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Fugitive Pieces is a 2007 drama film directed by Jeremy Podeswa, who also adapted the film from the award-winning novel of the same name written by Anne Michaels. The film tells the story of Jakob Beer, who is orphaned in Polandmarker during World War II and is saved by a Greek archeologist. The film premiered September 6, 2007 as the opening film of that year's Toronto Film Festivalmarker.



Fugitive Pieces was in preproduction for seven years before filming started in various locations in Greecemarker (Hydramarker, Kefaloniamarker, and Lesvosmarker) and various locations in Ontariomarker, Canadamarker (Hamiltonmarker and Torontomarker) in 2006 at a cost of $9.5 million.

Matthew Davies was the production designer for the film. Peter Emmink was in charge of art direction. The costumes were designed by Anne Dixon. Set decoration was provided by Erica Milo and Nikos Triandafilopoulos. Visual effects were provided by Mr. X Inc. John Rowley was the music supervisor. Diane Pitblado was the dialect coach.


Fugitive Pieces premiered September 6, 2007 as the opening film of that year's Toronto Film Festivalmarker. It was later shown at the Vancouver International Film Festival, the Warsaw International Film Festival, the Rome Film Feast, the International Thessaloniki Film Festival in Greecemarker (where it was shown under the title Syntrimmia psyhis), the Santa Barbara International Film Festivalmarker, and the Newport Beach Film Festival. It opened in limited release in the United Statesmarker on May 2, 2008, grossed $102,212 in 30 theaters its opening weekend, and earned a total US gross of $634,379.

Critical reception

As of May 17, 2008, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 68 percent of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 41 reviews — with the consensus that the film is "a moving holocaust tale aided by solid performances. Though the retelling is a bit too subtle, the moving story and solid performances lift Fugitive Pieces beyond standard holocaust tales." Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 60 out of 100, based on 19 reviews — indicating mixed or average reviews.

Awards and nominations

Year Nominated/Won Award/category Festival/organization Role
2007 won Best Actor RomaCinemaFest Rade Šerbedžija as Athos
2008 nominated Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Satellite Award Rade Šerbedžija as Athos
2008 won Best Film Sydney Film Festival
2008 won Audience Award (Narrative Feature) Sarasota Film Festival
2008 won Jury Award Newport Beach Film Festival

The film won the jury award of the Newport Beach Film Festival in the categories Best Cinematographer (Gregory Middleton), Best Director and Best Screenplay (Jeremy Podeswa) and Best Film.


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