Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit starring Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson, Rebel Wilson, Thomasin McKenzie, and newcomer Roman Griffin Davis won the top prize – the Grolsch People’s Choice Award at the 42nd Toronto International Film Festival. In the comedic satire, a young German boy discovers a Jewish girl hiding in his home and consults with his imaginary best friend, Adolf Hitler.
“We need to remind ourselves there’s no room in this world for hate and intolerance. Let’s put an end to that, and replace it with love.” 💕— TIFF (@TIFF_NET) September 15, 2019
— @TaikaWaititi on #JojoRabbit, your freshly-crowned @Grolsch_Global People’s Choice Award Winner. #TIFF19 pic.twitter.com/LtULwbSdT3
The Grolsch People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award went to Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia’s The Platform. In a future dystopia, prisoners housed in vertically stacked cells watch hungrily as food descends from above — feeding the upper tiers, but leaving those below ravenous and radicalized — in Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia’s profound parable about the socio-political potency of genre cinema.
The Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award went to The Cave directed by Feras Fayyad. Director Feras Fayyad (Last Men in Aleppo) returns to his native, wartorn Syria to follow a dedicated team of female doctors who tirelessly treat casualties in an underground hospital while battling systemic sexism.
The first runner-up is Garin Hovannisian’s I Am Not Alone. The second runner-up is Bryce Dallas Howard’s Dads.
The City of Toronto Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film went to Matthew Rankin’s The Twentieth Century. The jury remarked, “Rankin’s debut feature is superb in its imaginative wildness, taking an otherwise staid historical Canadian figure and propelling him into the heart of one of the most creative, visual, and compelling experiences of the Festival.”
The Canada Goose Award for Best Canadian Feature Film went to Sophie Deraspe’s Antigone. The jury said that “Antigone stands out on its own as an electrifying piece of cinema. Tackling with vigor contemporary realities of immigration in Canada through the framework of Greek tragedy, Deraspe created magnificent onscreen humanism. It is imperative to point out Nahéma Ricci’s performance, reminiscent of Renée Falconetti’s Jeanne d’Arc.”
The jury gave honorable mention to Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn’s The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open.
Selected by a jury from the Network for the Promotion of Asian Pacific Cinema (NETPAC), the NETPAC Award went to Oualid Mouaness’ 1982. The jury remarked that this film was selected “for its adventurous, imaginative style and subtle, confident filmmaking, bravely juxtaposing and framing the universal innocence and charm of youth within harrowing historical context.”
The IWC Short Cuts Award for Best Canadian Short Film went to Chloé Robichaud for Delphine. The jury remarked, “By presenting its main character’s unique point of view through another character’s perspective, Robichaud’s Delphine boldly utilizes an original narrative device to offer a refreshing twist on the coming-of-age genre. This evocative, mysterious, yet sensitive short film brings up powerful feelings of nostalgia and memory, leaving an impact that lingers with the viewer long after its all-too-short run time comes to a close.”
The jury awarded an honorable mention to Theodore Ushev’s The Physics of Sorrow for its impressive filmmaking and detailed craftsmanship.
The IWC Short Cuts Award for Best Short Film went to Lasse Linder for All Cats Are Grey in the Dark. The jury noted, “Blurring the line between narrative and documentary, Linder’s All Cats Are Grey in the Dark simultaneously observes its main character — and its topic — with both empathy and absurdity. This unexpectedly touching, exceptionally composed, and tender tale of a man’s love for his cats (along with the best employed use of Alexa) surprised the jury with its observational filmmaking and memorable feline performances.”
The jury gave honorable mention to Federico Luis Tachella’s The Nap for its brave exploration of age and sexuality.