By Nadia Dalimonte
The people have spoken! The audience awards at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival have been announced. Now that the festival is officially over, here’s a look at the awarded films, including the TIFF 2020 People’s Choice Award winner and the 2020 Amplify Voices Award winner. All films part of the festival’s official selection were eligible for the jury awards. Female directors swept the TIFF audience awards this year. Chloé Zhao's Nomadland is on a roll with glowing reviews. After winning the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, the film earned the People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. This is the first time that the Golden Lion winner has also won the People's Choice Award.
Regina King's outstanding directorial feature debut One Night in Miami was the first runner up. Coming in as the second runner up was another feature debut, Tracey Deer's heart-wrenching film Beans. Michelle Latimer's eye opening documentary, Inconvenient Indian, picked up the Documentary award. Meanwhile in the nocturnal slate, Roseanne Liang's Shadow In The Cloud won the Midnight Madness Award.
The recipient of the Changemaker Award, a new prize in 2020 awarded to a film that tackles social change, is Kelly Fyffe-Marshall for her short film, Black Bodies. Juries for the Canada Goose Amplify Voices Award, another new prize this year, selected three films from the official festival selection made by self-identified BIPOC and Canadian filmmakers. The winners included Latimer's Inconvenient Indian picking up a second award, Chaitanya Tamhane's The Disciple, and Philippe Lacôte’s Night of the Kings.
While this year's TIFF experience was quite different, the scaled back festival was a much needed source of comfort and exploration. Artistic director and co-head Cameron Bailey, and co-head Joana Vicente, completely reinvented the festival during unprecedented times, pulling off online screenings, virtual press conferences, drive-ins, and socially distanced physical shows. While I missed walking the buzzing streets of Toronto and chatting with fellow enthusiasts in lineups that went on for blocks, some personal perks to a digital festival include wearing pajama pants and constantly brewing coffee. Must say, the constant caffeine helped immensely with my TIFF coverage. Below are the digital screenings I attended, and the reviews I wrote for each. Happy reading!
Shiva Baby (2020)
One Night in Miami (2020)
No Ordinary Man (2020)
Another Round (2020)
Inconvenient Indian (2020)
Pieces of a Woman (2020)
Lift Like a Girl (2020)