Satire American Fiction wins TIFF’s People’s Choice prize | CBC News


Cord Jefferson’s American Fiction has won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The satire about race and personal agency was announced as the winner during a TIFF awards breakfast on Sunday morning, concluding 11 days of in-person film screenings and celebrations.

The film stars Jeffrey Wright as an African-American novelist grappling with an industry that is limiting his work to trauma and poverty narratives.

It’s an adaptation of Percival Everett’s book Erasure — poking fun at the publishing industry’s commodification of marginalized voices.

A frustrated writer struggling to attract publishers for his latest work pens a pseudonymous novel embodying every Black cliché and stereotype he can imagine. When it becomes a hit, he must reckon with a monster of his own making.

Known for his Emmy Award-winning television work, Jefferson’s directorial debut has been described by TIFF as “a wildly entertaining sendup of our hunger for authenticity,” and a timely reflection on the fictions we tell ourselves — about race, progress and community.

The People’s Choice Award, determined through online voting, is frequently considered a harbinger of success at the Academy Awards. Last year’s winner was Steven Spielberg’s coming-of-age ode to cinema, The Fabelmans.

Meanwhile, the People’s Choice documentary award went to Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe, about beloved children’s performer Ernie Coombs, directed by Robert McCallum.


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