Finn Wolfhard’s directorial debut ‘Hell of a Summer’ landed major recognition.

The Big Picture

  • Dicks: The Musical wins the TIFF 2023 People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award, a hilarious comedy about twin brothers reuniting their parents.
  • Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe wins the TIFF 2023 People’s Choice Documentary Award, honoring the wholesome legacy of an iconic Canadian entertainer.
  • American Fiction takes home the prestigious 2023 TIFF People’s Choice Award, a comedy directed by Cord Jefferson with an incredible cast.

This fall has brought another edition of the Toronto International Film Festival, and with the first screenings of some of the most anticipated independent films of the year came yet another celebration of the TIFF People’s Choice Awards. Various projects from different countries were awarded recognition in three different categories, with the big winners of the night being Dicks: The Musical, Mr Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe and American Fiction. The viewing public attending every edition of the festival is responsible for choosing the winners of this particular awards ceremony, celebrating the best of cinema every year.

Dicks: The Musical was given the TIFF 2023 People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award. Larry Charles‘ musical comedy follows two business adversaries who come to the realization that they’re identical twin brothers, prompting them to take a page from the Parent Trap guidebook and switch places without anyone noticing. The basic premise wasn’t the only similarity between that wholesome comedy and this musical, as the swap was also done with the intention of bringing the twins’ parents — played by Nathan Lane and Megan Mullally — back together. The first runner-up was Kill, with the third place going to Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard’s directorial debut Hell of a Summer which he helmed alongside Billy Bryk.

Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe is a documentary about Ernie Coombs, a popular Canadian entertainer who created various television programs for children. The film was awarded the TIFF 2023 People’s Choice Documentary Award for the way it captured Coombs’ life and the process he had for working on the stories and characters that could entertain the youngest audiences. A wholesome legacy is what can be found within the career of Mr. Dressup. The runner-ups in the documentary category were Summer Camp and Mountain Queen: The Summits of Lhakpa Sherpa.

Erika Alexander as Coraline and Jeffrey Wright as Thelonious 'Monk' Ellison in American Fiction.
Image via TIFF

The People’s Choice Award Winner

The film that was awarded with the honor of receiving the 2023 TIFF People’s Choice Award was American Fiction, a comedy directed by Cord Jefferson. The project secured one of the biggest honors of the night with a talented cast that includes Jeffrey Wright and Tracee Ellis Ross. The runner-ups were The Holdovers and The Boy and the Heron, the final film by the acclaimed filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki. With every major award delivered, the 2023 edition of the TIFF People’s Choice Awards came to a close, with the festival itself concluding on September 17.

Stay tuned a Collider for wide release dates on these movies, and in the meantime, you can check out the rest of our coverage from TIFF 2023.

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By asm3a