Perhaps it comes as no surprise to many of us that Steve McQueen‘s 12 Years a Slave was awarded the top prize – the People’s Choice Award that is – at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival

The lauded 12 Years seems to be poised for major awards contention this season since it premiered at the Telluride Film Festival early this month to unanimous acclaim (see Frances’ stellar review of it HERE). 

Another festival hit, the Warner Bros’ child abduction thriller Prisoners, which co-stars Viola Davis and Terrence Howard, was TIFF’s runner up for the People’s Choice Award. 

Fox Searchlight will screen 12 Years next at the New Orleans Film Festival, after another impressive premiere at the New York Film Festival, before releasing it theatrically on October 18 in a limited roll-out, but will then expand the film nationwide in successive weeks. 

The R-rated slave narrative, McQueen’s 3rd feature, boasts a rather impressive cast of actors, including: Chiwetel Ejiofor (as Solomon Northup, the star of the film and whose story it tells), Michael FassbenderRuth NeggaAdepero OduyeAlfre WoodardLupita Nyong’oPaul DanoBenedict CumberbatchScott McNairyGarret DillahuntBrad Pitt, Michael K. Williams Paul GiamattiSarah Paulson and others. 

See the list of winners below:

People’s Choice Award:
*12 Years a Slave*
Runners-up: Philomena, Prisoners

People’s Choice Award For Documentary:
The Square
Runners-up: Beyond the Edge and Hi-Ho Mistahey

People’s Choice Award For Midnight Madness:
Why Don’t You Play In Hell?
Runners-up: Oculus, Witching & Bitching

Best Canadian Feature Film:
When Jews Were Funny

Best Canadian First Feature Film:
Asphalt Watches

Prizes of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Special Presentations Section:

Prizes of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Discovery Section:
The Amazing Catfish

NETPAC Award For Best Asian Film:

Award For Best Canadian Short Film:

The Grolsch Film Works Discovery Award:
All The Wrong Reasons