The OSN Original is a fictionalised story of a six-year-old South Asian schoolgirl who falls asleep on a school bus and ultimately dies from heat exhaustion.
The film, written and directed by Wendy Bednarz in her feature debut, along with Jordanian producer Nadia Eliewat, has earned a spot among the 26 titles featured in TIFF’s Discovery programme. This programme provides a platform for contemporary international cinema, showcasing the works of emerging filmmakers making their mark with their first and second feature films.
Yellow Bus is also co-produced by Indian producer Guneet Monga, an Oscar winner for Best Documentary Short Film at the 95th Academy Awards for her work on The Elephant Whisperers.
Yellow Bus, an OSN+ Original film, is a tale of an Indian woman living in the Arabian Gulf who embarks on a search for truth and accountability after her daughter is left to die on a school bus in the sweltering desert heat. The film stars Tannishtha Chatterjee as the mother, Ananda, Amit Sial as the father, Gagan, and Kinda Alloush as the school owner, Mira. OSN’s inaugural feature film was filmed in Abu Dhabi and delves into universal themes such as motherhood, identity, social isolation, and coping with the loss of a child.
Commenting on OSN’s collaboration on the film, Fiona Robertson, Acting Head of OSN Originals, said: “When it comes to original content, two things that guide our content selection are the creators behind a project and the story they are telling. Yellow Bus showcases the immense talent and creativity of filmmakers in the region, depicting and addressing an unfortunate reality, and we are excited for the film to take the stage at TIFF for its global premiere.”
Writer-director Wendy Bednarz, who is also a faculty member at New York University Abu Dhabi, added: “Yellow Bus is a culmination of my intimate experiences in The Gulf and my inherent journey as a mother. It’s more than just a film; it’s 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. 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, with 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.”
Yellow Bus is slated for an exclusive premiere on OSN+ and OSNtv following its screenings in theatres and international film festivals.