Recipients of The People's Choice Award at The Toronto Film Festival

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is a publicly attended film festival held each September in Toronto, Ontario. The festival begins the Thursday night after Labour Day (the first Monday in September in Canada), lasting for eleven days. Founded in 1976, the TIFF is now one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. In 1998, Variety magazine acknowledged that "the Festival is second only to Cannes in terms of high-profile pics, stars and market activity."

Given that the festival lacks a jury and is non-competitive, regular awards handed out at other festivals for categories such as "Best Actress" or "Best Film" do not exist at the Toronto International Film Festival. The major prize, the People's Choice Award, is given to a feature-length film with the highest ratings as voted by the festival-going populace. The following list shows past winners:
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1.
Girlfriends (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A photographer and her girlfriend are roommates. She is stuck with small-change shooting jobs and dreams of success. When her roommate decides to get married and leave, she feels hurt and has to learn how to deal with living alone. (86 mins.)
Director: Claudia Weill
 
2.
Best Boy (1979 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
In this documentary, the director follows the day-to-day activities of his retarded, middle-aged cousin Philly, over a three-year period. (111 mins.)
Director: Ira Wohl
 
3.
Bad Timing (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A psychiatrist living in Vienna enters a torrid relationship with a married woman. When she ends up in the hospital from an overdose, an inspector becomes set on discovering the demise of their affair. (123 mins.)
Director: Nicolas Roeg
 
4.
Chariots of Fire (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Two British track athletes, one a determined Jew and the other a devout Christian, compete in the 1924 Olympics. (125 mins.)
Director: Hugh Hudson
 
5.
Tempest (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A sobering mid-life crisis fuels dissatisfaction in Philip Dimitrius, to the extent where the successful... (140 mins.)
Director: Paul Mazursky
 
6.
The Big Chill (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A group of seven former college friends gather for a weekend reunion at a South Carolina winter house after the funeral of one of their friends. (105 mins.)
Director: Lawrence Kasdan
 
7.
Places in the Heart (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
In central Texas in the 1930s, a widow, with two small children, tries to run her small 40-acre farm with the help of two disparate people. (111 mins.)
Director: Robert Benton
 
8.
The Official Story (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
After the end of the Dirty War, a high school teacher sets out to find out who the mother of her adopted daughter is. (112 mins.)
Director: Luis Puenzo
 
9.
The Decline of the American Empire (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Sexual revelations emerge when a group of academics and their partners spend a weekend at a country retreat. (101 mins.)
Director: Denys Arcand
 
10.
The Princess Bride (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
While home sick in bed, a young boy's grandfather reads him a story called The Princess Bride. (98 mins.)
Director: Rob Reiner
 
11.
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Pepas's lover, Iván, leaves her and she tries to contact him to find out why he's left. In her search for Iván... (88 mins.)
 
12.
Roger & Me (1989 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Director Michael Moore pursues GM CEO Roger B. Smith to confront him about the harm he did to Flint, Michigan with his massive downsizing. (91 mins.)
Director: Michael Moore
 
13.
Cyrano de Bergerac (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Embarrassed by his large nose, a romantic poet/soldier romances his cousin by proxy. (137 mins.)
 
14.
The Fisher King (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A former radio DJ, suicidally despondent because of a terrible mistake he made, finds redemption in helping a deranged homeless man who was an unwitting victim of that mistake. (137 mins.)
Director: Terry Gilliam
 
15.
Strictly Ballroom (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A maverick dancer risks his career by performing an unusual routine and sets out to succeed with a new partner. (94 mins.)
Director: Baz Luhrmann
 
16.
Screen Two (1985 TV Series)
Episode: The Snapper (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Set in Ireland, Sharon Curley is a 20 year old living with her parents and many brothers and sisters...
 
17.
Priest (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Father Greg Pilkington (Linus Roache) is torn between his call as a conservative Catholic priest and his secret life as a homosexual with a gay lover... (105 mins.)
Director: Antonia Bird
 
18.
Antonia's Line (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A Dutch matron establishes and, for several generations, oversees a close-knit, matriarchal community where feminism and liberalism thrive. (102 mins.)
Director: Marleen Gorris
 
19.
Shine (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Pianist David Helfgott, driven by his father and teachers, has a breakdown. Years later he returns to the piano, to popular if not critical acclaim. (105 mins.)
Director: Scott Hicks
 
20.
The Hanging Garden (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
William, a once obese and depressed adolescent, is able to move past his teenage years when he moves to the city and comes out as being gay. When he returns home though, he can't cope with his memories. (91 mins.)
Director: Thom Fitzgerald
 
21.
Life Is Beautiful (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
When an open-minded Jewish librarian and his son become victims of the Holocaust, he uses a perfect mixture of will, humor and imagination to protect his son from the dangers around their camp. (116 mins.)
Director: Roberto Benigni
 
22.
American Beauty (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter's best friend. (122 mins.)
Director: Sam Mendes
 
23.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A young Chinese warrior steals a sword from a famed swordsman and then escapes into a world of romantic adventure with a mysterious man in the frontier of the nation. (120 mins.)
Director: Ang Lee
 
24.
Amélie (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Amélie is an innocent and naive girl in Paris with her own sense of justice. She decides to help those around her and, along the way, discovers love. (122 mins.)
 
25.
Whale Rider (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A contemporary story of love, rejection and triumph as a young Maori girl fights to fulfill a destiny her grandfather refuses to recognize. (101 mins.)
Director: Niki Caro
 
26.
Zatoichi (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The blind masseur/swordsman comes to a town in control of warring gangs, and while bunking with a farming family, he meets two women with their own agenda. (116 mins.)
Director: Takeshi Kitano
 
27.
Hotel Rwanda (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Paul Rusesabagina was a hotel manager who housed over a thousand Tutsi refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda. (121 mins.)
Director: Terry George
 
28.
Tsotsi (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Six days in the violent life of a young Johannesburg gang leader. (94 mins.)
Director: Gavin Hood
 
29.
Bella (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A chef with a mysterious past spends the day with a waitress who needs a friend. (91 mins.)
 
30.
Eastern Promises (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A Russian teenager living in London who dies during childbirth leaves clues to a midwife in her journal that could tie her child to a rape involving a violent Russian mob family. (100 mins.)
 
31.
Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A Mumbai teen reflects on his upbringing in the slums when he is accused of cheating on the Indian Version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" (120 mins.)
 
32.
Precious (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction. (110 mins.)
Director: Lee Daniels
 
33.
The King's Speech (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The story of King George VI of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it. (118 mins.)
Director: Tom Hooper
 
34.
Where Do We Go Now? (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A group of Lebanese women try to ease religious tensions between Christians and Muslims in their village. (110 mins.)
Director: Nadine Labaki
 
35.
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own. (122 mins.)