Toronto Polish Film Festival 2018
The 10th Annual Toronto Polish Film Festival 2018 took place in Toronto and Mississauga. The festival was founded by Executive Director Marta Pozniakowski and Patryk Bognat with a mandate to bring the best in Polish cinema to Toronto. There was much excitement about this year’s festival with many fantastic feature films, including the award-winning Cold War (which could be nominated for an Oscar) and the opening night film, 22 Chasers. There were many excellent short films and documentaries also screened.
The opening night was hosted by the multi-talented Anna Cyzon, who is a Toronto based singer (former Top 20 Canadian Idol Finalist) and on-air personality (former MTV Canada/Etalk host and current co-host of The Todd Shapiro Show on Sirius XFM). The first film screened was Rafal Sokolowski‘s 22 Chasers, starring Brian J Smith ( Stargate Universe), Raoul Trujillo ( Sicario), Aaron Ashmore ( Killjoys), Aidan Devine ( Suicide Squad) and John Kapelos ( The Breakfast Club). It was produced by at the Canadian Film Centre under the CFC Features program with producers Don Carmody, Daniel Bekerman, and Aeschylus Poulos. Jeremy Boxen was the writer of the film.
Brian J Smith plays Ben, a kind-hearted tow truck driver who patiently waits for phone calls to tow cars. He is put to the test when his boss demands each driver pay a substantial rental fee for their trucks with the promise of a lucrative police contract. Ben decides to borrow money from Ray, a not so friendly police officer/loan shark. Ben and his wife Avery are old friends of Sean who is now a chaser, ( a tow driver that races to accident scenes to be first on sight to claim the tow). Ben, realizing that being the good guy can’t pay the bills, decides to try his luck as a chaser. Sean is very competitive both as a chaser and for Avery’s affections. After several bad breaks, ( including an inability to pay back Ray), and out of desperation, Ben takes big chances to turn everything around for him and Avery.
It’s action-filled film, and 22 Chasers does not disappoint. It gives a vivid portrayal of the dark side of tow truck driving. Watch Ben morph into someone who takes big chances and never gives up was very inspiring. The actors were all believable, and it was great fun to see Toronto as the setting of the film.
At the 2018 Toronto Polish Film Festival after party, we got a chance to meet some of the members of 22 Chasers production including Aidan Devine, Jeremy Boxen, and Rafal Sokolowski.