The latest edition of the Toronto International Film Festival introduced us to some of the year’s most anticipated films, but none of them created a bigger splash than American Fiction. Cord Jefferson’s feature directorial debut walked away with TIFF’s People’s Choice Award.
Based on Percival Everett’s novel Erasure, American Fiction centers on Thelonious “Monk” Ellison, an author and English literature professor who’s frustrated by the stereotypical representation of Black people in modern literature. He decides to write a satirical book embracing all the old tropes and clichés—only to watch it become an overnight bestseller.
In addition to Jeffrey Wright, this movie stars Tracee Ellis Ross, Erika Alexander, Leslie Uggams, Sterling K. Brown, Myra Lucretia Taylor, John Ortiz, Issa Rae, and Adam Brody. It was written and directed by Cord Jefferson, who made his feature directorial debut with this project.
People’s Choice Award is voted by the Toronto International Film Festival audience, and many of the previous winners found great success, either winning or getting nominated for best picture at the Academy Awards. The list of recent recipients includes The Fabelmans, Belfast, Nomadland, and Jojo Rabbit.
The 2023 Toronto International Film Festival took place between September 7-17, and Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers and Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron were the first and second runners-up for the People’s Choice Award this year.