The White Fortress


True North

With The White Fortress, Igor Drljača continues his deep dive into the socio-political inner workings of post-war Bosnia. Returning to narrative form, he delivers a wonderfully nuanced drama that sharply observes the destitute cultural landscape eating its young.

Equal parts coming-of-age and love story, the film follows teenage orphan Faruk, who is torn between embracing a life of crime and following in his uncle’s working-class footsteps. His moral dilemma is further exacerbated when he falls in love with Mona, a girl from a prominent family who he was supposed to recruit for the reigning kingpin.

Couched in the tender love story is an incisive character study that reflects the broader systemic decay and the ever-growing class divide of the fractured Bosnian society. Nevertheless, Drljača’s loving gaze never fails to frame Sarajevo in the most flattering light, unfolding almost like a eulogy to a city that once was.

Director Icon Director
Igor Drljača

Pavle Čemerikić, Sumeja Dardagan, Jasmin Geljo, Kerim Čutuna, Alban Ukaj, Irena Mulamuhić
Producer Albert Shin, Igor Drljača, Borga Dorter, Jordan Barker, Adis Đapo, Amra Bakšić Čamo
Screenwriter Igor Drljača
Cinematographer Erol Zubčevic
Editor Ajla Odobašić
Production Design Sanda Popovac
Music Casey MQ
Production Company Timelapse Pictures, SSCA/
Contact Game Theory Films
Canada/Bosnia and Herzegovina 2021 89 min. In English and Bosnian Trailer | Review | Interview
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Please note this film can only be viewed in Canada when streaming on VIFF Connect.

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Drljaca-Igor headshot


Igor Drljaca runs the production company Timelapse Pictures with filmmaker Albert Shin, and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre and Film at the University of British Columbia. His critically-acclaimed debut feature Krivina (2012) premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. His sophomore feature, The Waiting Room (2015), premiered at the Locarno International Film Festival. His first feature documentary The Stone Speakers (2018) had its world premiere at TIFF. The White Fortress (2021), his third narrative feature, is a co-production between Canada and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Krivina (2012); The Waiting Room (2015); The Stone Speakers (2018)