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‘Nomadland’ named winner of People’s Choice Award at Toronto International Film Festival

TIFF signage is pictured at Toronto International Film Festival's TIFF Bell Lightbox theatre on King St., in Toronto, ahead of the festival's opening night, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020.
TIFF signage is pictured at Toronto International Film Festival's TIFF Bell Lightbox theatre on King St., in Toronto, ahead of the festival's opening night, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

TORONTO — “Nomadland” is the winner of this year’s People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The recession-era road trip drama, starring Frances McDormand, tells the story of a woman travelling the American West alone in her van.

Directed by Chloe Zhao, “Nomadland” is already a favourite with critics, and picked up the Golden Lion for best film at Venice Film Festival earlier this month.

But the TIFF People’s Choice win helps solidify its buzz ahead of awards season.

Read more: With TIFF facing a tough year, Netflix makes a swift exit from festival season

Several previous People’s Choice winners have gone on to pick up the best-picture Oscar, including “Green Book,” “12 Years a Slave,” and “The King’s Speech.”

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Last year, “Jojo Rabbit” won the prize before picking up six Academy Awards nominations.

The TIFF People’s Choice honour has usually carried a $15,000 prize, but organizers say no cash prize is attached this year.

“Nomadland” beat out Regina King’s directorial debut “One Night in Miami,” which reimagines a real-life 1964 meeting between Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown. Her film was the first runner-up.

Canadian filmmaker Tracey Deer’s coming-of-age drama “Beans,” set around the Oka Crisis, was the second runner-up.

Click to play video 'TIFF 2020 gets underway with virtual, drive-in screenings' TIFF 2020 gets underway with virtual, drive-in screenings
TIFF 2020 gets underway with virtual, drive-in screenings