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48th Toronto International Film Festival: world premiere of Rea Rajčić’s 1001 Nights

Rea Rajčić’s documentary short 1001 Nights had its debut before an audience at the 48th Toronto International Film Festival, as part of the Short Cuts competition programme.

1001 Nights was the only documentary among the seven shorts from around the globe that screened on Friday, 8th September, before a packed auditorium of the Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto. The film crew, headed up by director Rea Rajčić, producer Tina Tišljar, director of photography Marinko Marinkić and editor Karla Folnović were in attendance at the screening.  

"The international audience in Toronto took to our film right from the start, laughs were heard from all corners of the hall, and it was wonderful to see so many smiling faces and hear endeared comments from the audience. I am especially pleased that almost all our crew members made it to the premiere and that we will get to see the film alongside the audience several more times in the coming days", said the film’s director, Rea Rajčić.

The documentary short 1001 Nights was screened as part of Short Cuts, the 48th Toronto International Film Festival’s official short film competition. The documentary follows Ema (89) and Maja (85), two best buddies and faithful Turkish soap opera viewers, who spend every evening together, watching the latest instalments of their favourite shows at Ema’s apartment in Split. According to its director, the motion picture short was created out of her great admiration for Ema and Maja’s liveliness and vitality, two charming women on the verge of their nineties.

1001 Nights is the directorial debut of producer Rea Rajčić. Her production company Eclectica is the name behind numerous projects, such as the multiple award-winning Uncle directed by duo Andrija Mardešić and David Kapac, Kolaži o laži, the documentary series by Nebojša Slijepčević and Judita Gamulin, and Celebration, an adaptation of Damir Karakaš’s famous novel, based on the screenplay penned by Jelena Paljan and directed by Bruno Anković.

Alongside Rea Rajčić, the other producer on 1001 Nights is Tina Tišljar, while the director of photography is Marinko Marinkić and Karla Folnović edited the film. Luka Gamulin created the sound design, Dubravko Robić composed the music, Ivan Zelić from studio Nazor was the re-recording mixer, while colour corrections were done by Tomislav Stojanović from Eclectica.

The Toronto International Film Festival is one of the world’s most renowned and relevant film festivals, while this year’s, 48th edition runs 7th – 17th September 2023.

As announced earlier, this year’s TIFF will also present two more feature-length minority co-productions, Mladen Đorđević’s Working Class Goes to Hell (Midnight Madness) and Radu Jude’s Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World (Wavelengths). Both titles are Kinorama co-productions.

The last time Croatia was represented in the Short Cuts programme was in 2016 with Kristina Kumrić’s short Half a Man, while the same section in 2017 featured Swiss director Michaela Müller animated short Airport which was a Croatian minority co-production (Kinorama), and in 2019 screened Chintis Lundgren’s Toomas Beneath the Valley of the Wild Wolves, a minority co-production animation co-produced by Adriatic Animation. In 2021, TIFF also screened Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović’s feature Murina, a Croatian majority co-production appearing in the section Contemporary World Cinema.

Cover photograph: 1001 Nights film crew at world premiere in Toronto 

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