Kiwi filmmaker Taika Waititi's Nazi Germany-set satire Jojo Rabbit has won the People's Choice award at the Toronto International Film Festival, a prize that has historically been one of the most ironclad predicators of Academy Awards chances.
Since so many of the top fall movies play in Toronto, the festival's audience award is nearly prophetic. For more than a decade, every People's Choice winner has gone on to score a best-picture Oscar nomination. Last year's winner, Green Book, won best picture.
Jojo Rabbit is a coming-of-age comedy about a 10-year-old boy growing up in World War II Germany. His imaginary friend is Adolf Hitler, played by Waititi. The film earned mixed reviews in Toronto but was cheered by audiences.
In a video, Waititi thanked the Toronto International Film Festival, the Jojo Rabbit cast and crew, and the audiences for their support for the film.
"It just reminds me that there's still room for stories like this and we need to continue to tell them, and we need to continue to educate our kids and ourselves and remind ourselves that there's no place in this world for hate and intolerance, so let's put an end to that and replace it with love."
The runners up were Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story and Bong Joon Ho's Parasite.