Co-produced by The Polish Film Institute, the co-production “The River” was awarded at the International Film Festival in Venice. The Polish co-producer of the film is Madants.

Award for “The River”

Agnieszka Puciło receives the prize on behalf of the director. Image courtesy of the producer.

Emir Baigazin, director of the film “The River” co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, was awarded at the International Film Festival in Venice for the Best Director in the Orizzonti section.

The award was received on behalf of the director by Agnieszka Puciło from the Madants company.


The performers of the main roles. Image courtesy of the producer.

“The River” is a co-production of three countries: Kazakhstan, Poland and Norway. Emir Baigazin is responsible for the script and direction. The music was composed by Justyna Banaszczyk. Post-production of the image was taken up by the ORKA Production Studio, and the sound by Cafe Ole and Dreamsound Studio. Currently, the film is shown in the competition section Platform during the Toronto Film Festival.

“The River”

Still from the movie. Press materials

The story of a family living in a small Kazakh village. Five brothers live under the constant control of their father. Everything changes when the boys discover the threats of the modern world.


The Polish co-producer of “The River” is Madants, a company founded by Klaudia Śmieja – Rostworowska and Beata Rzeźniczek, which has been operating since 2015. It  specializes in independent international co-productions. Until now, the company co-produced, among others German-French-American-British-Polish production “High Life” by Claire Denis, Greek-Polish film “Pity” directed by Babis Makridis, or Portuguese-French-Polish image “Porto” directed by Gabe Klinger.

Great reception of the film by journalists

The film was received very well by foreign journalists. The reviews were written, among others,  by David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter and Allan Hunter of Screen Daily.

David Rooney wrote in his review that the film “complements the director’s brilliant trilogy, which confirms his growing position as a visual craftsman of unprecedented discipline and expression (previous parts of the trilogy about Aslan are “Harmony Lessons” and “The Wounded Angel” ed. ). “

According to Allan Hunter, ‘rigorously composed, raw frames should attract potential distributors and lovers of uncompromising original cinema.’

The presentation of “The River” won the last year’s Pitch & Meet program realized as part of the Warsaw Film Festival.

The results of the International Film Festival in Venice are available at: