Hungarian 2012 Grants Announced

By Iulia Blaga

    BUDAPEST: Károly Ujj Mészáros's first feature, Liza, the Fox Fairy, János Szász's The Notebook and Gyula Nemes's Zero received a total amount of 400 M HUF as production grants from the Hungarian National Film Fund (www.filmalap.hu).

    All three of them are international co-productions. Together with Balint Kenyeres’s Hier, there are the four features which received production grants in 2012.

    Liza, the Fox Fairy received 150 M HUF. It is produced by Tamás Major and Filmteam (www.filmteam.hu). Starring Mónika Balsai, the film is focused on Fox-Fairies, female demons from the Japanese folklore who seduce men and rob them of their lives. The main character is a naïve nurse from Budapest whose beaus die on their first date. Shooting is planned for 2 July-August 2012. Károly Ujj Mészáros is an established director of commercials. His project was selected in many workshops and co-production platforms including Cannes Atelier 2010.

    The notebook received 150 M HUF as well. It is produced by Pál Sándor and Hunnia Filmstudio (www.hunniafilm.hu) together with the German Intuit Pictures (www.intuitpictures.com). The co-producers are the Austrian Amour Fou (www.amourfou.at) and the French Dolce Vita Films. After Woyzeck, Witman Boys, Opium, János Szász  plans a postmodern anti-war drama involving a pair of twin brothers growing up in a Hungarian border village during the World War II. The film is an adaptation of the cult novel Le Grand Cahier of the Hungarian-born Swiss author Agota Kristóf and has an international cast including Piroska Molnár, Ulrich Thomsen, Ulrich Mattes, Péter Andorai and Orsi Tóth. The project was developed with the support of EU's MEDIA Program, backed by Eurimages and was selected at the Berlinale Co-Prod Market in 2010. The film wrapped shooting End of April with the premiere expected for early 2013.

    Zero received 100 M HUF. Itis produced by Gábor Dettre and the Hungarian company Playtime together with The Czech Endorfilm (www.endorfilm.cz) and the German 42film (www.42film.de). The project is also supported by Czech Film Fund and Germany's Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung (www.mdm-online.de). After receiving the Crystal Globe at Karlovy Vary (www.kviff.com) in 2008 for his first film,  Lost World, Gyula Nemes signs a provocative and entertaining film about globalization telling the desperate story of a bee-keeper who tries to save his bees. Shooting is planned to start in December 2012 in Germany, Hungary and Mali.

    Hier/Tegnap is a co-production between Attila Csáky of Hungary's Cameo Film (www.cameofilm.hu), François d'Artemare of France's Les Films de L'Après-midi, and Anna Croneman of Bob Film Sweden (www.bobfilmsweden.com). The international cast includes Maurice Benichou, Jesper Christensen, Vlad Ivanov, Nastassja Kinski and Stellan Skarsgård. The shooting will be this Autumn.

    Since its first decision (October 2011), the Hungarian National Film Fund has granted development support to projects by Bence Miklauzic (Car Park), Kornél Mundruczó (The Flying Man), Márk Bodzsár (Godly Shift), György Pálfi (Toldi), Csaba Fazekas (Swing), Ádám Császi (A Land of Storms)and Café Film's Bexy itt járt. The Fund will be the main partner of the Hungarian Film Critics' Prizes, established in 1962 as a prestigious national film award ceremony whose previous winners include Hajdu's Bibliotheque Pascal (2011), