The film will screen at the festival on Sunday. It will then show across a number of international festivals and theatres before becoming available on OSNtv and OSN+.
Yellow Bus tells the story of a young girl who dies from heat exhaustion after being accidentally left behind in a school bus and the ordeal her grieving mother goes through after the tragedy. The film stars Tannishtha Chatterjee in the lead role of the mother, whereas Amit Sial takes on the role of the girl’s father. Kinda Alloush, meanwhile will play the owner of the school.
The film, which was shot in Abu Dhabi, is the first feature work by Wendy Bednarz, a filmmaker and faculty member at New York University Abu Dhabi. It was produced by Nadia Eliewat, who has worked on a number of projects including Solitaire and When Monaliza Smiled.
While the film’s story mirrors several tragic incidents in the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, Bednarz told The National in 2022 that the film doesn’t aim to focus on specific events but rather the universal nature of grief.
“This type of tragedy, children being left behind in locked vehicles, happens all over the world and is not limited to a geographic area or to the journey of a particular person,” she said. “The only reality is the sad one.”
In a recent statement, Bednarz said the film is a “visceral exploration of loss, love, and the weight of avoidable tragedies".
“Navigating through the myriad cultural backdrops of the desert landscape, we unearth a universally poignant story of a mother's relentless journey for justice and self-forgiveness,” she said.
“It is my hope that Yellow Bus will debunk stereotypes by shining a light on a part of the world that is often left in the shadows, stories untold. We are excited to have our world premiere at Tiff and we eagerly await the film fraternity's response to a tale that, at its core, speaks of what it truly means to be human.”
Fiona Robertson, acting head of OSN Originals, said Yellow Bus showcases the “immense talent and creativity of filmmakers in the region, depicting and addressing an unfortunate reality.”
“We are excited for the film to take the stage at Tiff for its global premiere,” she said.