The Oscars are still almost eight months away, but film awards season is already taking shape. Most serious contenders tend to cluster towards the back half of the year, and three films festivals in particular.
Venice, Telluride (in Colorado) and Toronto all take place within a few days of each other in late August and September, and compete to host the very best movies.
Even though it doesn’t get all of the major films which play at the other events, Toronto is a reliable Oscar predictor.
For the last decade, the winner of the festival’s People’s Choice Award, voted for by filmgoers, has consistently landed a best picture nomination, with a couple of films – Green Book and Nomadland – going on to win.
“It is the greatest testament to our audience,” says Cameron Bailey, CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). “They’re often the first public audience in the world to see some of these films. They follow their own enthusiasms and passions and excitement.
“It’s a city that I think has a unique film audience. A city of filmgoers that are very informed about movies, but never snobbish about film. And they’re willing to follow what they get excited about. They’re not embarrassed about falling in love with movies.”