TIFF 2019: Jojo Rabbit is the people’s choice


Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit has won the People’s Choice award at the 44th Toronto International Film Festival.

The tonally tricky Hitler Youth satire claimed the festival’s top audience award, which is regarded by the industry as a launching pad for an Oscar nomination for best picture. Last year’s honouree, Peter Farrelly’s Green Book, was the eighth People’s Choice winner to take home an Academy Award for best picture.

Runners-up for the prize were Noah Baumbach’s devastating drama Marriage Story and Bong Joon-ho’s genre-bending class comedy Parasite. All three films will open in Toronto later this fall.

Unlike previous TIFF awards announcements, this year’s winners were released over social media and in an email to journalists rather than at an awards event. (Efficient, I guess, but it doesn’t allow for more than short comments via Twitter video from the filmmakers, and their voices are always the best parts of these things.)

Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia’s brutal social allegory The Platform was named the people’s choice for the Midnight Madness stream, with Andrew Patterson’s The Vast Of Night and Jeff Barnaby’s Blood Quantum as first and second runners-up. And the people’s choice for documentary was Feras Fayyad’s The Cave, with Garin Hovannisian’s I Am Not Alone and Bryce Dallas Howard’s Dads as first and second runners-up.

In the Canadian awards, Sophie Deraspe’s Antigone, which transposes Sophocles’s tragedy to present-day Montreal, won the award for best Canadian feature film, which carries a $20,000 cash prize, while Matthew Rankin’s surrealist alternate history The Twentieth Century won the $15,000 City of Toronto award for best Canadian first feature. Both films will be released in Toronto later this year.

Chloé Robichaud’s Delphine won the $10,000 IWC Short Cuts award for best Canadian short, while the $10,000 IWC Short Cuts award for best short film went to Lasse Linder’s Swiss production All Cats Are Grey In The Dark. And finally, the NETPAC award went to Oualid Mouaness’s 1982. (This year’s Platform and FIPRESCI winners were announced earlier in the week.)

As is customary, TIFF closes the festival today (Sunday, September 15) with free screenings of all three people’s choice winners, with admission on a first-come-first-served basis. The Platform will screen at 3:15 pm in TIFF Bell Lightbox 3, while The Cave will play at 3:30 pm in TIFF Bell Lightbox 2.

And Jojo Rabbit will be shown on all five screens at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, with staggered start times beginning at 5:45 pm. It’s going be wild.

@nowtoronto | @normwilner


A life-long Torontonian, Norman became the senior film writer for NOW in early 2008. Previously he had reviewed films for Metro newspapers across Canada and covered every video format imaginable (yes, even Beta).

Read more by Norman Wilner

September 15, 2019

2:48 PM