Steven Spielberg’s Fabelmans wins the audience award at the Toronto Film Festival

Steven Spielberg’s coming-of-age autobiographical drama The Fabelmans has won the Toronto International Film Festival’s (TIFF) top prize, the People’s Choice Award, cementing its early status as a front-runner at the Academy Awards.

Oronto’s Audience Award was announced Sunday as North America’s largest film festival concluded its 47th edition and the first comprehensive gathering in three years.

The return of the crowds at TIFF brought the world premieres of a slew of anticipated crowd-pleasers, including The Woman King, directed by Viola Davis, Rian Johnson’s Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, and Billy Eichner’s Bros.

Voted by filmgoers at the festival, Toronto’s Audience Award is a well-received herald of the upcoming awards season.

In each of the last 10 years, the TIFF winner has been nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars — and often won.

Last year, Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast triumphed at a heavily toned-down hybrid Toronto International Film Festival.

The year before, Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland accepted the TIFF award before winning at the Academy Awards.

Other previous winners include 12 Years A Slave, La La Land and Green Book.

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This year, no film came to the festival more eagerly awaited than The Fabelmans, Spielberg’s poignant film about his childhood.

In the film, to be released November 11 by Universal Pictures, Michelle Williams and Paul Dano play the parents, with newcomer Gabriel LaBelle as teenage Spielberg, Sammy Fabelman.

The film received rave reviews after its premiere.


Michelle Williams (pictured) and Paul Dano play the parents in the Universal Pictures film (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

“This is the most personal film I’ve made and the warm welcome from everyone in Toronto made my first visit to TIFF so intimate and personal for me and my entire Fabelman family,” Spielberg said in a statement shared by festival director Cameron Bailey was read.

The first runner-up for the award was Sarah Polley’s Women Talking, about the women members of a Mennonite colony who gathered to discuss years of sexual abuse.

Second place went to Johnson’s Glass Onion, the director’s crime sequel for Netflix. Steven Spielberg’s Fabelmans wins the audience award at the Toronto Film Festival

Fry Electronics Team

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