'La La Land' Scores Top Award At 2016 Toronto Film Festival

Damien Chazelle's acclaimed musical gets another Oscar boost.
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in "La La Land."
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in "La La Land."

“La La Land” nabbed the top prize at this year’s Toronto Film Festival, which came to a close on Sunday.

The coveted People’s Choice Award is considered a bellwether for the Oscar race, so this helps to crystallize the awards chatter already surrounding “La La Land.” Of the past 20 winners, 11 have gone on to Best Picture nominations, including last year’s “Room.”

“La La Land” carried acclaim from the Venice and Telluride film festivals straight to Toronto, where the nostalgic musical-romance starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling earned a standing ovation at its premiere. The distinction marks another triumph for director Damien Chazelle, whose “Whiplash” screened at Toronto in 2014 and later earned a Best Picture nomination. 

The second runner-up for this year’s People’s Choice Award was “Queen of Katwe,” and the first runner-up was “Lion.”

Other Toronto prizewinners include “I Am Not Your Negro,” which earned the People’s Choice Documentary Award. “Free Fire” garnered the People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award, an accolade honoring the horror-type fare that screens at midnight. 

“La La Land” opens in theaters on Dec. 2. The full list of winners is below.

People’s Choice Award: “La La Land,” directed by Damien Chazelle

  • Second runner-up: “Queen of Katwe,” directed by Mira Nair; first runner-up: “Lion,” directed by Garth Davis

People’s Choice Award For Documentary:
 “I Am Not Your Negro,” directed by Raoul Peck

  • Second runner-up: “Before the Flood,” directed by Fisher Stevens; first runner-up: “ABACUS: Small Enough to Jail,” directed by Steve James

People’s Choice Award For Midnight Madness: “Free Fire,” directed by Ben Wheatley

  • Second runner-up: “Raw,” directed by Julia Ducournau; first runner-up: “The Autopsy of Jane Doe,” directed by André Øvredal

Platform Prize: “Jackie,” directed by Pablo Larraín

Best Canadian Feature Film:
 “Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves,” directed by Mathieu Denis and Simon Lavoie

Best Canadian First Feature Film: “Old Stone,” directed by Johnny Ma

Prizes of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Special Presentations Section:
 “I Am Not Madame Bovary,” directed by Feng Xiaogang

Prizes of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Discovery Section: “Kati Kati,” directed by Mbithi Masya

Discovery Programme Filmmakers Award: “Jeffrey,” directed by Yanillys Perez

NETPAC Award For Best World or International Asian: “In Between,” directed by Maysaloun Hamoud

Best International Short Film: “Imago,” directed by Raymund Ribay Gutierrez

Best Canadian Short Film: “Mutants,” directed by Alexandre Dostie

Watch the Toronto Film Festival awards ceremony below.



Fall/Winter Movie Preview 2016