25 Best Films of the Toronto International Film Festival Ranked of the 46 Offered TIFF2020 Award Winners
This year, it was a whirlwind experience to manage the Toronto International Film Festival’s virtual film schedule. Having set a goal to view at least 20 films—surpassing that mark was gratifying. Having been accepted to the pool of 500 journalists down from the traditional 1600 that #TIFF usually carries, I felt a responsibility not only to myself but also to all involved. Here is my story of dividing and conquering as a press outlet of one.
Upon receiving the schedule, it’s always helpful to read the five or six major press outlet articles on the buzz-worthy films—this year was different as there were fewer articles; therefore, narrowing down the 50 films required in-depth research of all 50 films. Yes, typically, the 300 or so films are researched, and some do stand out, in this case, there were many gray areas. To be frank—the gray areas became the ahh-ha moments that kept the task exhilarating. Some films brought unexpected tears of joy, and others brought laughter; the surprises lay in the films that opened eyes to new discoveries, taught about global problems, or are a call to action.
The realization that all of the @TIFF_20 award winners made my top 10 list garnered personal satisfaction, and additionally, my top two aligned. Yes, “Nomadland” is my top, and “One Night in Miami” is the runner-up. Other top ten films are “Beans,” “Inconvenient Indian,” and “Shadow in the Cloud.”
The People’s Choice Awards for the 45th edition of TIFF wrapped up with the Closing Night Presentation of Mira Nair’s A Suitable Boy at the RBC Lakeside Drive-In at Ontario Place. Audiences watching films at the RBC Lakeside Drive-In at Ontario Place, the Visa Skyline Drive-In at City View, the West Island Open-Air Cinema at Ontario Place, OLG Play Stage at Ontario Place, TIFF Bell Lightbox, and at home via digital screenings on the Bell Digital Cinema platform voted online.
All films in TIFF’s Official Selection were eligible. The TIFF2020 People’s Choice Award winner: “Nomadland” director Chloé Zhao. The first runner up “One Night in Miami,” director Regina King. The second runner up is “Beans” director Tracey Deer.
The TIFF 2020 People’s Choice Documentary Award winner is “Inconvenient Indian” director Michelle Latimer. The TIFF 2020 People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award winner is “Shadow in the Cloud” director Roseanne Liang.
Here is the @TIFF 2020 top 25 films for the press outlets: Hollywood 360 Radio Network, heard on 100 stations in the USA, and Sarah’s Backstage Pass, online entertainment website. Stay tuned for a @TIFF 2020 wrap article coming soon.
1. “Nomadland” Chloé Zhao
2. “One Night in Miami” Regina King
3. “Penguin Bloom” Glendyn Ivin
4. “David Byrne’s “American Utopia” Spike Lee
5. “MLK/FBI” Sam Pollard
6. “Concrete Cowboy” Ricky Staub
7. “Shadow in the Cloud” Roseanne Liang
8. “Beans” Tracey Deer
9. “The Water Man” David Oyelowo
10. “Inconvenient Indian” Michelle Latimer
11. “The New Corporation: The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel” Joel Bakan, Jennifer Abbott
12. “Another Round” Thomas Vinterberg
13. “Fireball: Visitors from Another World” Werner Herzog” Clive Oppenheimer
14. “Monday” Argyris Papadimitropoulos
15. “I am Greta” Nathan Grossman
16. “True Mothers” Naomi Kawase
17. “Shiva Baby” Emma Seligman
18. “Pieces of a Woman” Komel Mudruczo
19. “Good Joe Bell” Reinaldo Marcus Green
20. “Lift Like a Girl” Mayye Zayed
21. “180° Rule” Faroosh Samadi
22. “76 Days” Hao Wy, Weixi Chen, Anonymous
23. “Falling” Viggo Mortensen
24. “Spring Blossom” Suzanne Lindon
25. “Enemies of the State” Sonia Kennebeck
*Please note, films that were not available to me were, “Ammonite,” “I Care A Lot,” “The Father” and “Bruised”
Sarah Knight Adamson© Top 25 list completed on September 18, 2020.