A long-standing tradition at TIFF, the People’s Choice Awards is marking its 46th year. The awards consist of the People’s Choice Award, the People’s Choice Documentary Award, and the People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award. Audiences watching films at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Roy Thomson Hall, the Royal Alexandra Theatre, Scotiabank Theatre Toronto, and the Visa Screening Room at the Princess of Wales Theatre will have the opportunity to vote online this year. All feature films in Official Selection are eligible. The winners of the People’s Choice Awards will be announced on Sunday, September 17.
Named after Jia Zhang-ke’s groundbreaking film, the Platform programme spotlights films with high artistic merit and strong directorial vision. All films in Platform are eligible for this award, which will be selected by an international jury. The winning filmmaker will receive a $20,000 CAD cash prize.
Academy Award–winning filmmaker Barry Jenkins has directed three highly acclaimed features that screened at TIFF, Medicine for Melancholy, Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk, as well as his award-winning television series The Underground Railroad. Most recently, Jenkins produced Charlotte Wells’ Aftersun and Raven Jackson’s All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt. Upcoming work includes the 2024 theatrical release of The Lion King.
Nadine Labaki is a writer, director, and actor. Caramel, her 2007 debut film, opened at the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes and was Lebanon’s official submission to the 80th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. Her next film, Where Do We Go Now?, premiered at Un Certain Regard in 2011 and won the People’s Choice Award at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. Labaki wrote, directed, and starred in both. Most recently, she directed Campernaum, which won the Jury Prize at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and went on to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.
Anthony Shim began his career as an actor, theatre director, and producer. In 2019, Shim wrote, directed, and produced his first feature film, Daughter. His second film, Riceboy Sleeps, had its World Premiere at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the Platform Prize.
Films in the Short Cuts programme are eligible for three jury-selected Short Cuts Awards: Best Short Film, Best Canadian Short Film, and the Share Her Journey Award for best short film by a woman filmmaker. These awards provide each of the three winners with a bursary of $10,000 CAD to help them continue achieving success in their careers.
Aisha Jamal is an Afghan-Canadian filmmaker and film programmer. Since 2016, she has been programming Canadian films for Hot Docs Documentary Festival. Her feature debut A Kandahar Away premiered in 2019 and is now playing on Documentary Channel and is screening on CBC Gem in Canada. Her previous short films have played at venues and festivals worldwide.
Araya is an Ethiopian-Eritrean award winning filmmaker/actor. His co-written/directed short film DEFUND was a TIFF’s Canada’s Top Ten 2021 selection after its World Premiere at TIFF ’21, collectingwins/nominations along the festival circuit, and a Vimeo Staff Pick. As an actor he is a Gemini Award (now called Canadian Screen Award) winner, CSA Best Lead Performer (Digital Series) and multi-ACTRA Award nominee. Currently in Development: feature film The Section based on the short work TEF Araya wrote/starred-in during his residency at the Canadian Film Centre.
Shasha is a Toronto-based storyteller with over a decade of experience. Her work has aired on the BBC, CBC, ZDF, and Arte; screened at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA); been nominated for 16 Canadian Screen Awards; named TIFF’s Top 10; and shortlisted for an Oscar.
TIFF continues to celebrate the unique craft and storytelling within Canadian cinema with the Best Canadian Feature Film Award. All Canadian feature films in Official Selection — ranging from debut features to documentaries to films from well-established directors — will be considered for the award.
The Amplify Voices Awards celebrate three best feature films made by filmmakers from under-represented communities. Canada Goose embraces diversity in all its forms and definitions, including technique and passion that transports storytelling to the screen. All feature films in Official Selection with a 2023 premiere date made by emerging and established Canadian BIPOC creators are eligible for this award. The winners will receive $10,000 CAD each.
V.T. Nayani is a multi-hyphenate storyteller, working across the screen industries. She is an alumni of the Canadian Film Centre, the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, The Gotham, BIPOC TV & Film, and multiple other programs. With curiosity and care, her work intimately explores how we continuously come of age. V.T's feature directorial debut, This Place, premiered at TIFF in 2022.
RICARDO ACOSTA is a film editor, script consultant and member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Canadian Cinema Editors. Acosta moved to Canada from his native Cuba where he studied and worked at the world-renowned Cuban Film Institute (ICAIC). He has been an Alumni and Adviser of the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Editing Lab, and the Music Composition and Sound Design Lab. A few of his editing and story consulting credits include: Once Upon a Time in Venezuela (2020), The Letter (2019), The Silence of Others (2018), winner of GOYA, ALMA, and the Berlinale Panorama Documentary Audience Award, Sembene! (2015), and Marmato (2014). His films have premiered at Sundance, Cannes, and IDFA, among other world film festivals. He is anEmmy winner and nominee for the Canadian Industry Genie and Gemini Awards, Canadian Film Editors Association Awards and Canadian Screen Awards.
