Polish representatives at the Toronto Festival

The film „Quo vadis, Aida?”, produced by Ewa Puszczyńska  and the Indian film „The Disciple” with cinematography by Michał Sobociński, were among the 50 productions in the official program of the 45th Toronto International Film Festival. The event will be held on September 10-19 in a changed formula.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, traditional screenings (only during the first five days of the event) with a limited number of viewers will be held alongside drive-in screenings, digital screenings, virtual red carpets and remote conferences.

The Toronto organizers skillfully combined the selection of Cannes with the program of the Venice Festival, supplementing them with their own proposals. Significant directors’ names include: Thomas Vinterberg, Francois Ozon, Werner Herzog, Kornel Mundruczo, Frederic Wiseman and Gianfranco Rosi. Almost half of the films were directed by women. There are, among others the debuts of two respected American actresses: Halle Berry and Regina King. The 45th Toronto IFF will open with David Byrne’s „American Utopia”, directed by Spike Lee. The official festival selection can be found here.

 „Quo vadis Aida”

The film is co-production of as many as eight countries: Poland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria, Romania, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Norway. The Polish producer is Ewa Puszczyńska (Extreme Emotions) and the author of the music is Antoni Komasa-Łazarkiewicz. The director and author of the script is Jasmila Žbanić, whose feature debut – „Grbavica” won the Golden Bear in 2006 at the Berlin Festival, and was also nominated for the European Film Awards in the Best Film and Best Actress category.

Bosnia, July 1995. Aida is a UN translator in the small town of Srebrenica. When the Serbian army takes over the city, her family is among the thousands of citizens seeking refuge in a UN camp. As a person with insight into negotiations, Aida has access to key information that she needs to interpret. What’s on the horizon for her family and people – rescue or death? Which move should she make?

„The Disciple”

In turn, Polish cinematographer Michał Sobociński is the author of the cinematography for the Indian film „The Disciple” directed by Chaitanya Tamhane, which also compete in the Main Competition. Sharad Nerulkar has devoted himself to becoming an Indian classical vocalist, a lifelong quest in which few succeed. Initiated into this centuries-old tradition by his father, he follows his dream with sincerity and discipline, committing himself entirely to his artistic journey. As he strives to attain the highest level of his craft, Sharad traces his way through the hallowed mysteries and rituals of past musical legends. But as the years pass, Sharad will be forced to negotiate between the complex realities of life in contemporary Mumbai and his chosen path, leading him to find his true voice in music and in life.