhao writes, directs, and edits with impressively crisp focus. The film gets into and out of every scene with rare economy, cutting to the heart of each moment in our growing understanding of Fern.
First runner up is Regina King’s exceptional One Night In Miami which reimagines a real-life 1964 meeting between Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown. The second runner up goes to Trace Deer’s Beans.
The best documentary prize goes to Inconvenient Indian, while the best Midnight Madness film goes to Roseanne Liang’s Shadow In The Cloud.
Previous People’s Choice winners including Green Book, 12 Years a Slave, and The King’s Speech have bagged the best-picture Oscar.
A longstanding tradition at TIFF, the People’s Choice Award is celebrating its 43rd year. Audiences watching films at the RBC Lakeside Drive-In at Ontario Place, the Visa Skyline Drive-In at CityView, the West Island Open- Air Cinema at Ontario Place, OLG Play Stage at Ontario Place, TIFF Bell Lightbox, and at home via digital screenings on the Bell Digital Cinema platform voted online. All films in TIFF’s Official Selection were eligible.
SHAWN MENDES FOUNDATION CHANGEMAKER AWARD
Presented by the Shawn Mendes Foundation, the 2020 Changemaker Award is awarded to a Festival film that tackles issues of social change, and comes with a $10,000 cash prize. The winning film was selected by TIFF’s Next Wave Committee, a group of young film lovers who recognize cinema’s power to transform the world. The Shawn Mendes Foundation will also be making an annual contribution in support of TIFF Next Wave, helping TIFF deliver key initiatives to elevate young voices. The jurors for the Changemaker Award are members of TIFF’s Next Wave Committee: Saharla Ugas, Sia Mehta, Emanuel Ntwig, Julia Yoo, Daeja Sutherland, Lina Zhang, Delphine Winton, Joe Ning, Caterina Ferrari, Visaree Bradshaw-Coore, Andrea Landaeta, and Diego Lopez.
The 2020 Changemaker Award is awarded to Black Bodies, a short film by Kelly Fyffe-Marshall. On making the announcement, the jury said Fyffe- Marshall’s film perfectly fits the criteria and aims of the award. Through its striking visuals and sound design, combined with spoken word, the film powerfully captures the emotional and physical trauma Black people experience and the injustice of police brutality against them. These are issues the Committee felt are particularly important and relevant to young people today.
“Kelly Fyffe-Marshall’s Black Bodies powerfully shows what it is like for Black people to live in an unjust society,” said the Committee. “It is moving because the words are too real, it hurts because of all the lives lost to police brutality, and it reminds us how unjust it is that we live in a world where we as young people need to fight to affirm that Black Lives Matter. It is activism against police brutality in moving colour. We’re honoured to award this prize to such a talented and important emerging filmmaker and
social activist in our community.”
“It is such a blessing to receive this award, to be acknowledged, to be seen and to be heard,” said Fyffe-Marshall. “Thank you to the Shawn Mendes Foundation and to the Toronto International Film Festival. I want to use this special moment to further push for change. This year the world seemed to have paused, and we finally heard the call for equality. What we are being called to do doesn’t take much. We just need each of us to do what we can, where we can, and make ripples where we are.”
AMPLIFY VOICES AWARDS PRESENTED BY CANADA GOOSE
Canada Goose embraces diversity in all its forms and definitions, including
technique and passion that transports storytelling to the screen. This year, Canada Goose presents the Amplify Voices Awards to the three best feature films by under-represented filmmakers. All feature films in Official election by BIPOC and Canadian filmmakers were eligible for these awards, and the three winners will receive a cash prize of $10,000 each, made possible by Canada Goose.
The three Amplify Voices Awards presented by Canada Goose winners are:
Amplify Voices Award for Best Canadian Feature Film: Inconvenient Indian, dir. Michelle Latimer
Jury’s statement: “Michelle Latimer’s documentary is a deeply thought-provoking adaptation of Thomas
King’s classic non-fiction book. It is a scorching indictment that interrogates the narratives we tell about ourselves and whose humanity is valued in that exercise. Expansive yet pulsing with energy and life, it ponders big questions and harkens the coming of a new era of truth and reclamation.”
Special Mention: Fauna, dir. Nicolás Pereda (Canadian Film)
Jury’s statement: “Tonally precise, with a cunning sense of humour, and led by brilliant performances, this film unpacks the influence of violent stereotypes in popular culture on the Mexican psyche.”
Amplify Voices Award: The Disciple, dir. Chaitanya Tamhane
Jury’s statement: “Masterful in its restraint, this film about a struggling classical Indian musician explores the tension between traditional discipline and the contemporary impulse to be instantly validated. The Disciple is a visually sumptuous and insightful journey into the life of an artist.”
Amplify Voices Award: Night of the Kings, dir. Philippe Lacôte
Jury’s statement: “A bold distinctive voice that pushes the boundaries of traditional cinematic storytelling, weaving together myth and reality in a beguiling trance of a movie. The film seduces with its captivating performances from newcomer Koné Bakary and a chorus of performers moving in rhythmic harmony.”
Special Mention: Downstream to Kinshasa, dir. Dieudo Hamadi
Jury’s statement: “A visceral gut punch of a documentary that explores the courage and determination of survivors of war crimes in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A harrowing boat journey becomes a visual metaphor of their struggle to be recognized and their resilience in the face of adversity.” The 2020 jurors for the Amplify Voices Awards presented by Canada Goose are actor Sarah Gadon, filmmaker Danis Goulet, and producer Damon D’Oliveira.
IMDbPro SHORT CUTS AWARDS
The 2020 IMDbPro Short Cuts Awards are for Best Film, Best Canadian Film, and, new this year, the Share Her Journey Award for best film by a woman. IMDbPro will provide each of the three winners with a bursary of $10,000 CAD and a one-year membership to IMDbPro, the essential resource for entertainment industry professionals, to help them continue achieving success in their careers. These awards build on IMDbPro’s nearly 20-year history of empowering entertainment professionals to discover new talent and projects, and on its ongoing commitment to supporting and collaboratively working with organizations that create greater diversity,
equity, and inclusion in the entertainment industry, including TIFF’s Share Her Journey campaign.
The winners of the three awards are:
IMDbPro Short Cuts Award for Best Film: Dustin, dir. Naïla Guiguet
Jury’s statement: “Dustin Muchuvitz’s performance pulled us on a journey from night into morning that still lingered with us long after the film ended. Naïla Guiguet has offered us a relatable yet often unseen perspective on growing apart.”
IMDbPro Short Cuts Award for Best Canadian Film: Benjamin, Benny, Ben, dir. Paul Shkordoff
Jury’s statement: “A quiet yet powerful fim that told us so much about race and class through simple but focused direction.”
IMDbPro Short Cuts Share Her Journey Award: Sing Me a Lullaby, dir. Tiffany Hsiung
Jury’s statement: “This film offered viewers an emotional look at resolving generational trauma.”
Honourable mention: O Black Hole! , dir. Renee Zhan
The 2020 jurors for the IMDbPro Short Cuts Awards are filmmakers Stella Meghie, Adam Piron, and Chloé Robichaud.