Cord Jefferson's directorial debut has taken home TIFF's top prize.

Following two weeks of screenings at the Toronto International Film Festival, American Fiction received this year's coveted People's Choice Award. Jefferson (an Emmy-winning writer for HBO's Watchmen) scripted and directed the adaptation of Percival Everett's 2001 novel Erasure, a publishing industry satire starring Jeffrey Wright as an artist told his writing "isn't Black enough."

"Thank you so much for this incredible honor. Winning this award was beyond my wildest dreams when we first submitted the film," Jefferson said. "I really wanted to thank the audience at TIFF. Thank you for coming out and watching the film and supporting the film and engaging with the material. Making this movie and premiering it at TIFF was truly the honor of my entire life."

Alexander Payne's The Holdovers and Hayao Miyazaki's The Boy and the Heron were awarded the first and second runners-up, respectively. Past People's Choice winners include The Fabelmans which won the award last year — along with Belfast, Nomadland, Jojo Rabbit, and Green Book.

See the full list of winners below.

People's Choice Award

American Fiction, directed by Cord Jefferson

First runner-up: The Holdovers, directed by Alexander Payne
Second runner-up: The Boy and the Heron, directed by Hayao Miyazaki

People's Choice Midnight Madness Award

Dicks: The Musical Story, directed by Larry Charles

First runner-up: Kill, directed by Nikhil Nagesh Bhat
Second runner-up: Hell of a Summer, directed by Finn Wolfhard and Billy Bryk

People's Choice Documentary Award

Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make Believe, directed by Robert McCallum

First runner-up: Summer Qamp, directed by Jen Markowitz
Second runner-up: Mountain Queen: The Summits of Lhakpa Sherpa, directed by Lucy Walker

Platform Jury Award

Dear Jassi, directed by Tarsem Singh Dhandwar

Best Short Film

Electra, directed by Daria Kashcheeva

Best Canadian Short Film

Motherland, directed by Jasmin Mozaffari

#ShareHerJourney Award

Shé (Snake), directed by Renee Zhan

Honorable mention: Gaby’s Hills, directed by Zoé Pelchat

Best Canadian Feature Film Award

Solo, directed by Sophie Dupuis

Honorable mention: Kanaval, directed by Henri Pardo

Amplify Voices Award - Best BIPOC Canadian Feature

Kanaval, directed by Henri Pardo

Amplify Voices Award - Best BIPOC Canadian First Feature

Tautuktavuk (What We See), directed by Carol Kunnuk, Lucy Tulugarjuk

Changemaker Award

We Grown Now, directed by Minhal Baig


A Match, directed by Jayant Digambar Somalkar


Seagrass, directed by Meredith Hama-Brown


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