People’s Choice Award: Canadian Feature: This Place

Saying goodbye to the community of Kahnawà:ke in which she was raised, budding poet Kawenniióhstha arrives in Toronto to attend university and search for the father she never knew. Conversely, Malai, who lives with her brother in Toronto, has just finished university and is anxiously contemplating her next move. Malai’s future planning is put on hold when her alcoholic father unexpectedly returns, forcing the siblings to confront unresolved traumas.

One fateful day, Kawenniióhstha and Malai cross paths in a laundromat, and a connection is immediate. With both women facing complex family situations, will their connection find the space it needs to develop into something more? Carefully acknowledging the specificity of cultural experience, V. T. Nayan’s impressive debut deftly uses the framework of a love story to explore themes of identity, displacement, and colonialism within Iranian, Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk), and Tamil communities.

The People’s Choice Awards are determined by audience ballots, and every fi lm screened at the Festival is eligible for one of the four following awards. Winners are determined by the highest proportion of votes, ensuring all fi lms have the opportunity to be recognized regardless of the size of the theatre they are screened in. To vote, complete your ballot on tablets provided by our staff and volunteers as you leave the theatre or submit a rating for each fi lm you watch on our digital watch platform until August 19.