He Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) It concluded its 48th edition this Sunday, affected by the Hollywood actors’ strike and awarding the film American Fiction, which boosts his nomination for this season’s Oscars.
American Fiction, the debut of Cord Jefferson which features an applauded performance by Jeffrey Wright, was crowned this Sunday as the big surprise of the contest by receiving the Audience Award of the Canadian exhibition.
The film is a satire on artistic integrity that was born as an adaptation of the book Erasure, of Percival Everett in which the actors also participate Tracee Ellis Ross, John Ortiz and Erika Alexander.
Wright plays the title role of American Fiction as Thelonious ‘Monk’ Ellison, an English professor and novelist who decides to expose the hypocrisies and corruption in the world of the publishing industry by writing a satirical novel titled Fuck.
From Toronto to the Oscars
The TIFF People’s Choice Award is awarded through the popular vote of viewers who attend the screenings of the Canadian exhibition every year, considered one of the most important in the world. And, although it does not have any financial reward, it is the most appreciated award of all those awarded by the Toronto festival.
On 14 occasions, the winner of the Toronto Audience Award has won statuettes at the Oscars. Movies like Fire cars (1981), The official story (1985), American Beauty (1999), Slumdog Millionaire (2008), or more recently jojo rabbit (2019) and Nomadland (2020), began their journey to the Oscars after passing through TIFF.
It is precisely this ability of the Toronto public to anticipate the taste of the members of the Hollywood Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that makes the festival each year the preferred platform for many studios to launch the films they want to reach audiences. Oscar.
And that is also why for years, the Toronto festival attracts hundreds of the main actors, directors and screenwriters of the moment each edition.
Not on this occasion, since The strike of Hollywood actors and scriptwriters has meant that many of them have not been able to travel to the Canadian city to accompany the presentation of their films and parade down the traditional red carpets.
In the case of American Fiction, Neither Jefferson, who is also the film’s screenwriter, nor Wright nor the rest of the cast of the Audience Award-winning film attended its world premiere on September 14.
Stars in Toronto
But despite the strike of actors and screenwriters, some well-known Hollywood names have been present at the 48th edition of TIFF thanks to the fact that they presented films as directors, whose union, Directors Guild of America (DGA), reached an agreement work with the production companies at the beginning of summer.
It has been the case of Michael Keaton who has directed Knox Goes Away Viggo Mortensen with The Dead Don’t Hurt; Anna Kendrick with WOman of the Hour; Chris Pine with Poolman and Ethan Hawke with Wildcat.
Mexican-American actress Salma Hayek has also attended TIFF, wearing a colorful actor’s union strike t-shirt, as a producer of The taste of Christmas, premiered in Toronto.
Hollywood actors and screenwriters are on joint strike, the first in 60 years, demanding from major studios better working conditions, transparency and fair payments of residual royalties, as well as regulation of artificial intelligence.
The strike did not prevent TIFF from awarding the Spanish director this year Pedro Almodovar, for his professional career and the social impact that his films have had around the world.
Almodóvar, who also screened his latest film at TIFF, the medium-length strange way of life with Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke received one of the festival’s Tribute Awards along with Spike Lee and Patricia Arquette.