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TIFF 2018: Coveted People's Choice Prize Awarded to Green Book


Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali co-star in Green Book - TIFF
  • TIFF
  • Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali co-star in Green Book
The Cannes Film Festival honors its best film with the jury-awarded Palme d'Or. The top prize at the Venice Film Festival is the Golden Lion; the highest honor at the Berlin Film Festival is the Golden Bear' and the Sundance Film Festival bestows its Jury Prize each year to its favorite film. But at the Toronto International Film Festival, the most coveted trophy is the simply-named, but highly coveted, People's Choice Winner, selected by hundreds of thousands of the ticket-buying public (nearly 600,000 attendees walk through the doors of TIFF's venues).

"Ladies and gentlemen, we have reached the end of yet another Toronto International Film Festival," said TIFF CEO Piers Handling during opening remarks at Sunday afternoon's award ceremony.  But 2018 was not just "another" TIFF festival for Handling. The man who helped flourish the planet's most populist film festival announced in late 2017 that this would be his final TIFF as CEO. From the stage of Toronto's Princess of Wales theater, which hosted a long list of red carpet premieres over the previous ten days, Handling first thanked an army of festival organizers and thousands of volunteers for making one of the biggest public events in the world feel like a marathon wedding reception.

  • TIFF
Previous TIFF People's Choice winners have catapulted several films to global acceptance, including Chariots of Fire in the 1970s, The Princess Bride in the 1980s, plus other popular choices like Slumdog Millionaire, Silver Linings Playbook, 12 Years a Slave, and last year's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. With very few exceptions, the People's Choice winners have gone on to nab multiple Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.

Of the 342 feature-length film screened during the  2018 edition of TIFF, this year's People's Choice winner was Green Book, which sparked repeated ovations at each of its public screenings.

To further champion this year's winner of the People's Choice winner, TIFF organizers added one more screening of Green Book to its schedule. The screening at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, a gorgeous five-story temple of all-things film, is free as the festival's gift to the people of Toronto.