Director Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave has won the audience award at the Toronto International Film Festival, building Oscar momentum for the movie.
McQueen's portrait of slavery in 1840s America beat first runner-up Philomena, directed by fellow Briton Stephen Frears, and second runner-up Prisoners, directed by Quebec's Denis Villeneuve.
Following the announcement festival head Piers Handling suggested this was the beginning of many prestigious accolades for the sweeping drama.
The King's Speech and Slumdog Millionaire all went on to multiple Academy Award nominations and wins after being crowned most popular in Toronto.
Every best picture winner since 2007 has played at the 11-day film festival.