Many of the year’s most anticipated films saw the light of day at the Toronto Film Festival, but only one could walk away with the festival’s main award. Cord Jefferson’s feature directorial debut American Fiction was honored with the People’s Choice Award.
Described as “a wicked satire about the commodification of marginalized voices”, American Fiction centers on a respected author Thelonious “Monk” Ellison, whose life turns upside down after he pens a pseudonymous satirical novel out of protest, only to watch it become a surprise bestseller.
Jeffrey Wright plays the lead role, while the supporting cast includes Tracee Ellis Ross, Erika Alexander, Leslie Uggams, Sterling K. Brown, Myra Lucretia Taylor, John Ortiz, Issa Rae, and Adam Brody.
American Fiction is based on Percival Everett’s novel Erasure, and Cord Jefferson was happy to see the audience in Toronto welcome it with open arms.
“My gratitude towards everyone who watched American Fiction [and] discussed it afterwards among friends and colleagues is endless. The film is now in your hands, and I’m so grateful that it was embraced in this way,” Jefferson said in a statement.
Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers was the first runner-up for the People’s Choice Award, followed by the second runner-up – Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron, which served as the festival’s opening film.