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Brilliant filmmakers, best films, and important topics. The 17th edition of the Tofifest International Film Festival starts today.

This 17th edition of the Tofifest IFF will be marked by powerful women. They include Maja Ostaszewska and Agnieszka Holland, coming to Toruń to receive the Golden Angels for Artistic Insolence, and a multitude of various heroines, who sacrifice their lives in the struggle for a better tomorrow, featured in the Rebels section dedicated specifically to them. We are also going to give awards to Dawid Ogrodnik, Paweł Pawlikowski, as well as to Krzysztof Globisz, receiving an award for lifetime achievement, and Oleg Sentsov, finally free after five years of imprisonment.

This year, the festival features 150 films selected after tedious selection. The On Air competition, designed entirely by festival director Kafka Jaworska, features 13 films competing for awards, including such titles as Papicha, the Algerian candidate for Academy Awards, portraying a woman, who decides to organise a fashion show to manifest her resistance to the sexual oppression growing in her home country, or Beanpole, the Russian candidate for Academy Awards, directed by Kantemir Balagov, a very young film director from Russia, who is already called the Russian Xavier Dolan. The latter will have its very first screening of the film in Poland.

All the films featured in the From Poland section, in which awards are decided by the audience, have been selected by Łukasz Maciejewski, a renowned film critic and expert. This section offers the most important Polish films released during this season, and also a handful of pre-release screenings.

They include: Wszystko dla mojej matki / All for My Mother, Proceder, or Zgniłe uszy / Rotten Ears. Łukasz Maciejewski is also supervising the brand new addition to the Tofifest IFF, the Polonica section, dedicated to presenting the achievements of Polish filmmakers working in foreign film crews. The films qualified for the section include the acclaimed The River by Emir Baigazin from Turkey, featuring magnificent music composed by Justyna Banaszczyk, or the controversial The Painted Bird, featuring a brilliant performance by Lech Dyblik.

But the festival will also have its musical accents. The opening ceremony on 19th October starts with the music concert Rebel Rabel, conducted by L.U.C., taking the audience on a journey blending the worlds of cinema and music. On the other hand, the closing ceremony taking place on 26th October will take participants of the festival to the realm of synthesizers and electronic music. The guide on this trek will be Bartosz Staszkiewicz, who cooperated with Kayah and Paulina Przybysz, among others, to present completely new interpretations of the greatest hits composed by Depeche Mode or Alphaville.

Another element of the festival, in which the worlds of cinema and music meet, is the documentary Kult. Film, directed by Olga Bieniek, offering an insight into the phenomenon of the band led by Kazik Staszewski. The film will be screened on 23rd October, followed by a meeting, during which the director and members of the band will talk to the audience.

We are also very proud to remind you that Oleg Sentsov, the Ukrainian film director released from prison barely a month ago, is also coming to Toruń. He spent the last five years in a Russian forced-labour camp, serving a sentence after being falsely accused of terrorism. Last year, the festival had the pleasure of having the wife of the director and his film producer, and we also screened his Gamer to show solidarity with Oleg. This year, we wish to celebrate the fact that he is finally free.

We are about to experience nine days filled with intense emotions and unforgettable memories!

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