Toronto Film School Announces 2020 Festival of Films Award Winners

The Adjustment, a story of a timid young woman who struggles through an uncomfortable encounter with a boundary-crossing new doctor, walked away from the 2020 Toronto Film School Festival of Films with the biggest awards haul of the year.


The 10-minute short took home three of the top prizes, including Best Picture and Best Director trophies for Talia Faubert, from the festival’s virtual awards ceremony held Feb. 27.


According to Yale Massey, director of the Film Production program, The Adjustment was just one of an amazing lineup of projects screened during the virtual festival late last year.


Headshot of Yale Massey


“We received 150 submissions from students and graduates and we screened 62 of those films, for a total of 5.5 hours of content,” Massey said of the Dec. 3 festival, which featured the best short films, documentaries, commercials and music videos created by Toronto Film School students and graduates.


The 62 shortlisted projects were ultimately evaluated by a panel of 22 judges, all of whom were involved in the decision-making process as to which projects would be showcased, which would receive nominations and which would win awards.


“At the awards show, we gave out 16 awards,” Massey said of the virtual ceremony, which was emceed by Toronto Film School’s Emmy-winning Executive Producer in Residence Andrew Barnsley.


Following closely behind The Adjustment in the trophy tally were a trio of films that took home a pair of awards each – My Special Date (Best Producer, Best Cinematography), Begin Again (Best Male Performance, Best Screenplay)  and Red Underwear (Best Special Effects, Best Production Design).


“The event brought the TFS community together in a very special way,” Massey added. “We met up on Zoom after the show and the award winners delivered inspiring and touching speeches.”


Many of the winners also took to social media to celebrate their wins – including Sani Jalalzadeh, who took home the Best Female Performance award for her role in The Burning Cold, and Simeon Ross, who won Best Music Video for All For You.


Screen Capture from The Burning Cold


“What an honour! I’m so speechless…I want to especially thank (director/screenwriter) Naser Vafi for not only his deeply emotional and brilliant screenplay for The Burning Cold, but also for the opportunity and trust he put in me to help bring his vision and story to life,” Jalalzadeh wrote in an Instagram post that shouted out the film’s entire cast and crew.


“Making a film really does take a village and we were a good little tribe that made work feel like play every day and that, to me, is the dream job I can ask for.”


Added Ross: “Wow! I literally can’t believe this! All For You won best music video at the Toronto Film School’s Festival of Films! I’m honoured and so grateful!” he wrote in a series of celebratory Instagram posts.


Screen Capture from All For You


“Attending the acting program at Toronto Film School was one of the highlights of my life…All For You has now been accepted to nine film festivals…but this one was super special to me, TFS being one of my favourite places on earth. I’m eternally grateful to this school, the amazing teachers, and the incredible acting training I received there!”


The full list of 2020 Toronto Film School Festival of Films award winners are as follows:


Best Picture:


The Adjustment | Talia Faubert



Best Director:


The Adjustment | Talia Faubert



Screen Capture from My Special Date


Best Producer:


My Special Date | Jamyang Kunga Tenzin



Best Female Performance:


Sani Jalalzadeh | The Burning Cold



Best Male Performance:


Joseph Dancey | Begin Again



Best Screenplay:         


Begin Again | Alex Nicolescu



Best Cinematography:


My Special Date | Yash Dubey



Best Documentary:


Mothering in Quarantine | Kyisha Williams



Screen Capture from Vitamin


Best Sound:


Vitamin | Mung Hatlang and Ashtyn Pires 



Best Visual Effects:


Red Underwear | Ayush Anand



Best Film Editing:


The AdjustmentMaxim Baraliuc



Screen Capture from Red Underwear


Best Production Design:


Red Underwear | Jamyang Kunga Tenzin



Best Commercial:


Cheerios | Pulkit Mehndiratta


Best Music Video:


All For You | Simeon Ross



Motion Design Award:


Abigail Thorson



Best Graduating Video Game:


A Lynx’s Tale | Fall 2019