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Half a Man competing at Toronto film festival

Half a Man, a short film by Kristina Kumrić, will be screening in the ‘Short Cuts’ programme of the Toronto International Film Festival which will be held from September 8th to 18th.

The screening of Half a Man in Toronto will also be its world premiere. The film is set in the fall of 1991 in the Dalmatian hinterland. Ten year-old Mia and twelve year-old Lorena are facing a big and important day: their father Mirko will be released from a concentration camp where he had been held captive for three months.

This short film is the winning project of the competition ‘One picture from the Homeland War’ which was organized by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre and the Ministry of Veterans’ Affairs, and the story Povratak (Return), upon which the screenplay for Half a Man is based, is an integral part of the book ‘Živjet ćemo bolje’ (‘We’ll Live Better’) for which the screenwriter, Maja Hrgović, was nominated last year for the EU Prize for Literature.

Working on the screenplay was very unconventional: the story about two girls whose father is released from a concentration camp in a prisoner exchange, was filtered through fiction and then returned to life in this film which is so wonderfully alive and pulsating. It was an emotionally exhausting experience but we never doubted the story, it is one of those little ones, but a big one, that deserves – demands – to be told. We needed a few lucky circumstances to fall into place in order for it to happen – first, the screenplay fell into the hands of an exceptionally talented film director, Kristina Kumrić, who, from a story full of emotion, was able to bring forward the hidden layers. Second, the role of the hero is played by the magnificent Janja Avdagić, a young girl for whom we knew after only ten minutes on set that she was born to act. She is a prodigy and I am so happy that the world will get to see her in Toronto, at this major festival,’ said screenwriter Maja Hrgović

The film is directed by Kristina Kumrić, the cinematographer is Igor Zelić, the editor is Frano Homen, the producers are Vanja Jambrović and Tibor Keser, the co-producers are Hélène Mitjavile and Hrvoje Osvadić, the sound engineer is Borna Buljević, the costume designer is Zorana Meić, and the art director is Ivana Škrabalo. The film stars Janja Avdagić, Leonarda Živković, Franjo Dijak, Marina Redžepović, Nikša Butijer, Igor Hamer and Jelena Kordić. This Croatian-French film is produced by Restart, and co-producers are Melocoton Films (France) and the Artistic Organisation Kinoljetka (Croatia). Half a Man is supported by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, the Croatian Ministry of Veterans’ Affairs and the Île-de-France region.

The Toronto International Film Festival was first held in 1976 when it screened films from other festivals. Since then, it has established itself as one of the most important international film festivals and is recognized as an ideal platform for film professions who come there to introduce their newest works and embark on their film journeys.

For more information please visit the festival’s official website.

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