Toronto Film Critics Association Names ‘American Factory’ 2019’s Best Documentary

American Factory
Courtesy of Netflix


By Pat Mullen

The Toronto Film Critics Association (TFCA) tapped Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar’s American Factory as the best documentary of 2019. The Netflix film scooped the Allan King Documentary Film Award in yesterday’s TFCA awards vote following a passionate debate. American Factory won for its penetrating and even-handed study of the lost hope for the American dream seen through the tale of industrial workers at a manufacturing plant run by a Chinese tycoon at odds with protocols and standards. The film previously won the directing award at Sundance while Reichert was the focus of this year’s Outstanding Achievement Award retrospective at Hot Docs. Runners-up in the doc category were Apollo 11 and The Cave.

Other winners from the TFCA included Bong Joon-Ho’s Cannes victor Parasite and Noah Baumbach’s dramedy Marriage Story. On the Canadian front, the TFCA selected three finalists for the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award: Sophie Deraspe’s Antigone, Kathleen Hepburn and Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers’ The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open, and Jasmin Mozaffari’s Firecrackers. The winner, named at the TFCA Awards Gala on January 9, will receive a prize of $100,000 courtesy of Rogers. Each runner-up receives $5000.

The complete list of TFCA Award winners is as follows:

BEST PICTURE
Parasite (MK2)

Runners-up
The Irishman (Netflix)
Marriage Story (Netflix)

BEST ACTOR
Adam Driver, Marriage Story (Netflix)

Runners-up
Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems (Netflix)
Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory (Mongrel Media)

BEST ACTRESS
Lupita Nyong’o, Us (Universal)

Runners-up
Renée Zellweger, Judy (eOne)
Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story (Netflix)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony)

Runners-up
Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse (VVS Films)
Joe Pesci, The Irishman (Netflix)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Laura Dern, Marriage Story (Netflix)

Runners-up
Florence Pugh, Little Women (Sony)
Julia Fox, Uncut Gems (Netflix)

BEST DIRECTOR
Bong Joon-ho, Parasite (MK2)

Runners-up
Martin Scorsese, The Irishman (Netflix)
Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story (Netflix)

BEST SCREENPLAY, ADAPTED OR ORIGINAL
The Irishman by Steven Zaillian from the book by Charles Brandt (Netflix)

Runners-up
Parasite by Bong Joon-ho (MK2)
Marriage Story by Noah Baumbach (Netflix)

BEST FIRST FEATURE
Booksmart directed by Olivia Wilde (eOne)

Runners-up
Atlantics directed by Mati Diop (Netflix)
Queen & Slim directed by Melina Matsoukas (eOne)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Missing Link (Elevation Pictures)

Runners-up
Toy Story 4 (Disney/Pixar)
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (Universal)
Frozen 2 (Disney)

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
Parasite (MK2)

Runners-up
Pain and Glory (Mongrel Media)
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (MK2)

ALLAN KING DOCUMENTARY FILM AWARD
American Factory (Netflix)

Runners-up
Apollo 11 (Elevation Pictures)
The Cave (Mongrel Media)

ROGERS BEST CANADIAN FILM AWARD FINALISTS
The Body Remembers When the World Broken Open directed by Kathleen Hepburn and Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (levelFilm)
Antigone directed by Sophie Deraspe (Maison 4:3)
Firecrackers directed by Jasmin Mozaffari (levelFilm)

TECHNICOLOR CLYDE GILMOUR AWARD:
Michèle Maheux