2023 TIFF: “American Fiction” Honored With People’s Choice Award

Another Toronto International Film Festival is behind us, and it brought some fantastic new films our way. Cord Jefferson’s feature directorial debut American Fiction emerged as the festival’s buzziest title and walked away with TIFF’s People’s Choice Award.

Based on Percival Everett’s novel Erasure, this acclaimed drama follows respected author and English literature professor Thelonious “Monk” Ellison. He’s so infuriated by the stereotypical depiction of the Black community in modern literature that he decides to write a satirical book that embraces all the overused clichés – only to watch it become a bestseller.

Jeffrey Wright received acclaim in Toronto for his lead role in American Fiction, but this film also stars Tracee Ellis Ross, Erika Alexander, Leslie Uggams, Sterling K. Brown, Myra Lucretia Taylor, John Ortiz, Issa Rae, and Adam Brody.

People’s Choice Award is voted by the moviegoers attending the film screenings at TIFF, and it’s widely regarded as an important indicator of the film’s Oscar chances. Recipients of this award often either received a nod or won the best picture Oscar, including Nomadland, Green Book, and 12 Years a Slave.

As for the rest of the winners at this year’s TIFF, Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers was chosen as the runner-up for the People’s Choice Award, followed by Hayao Miyazaki’s opening film The Boy and the Heron.