Nisha Pahuja’s documentary credits include To Kill a Tiger winner of 16 awards including the Amplify Voices Award for Best Canadian Feature, TIFF, 2022; Best Documentary Feature, Palm Springs International Film Festival, 2023; Beyond the Screen Award, Doc Aviv, 2023; TIFF Canada’s Top Ten, 2022. Additional films: The World Before Her 2012; Best Documentary Feature, Jury Award Winner, Tribeca Film Festival; Best Canadian Documentary, Hot Docs; TIFF Canada’s Top Ten, 2012; Emmy nominee. Diamond Road 2008, Gemini award Best Documentary Series.
The Changemaker Award is presented to a feature film in Official Selection that explores issues relevant to young people and is focused on themes of social change and youth empowerment. The award embraces the power in young people seeing their communities represented on screen and celebrates the next generation of storytellers and changemakers in cinema. The winning film is selected by TIFF’s Next Wave Committee, a group of young film lovers who recognize cinema’s power to transform the world. All Next Wave–selected films in Official Selection are eligible, and the winning director(s) receives $10,000 CAD.
Presented by the Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific Cinema, the NETPAC Award recognizes films specifically from the Asia-Pacific region. The jury consists of three members of the international community selected by TIFF and NETPAC, who award the prize to the best film from the Asia-Pacific region by a first- or second-time feature director.
Sung Moon is a programmer of JEONJU IFF since 2019 after working 8 years as a representative of Latin America territory for KOFIC. She is also the editor of books such as I AM INDEPENDENT - Beyond Mainstream: 7 Women Directors, What Will Be of Cinema?, Introduction to the Quay Brothers, and a guest editor of the Korean Film Archive magazine.
Haolun Shu is a Shanghai based Filmmaker. He has produced, wrote and directed his films Struggle, Nostalgia, Young Blood and No.89 Shimen Road which has won numerous international film festival awards and nomination from Amsterdam Berlin, Pusan, New York, Dubai, Paris, Rotterdam, Hong Kong, Warsaw and Sao Paulo. Also he teaches film directing and writing at Shanghai Film Academy of Shanghai University and is its MFA program supervisor.
For over 20 years Lalita Krishna has been making award winning documentaries that bridge global cultures and inspire change. Lalita is the recipient of the 2021 Hot Docs Don Haig award, the 2013 WIFTT Crystal Award, the ReelWorldFF Trailblazer award and the Dream Catcher award given by the Hope and Dreams Festival NJ, for using her craft to better humanity.
The FIPRESCI Prize is presented by an international jury selected by the International Federation of Film Critics. Founded in 1930, the Federation is an organization of professional film critics and film journalists dedicated to the promotion and development of film culture and the safeguarding of professional interests. The Federation awards the prize at international film festivals and film festivals of particular importance to promote film-art and to encourage new and young cinema.
Film critic with 28 years of experience in writing, editing, creating and publishing movie magazines, preparing and hosting TV shows dedicated to cinema, developing youtube series on documentaries, building mobile apps with film recommendations from all genres and periods of cinema, scriptwriting, festival advising and movie theatre programming. Now focused on enjoying and spreading his love of cinema at MUBI.
Elijah Baron is a Montreal-based film critic, translator and editor, mostly known for his affiliation with 24 images, one of Quebec's leading and oldest French-language film magazines. In 2023, he received the SODEP Award of Excellence for his work on issue 204 of 24 images (Ukrainian Cinema 2014-2022).
Jindřiška Bláhová is the film critic and industry analyst for the leading Czech weekly Respekt, the editor-in-chief of the film magazine Cinepur, and a film historian. She recently served as a contributing editor for a book on the Cold War history of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
Uruguayan film critic and journalist. Author of 'Oficio de alto riesgo,' Cesar Troncoso's biography published in Uruguay (2020). He was selected by the Berlinale (Berlin Film Festival) for "Talent press" workshop, in February 2011. He also collaborated in publications such as “Dossier”, “El Boulevard”, “Guía 50” and Argentinian websites “Revista Caligari” and “Otros Cines” among others.
Jenni Zylka lives in Berlin, is a freelance writer focusing on film, media and music; works for radio and television stations; is head of the Perspektive Deutsches Kino section of the Berlinale; hosts press conferences and film discussions; is a member of the pre-selection committee for the Panorama section; writes novels, short stories and screenplays; is a member of FIPRESCI, regularly sits on (independent) film festival jurys.