La La Land scores top prize at Toronto International Film Festival

Movie musical La La Land has become an early frontrunner for an Oscar nomination after scoring the top award at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The much buzzed-about film, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, was named the People’s Choice Award winner on Sunday (18Sep16), the final day of the annual Canadian festival.
Director Damien Chazelle shared his gratitude for the honour in a statement which reads: “To make this movie was a dream come true, and to see it connect with Toronto audiences in this way is deeply gratifying. I wanted this film to speak in a way that even the most far-fetched dreams can guide us, and everything about this moment feels surreal.”
The Hollywood-set musical, about two aspiring artists who fall in love, was chosen by festival attendees as the People’s Choice Award recipient, and the winner is often considered a top contender when the Academy Awards roll around.
Previous victors of the prize include Oscar-winning films 12 Years a Slave, Slumdog Millionaire, and Room, which claimed the title last year (15).
This is also the second festival honour bestowed upon La La Land in the past few weeks, after Stone scooped the award for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival earlier this month (Sep16).
Meanwhile, the first runner-up for the People’s Choice Award was drama Lion, followed by Lupita Nyong’o-starrer Queen of Katwe.
Other winners included Brie Larson’s Free Fire (People’s Choice Award, Midnight Madness), Jackie, featuring Natalie Portman as former U.S. First Lady Jackie Kennedy (Platform Prize), and I Am Not Your Negro, based on an unfinished James Baldwin novel (People’s Choice Award, Documentary Winner).