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The French are leaving Poland with an award. “Custody” is the winner of the Tofifest International Film Festival.

The Grand Prix Award of the Festival, i.e. the Golden Angel of Tofifest in the ON AIR Competition, goes to French “Custody” by Xavier Legrand. The Silver Angel of Tofifest goes to Mariam Khatchvani from Georgia. Flisak of Tofifest was awarded to Malgorzata Kozuchowska, special Golden Angel for Artistic Insolence to Maciej Stuhr, and the Closing Ceremony culminated with the magnificent “Music is a woman” concert.

This time, the French have conquered Torun. Xavier Legrand, who was one of the guests of Tofifest just a couple of days ago, and had a meeting with the festival audience, now wins the most important prize of the festival.

Awards in the On Air Main Competition

The Jury has awarded his film for the following attributes: A very mature portrait of a conflict within a family, which creates such a tension that one may have an impression that they are watching a thriller, and for an accurate and complete film work.

“Custody” (Polish première at Tofifest), is a shocking testimony to a family collapse, which makes the child suffer the most. Xavier Legrand has characterised the film in the following way: This film is built on fear. A man willing to do anything to win back his woman creates that fear, and the woman, on the other hand, wants to leave him and get away from his aggressive behaviour.

The Silver Angel of Tofifest and the title of the Best Director in the “On Air” Competition went to Mariam Khatchvani for her work in “Dede” (Polish première at Tofifest), which is a Georgian and Qatari co-production. The Jury has awarded the film for “telling a simple parable, in an austere and moving way, and creating an authentic world.”

The Jury has also awarded two special mentions. One was for “Patti Cake$” by Geremy Jasper from the USA, and the other for “Ravens” (“Korparna”) by Jens Assur from Sweden. The first one was awarded for “characters that deny stereotypes and original acting,” and the other for “simple and very poetic cinematography that portrays the isolation of rural life.”

Awards from the Young Jury

Two young juries also evaluated the films featured in the “On Air” Competition. The Young Jury gave an award to “Mobile Homes” by Vladimir de Fontenay (Polish première at Tofifest), a Canadian and French co-production, while the Student Jury awarded the animation from Iran – “Tehran Taboo”, directed by Ali Soozandeh.

Angels for Polish films and short films

The winner in the “From Poland” competition dedicated to Polish films was “The Fastest” by Lukasz Palkowski.

The winner in the “Shortcut” competition dedicated to short films was Emi Buchwald from Poland for her “Education”. The Jury awarded the Golden Angel for “creating a film that affects us on many levels, and a lesson in exposing the dangers of lack of independent thinking.”

Additionally, the jury in the “Shortcut” competition awarded two special mentions. One went to an Estonian and Croatian co-production titled ”Corner”, directed by Lucija Mrzljak, and the other to a Hungarian film titled “Invisibly” (“Láthatatlanul”), directed by Áron Szentpéteri. The Hungarian film had its Polish première at Tofifest. The first of films was awarded for “being a perverse story about setting limits in a world based on imagination,” and the other for “the consistency of abstract thinking in a reality that plays tricks on you.”

Three special prizes were awarded as well. The Golden Angel for Artistic Insolence was presented to an excellent actor Maciej Stuhr, and the Flisak of Tofifest — an award for the people of cinema associated with the Kuyavian-Pomeranian region — to actress Malgorzata Kozuchowska. The festival also awarded a special Golden Angel to the President of Torun Michal Zaleski.

The Closing Ceremony culminated with an impressive music concert under the title “Music is a woman”, which was part of the “Energy of Film Music” section. During the concert, Ania Karwan, Paulina Przybysz, Krzysztof Zalewski, and the magnificent Astrolabium Chamber Choir performed between ten and twenty hits of film music. They included “Flashdance… What a Feeling” originally sang by Irene Cary, or “Paper Planes” by M.I.A., among others. The idea of creating the concert came from festival director Katarzyna “Kafka” Jaworska, and it was co-produced with Bartosz Staszkiewicz, an excellent musician and arranger, and a winner of a Fryderyk Award. He was also the author of all arrangements and conducted his own orchestra, during the concert.

Postscript: The winner of the Audience Award is going to be announced tomorrow.

Awards of the Tofifest International Film Festival 2017

The ON AIR Competition for Débuts and Sophomore Films (Main Competition)

FROM POLAND Competition for Polish films

SHORTCUT International Competition for Short Films

Audience Award

Special Prizes

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The Rebels

The section Rebels has been an inherent part of the Tofifest International Film Festival for quite a number of years now. This section emphasises the main theme of the festival, which is to introduce characters and personalities whose rebellious spirit, perseverance, or talent makes them stand out among the others, and change the course of history (the contemporary one included). This section’s main focus is to present women and heroines with their strength, perseverance, and relentless consistency, shown when striving to achieve equality and civil rights. During the upcoming edition of the festival, a total of seven unique films are going to be screened in this section, offering an insight into the stories of the selected female protagonists. In ‘Dream’s Gate’, film director Negin Ahmadi will take us for a very personal journey to show us how a few Kurdish female soldiers of the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) fight for equality. It will mark the Polish première of the film, which was nominated for the Crystal Bear award at this year’s Berlinale Festival. Journalist Mariana Carbajal will take us to Salvador, to take a closer look at the fate of women suffering from the most ruthless anti-abortion laws that have ever been enforced in any country in the world. The hybrid film ‘My Name is Andrea’, which was screened during the Tribeca FF in New York, is a biopic about Andrea Dworkin, one of the most famous feminist, who had fought for civil rights, equality, and justice for women long before the #MeToo movement saw the light of day. The topic of women rights is also analysed in ‘Que sea ley / Let It Be Law’ by Juan Solanas, yet another documentary film made in South America (Argentina). The film depicts a historic event – a rebellion organised by Argentinian women to establish a legal and safe way to have a legal abortion in this country. We will also get acquainted with Monika Krause, a German and a private interpreter for Fidel Castro, who became a sex educator and earned the perverse nickname ‘Queen of Condoms’, during the turmoil of the Cuban Revolution. You will also have a chance to see why the Peace Film Prize was awarded to the film ‘Seven Winters in Tehran’, during Berlinale 2023. The film is a portrayal of Reyhaneh Jabbari, a nineteen-year-old interior decorator from Iran, who became a symbol of resistance and struggle for women’s rights. The last film included in the section is a story about Marin Alsop, an outstanding conductor, who has shown extraordinary relentlessness and determination to pursue her dream, overcoming countless obstacles, to become one of the greatest female conductors of all time. She has proven that the profession she chose is not reserved for men only. List of films: Dream’s Gate, dir. Negin Ahmadi, Iran, France, Norway 2023, 64' Judged Bodies, dir. Mariana Carbajal, El Salvador, Argentina 2022, 66' Let It Be Law, dir. Juan Solanas, France, Argentina, Uruguay 2019, 86' My Name Is Andrea, dir. Pratibha Parmar, USA 2022, 94' Queen of Condoms, dir. Silvana Ceschi, Reto Stamm, Switzerland, Ireland 2007, 76' Seven Winters In Tehran, dir. Steffi Niederzoll, Germany, France 2023, 97' The Conductor, dir. Bernadette Wegenstein, USA 2021, 90'