Toronto Film Festival to screen first feature by Davit Pirtskhalava

Following award-winning screenings of his debut work 'Father', Pirtskhalava will now see his first feature have the world premiere in Toronto. Photo via Toronto International Film Festival, 09 Aug 2022 - 14:40, Tbilisi,Georgia

Toronto International Film Festival, a major North American cinema event, will screen A Long Break, the first feature work by Georgian filmmaker Davit Pirtskhalava, in this year's edition opening next month.

In the Discovery section of the festival programme, dubbed as introducing the "directors to watch" and "the future of world cinema", Pirtskhalava's film will go on the big screen for the world premiere.

In the preview for the festival run, it has been described as a "dark, atmospheric feature debut" from the director, a "lesson of becoming a well-adjusted adult following a tumultuous upbringing". 

A Long Break was also summarised at the launch of the filmmaker's work on the feature in 2020 as dealing with subjects of school bullying, traumatic memory and revenge. Pirtskhalava told Film New Europe the subject was familiar to him from his time in a primary school.

In my school, bullying, abuse and beating were almost the daily norm, as the environment offered us certain conditions and we unconsciously accepted them, with all their ugly and ruthless manifestations"

- Director Davit Pirtskhalava

For the screenplay for his debut feature, the filmmaker derived a story of its protagonist convening a reunion of former classmates, explicitly as a way of reconnecting them many years after their graduation, but secretly as a means for punishment for a person who resorted to bullying at their school.

A Long Break follows awards earned by Pirtskhalava for his first work Father, with two prizes, including Best International Short, handed to the director at the 2015 Locarno Film Festival. It also screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, a major European event, in 2016.

The Toronto festival is set to run between September 8-18 this year, with the Discovery section presenting 23 works from across the world.