Gabourey Sidibe plays the lead in the tale of redemption
Precious, a gritty movie produced by Oprah Winfrey and featuring singer Mariah Carey, has won the main prize at the Toronto Film Festival.
It won the award voted for by film fans, taken last year by eventual Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire.
Director Lee Daniels said he made the film "for every person who looked in the mirror and felt unsure about the person looking back".
Precious stars actress Gabourey Sidibe in her first major screen role.
The film gained a warm critical reception when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and is due to be released in cinemas in November.
It tells the story of Harlem teenager Precious, who is illiterate and expecting her second child.
The movie also features rock star Lenny Kravitz in one of his first acting roles.
Other prizes that were awarded at the Canadian festival included the best documentary award, given to New Zealand feature The Topp Twins, about a lesbian country and western singing duo.