La La Land: Damien Chazelle’s Musical Wins Audience Award at Toronto Film Fest

La La Land, Damien Chazelle’s charming tribute to Hollywood, the musical genre, and city of Los Angeles, won the audience award at the 2016 Toronto Film Fest after screening to standing ovations and rave reviews.


The film and stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are widely expected to be major Oscar season players.  Watson has just won the Best Actress award at the Venice Film Fest, where the picture world-premiered.

La La Land bested runner-ups “Lion” and “Queen of Katwe,” two inspirational dramas that also generated some heat.


The victory should bolster La La Land’s chances of picking up the movie business’ top prize.  Five audience award winners have gone on to capture best picture, a group that includes “Slumdog Millionaire,” “12 Years a Slave,” “The King’s Speech,” “American Beauty” and “Chariots of Fire.”

Lionsgate will release La La Land in theaters on December 2.


The film marks Damine Chazelle’s follow-up to his acclaimed 2014 indie, “Whiplash,” which was nominated for Best Picture and won several Oscars.

Ryan gosling and Emma Stone La La Land

Ben Wheatley’s “Free Fire” received the Midnight Madness audience award. The action thriller stars Brie Larson.

Raoul Peck picked up the people’s choice documentary award for “I Am Not Your Negro,” a look at one of writer James Baldwin’s unfinished works.

The audience award winners are voted on by festival-goers after public screenings.

Jury Awards: Jackie

The festival also has several jury prizes, one of which recognized Pablo Larraín’s “Jackie,” a biopic about Jacqueline Kennedy. The film took the platform prize, which rewards superior filmmaking. “Jackie” entered the festival looking for distribution. Fox Searchlight beat out a number of bidders to land rights to the project and is expected to do a major awards push for star Natalie Portman.

The other winners:

Dropbox Discovery Program Filmmakers Award:  “Jeffrey”

Short Cuts Awards (Canadian film):  “Mutants”

Short Cuts Awards Best Short Film: “Imago”

City Of Toronto Award Best First Canadian Feature: “Old Stone”

Canada Goose Best Canadian Feature: “Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves”

Fipresci Jury Prize, Discovery Section: “Kati Kati”

Special Presentation Section: “I Am Not Madame Bovary”

Network For Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) award: “In Between”