The first titles in the lineup of the upcoming 40th Toronto International Film Festival have been announced. This year’s TIFF selection includes two films from Poland: Jerzy Skolimowski’s 11 minut (11 Minutes) and Marcin Wrona’s Demon. Both films are co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. The Toronto screening of Demon will mark the film’s world premiere.

11 minut (11 Minutes)

Photo: press materials

The same eleven minutes in the lives of various protagonists are shown through parallel storylines. Before the last second of the eleventh minute is up, their fates are brought together by an event that will have a huge impact on their lives.

11 minut (11 Minutes) was written and directed by Jerzy Skolimowski, lensed by Mikołaj Łebkowski, and features performances by Andrzej Chyra, Dawid Ogrodnik, Wojciech Mecwaldowski, Agata Buzek, Jan Nowicki, Piotr Głowacki, Richard Dormer, and Ifi Ude. Skolimowski’s latest feature will screen in TIFF’s ‘Masters’ section, which showcases a total of 13 films, including the latest projects by Wim Wenders and Marco Bellocchio.

International Co-Production Co-Financed by the Polish Film Institute

11 minut (11 Minutes) was made as a co-production between Poland and Ireland. The film was produced by Skopia Film, co-produced by Element Pictures, Telewizja Polska, Orange, HBO, and Fundacja Tumult. The film was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, Eurimages, and the Irish Film Board. 11 minut (11 Minutes) will have its world premiere screening in Main Competition of the Venice International Film Festival.

The New Film from Marcin Wrona

Piotr, or ‘Python,’ as his friends call him, (played by Itay Tiran, known for his performance in Lebanon), comes to Poland from England to marry the beautiful Żaneta (Agnieszka Żulewska). He plans to build a nest for himself and his bride in the old house he receives as a gift from his future father-in-law (Andrzej Grabowski). Things become complicated when, a day before the wedding, Piotr finds human remains buried on the premises. Meanwhile the celebrations begin. Wedding guests, including Żaneta’s brother (Tomasz Schuchardt), notice that something strange starts happening to the groom.

In addition to the actors mentioned above, Demon features performances by Adam Woronowicz, Włodzimierz Press and Cezary Kosiński. The film was lensed by Paweł Flis and scored by Marcin Macuk, with additional pieces by Krzysztof Penderecki.  The script was written by Marcin Wrona and Paweł Maślona. Demon was produced by Magnet Man Film, co-produced by TransFax Film Productions, The Chimney Pot, Wajda Studio, the Krakow Festival Office, Instytucja Filmowa Silesia-Film, and Lava Films.

World Premiere

Photo courtesy of Magnet Man Film

Marcin Wrona’s latest feature will screen in Toronto’s Vanguard section. This series of screenings was introduced in 2006 by then deputy festival director Noah Cowan. The Vanguard sidebar was designed for “hitting the audiences with a raw, pulsating aesthetic that speaks to […] cultural and cinematic freedoms,” and showcasing films that are “edgy, irreverent, […] and have a palpable, youthful zing.” In 2010, the Vanguard lineup featured Marcin Wrona’s earlier feature Chrzest (The Christening).

Polish Films in Toronto

Over the last few years, films co-financed by the Polish Film Institute have enjoyed regular presence at the Toronto International Film Festival, recommended to Canadian and global audiences by festival director Piers Handling. The TIFF lineup in past years has featured Paweł Pawlikowski’s Ida, Agnieszka Holland’s W ciemności (In Darkness), Małgorzata Szumowska’s Sponsoring (Elles), Wojciech Smarzowski’s Róża (Rosa), Katarzyna Rosłaniec’s Galerianki (Mall Girls) and Bejbi Blues (Baby Blues), Andrzej Jakimowski’s Imagine, and Marcin Wrona’s Chrzest (The Christening). Jerzy Skolimowski’s previous feature Essential Killing was also presented to TIFF audiences in 2010, alongside nine other films in the Masters section of the festival.

The Toronto International Film Festival is considered to be one of the key film events in North America. The festival showcases the latest trends in world cinema. A new initiative at this year’s edition is the Platform competition for film directors. Agnieszka Holland will be one of the jurors.

This year’s edition of the Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 10 through September 20.

Futher details about the 40th TIFF are available at www.tiff.net.

Marta Sikorska

Translated by Karolina Kołtun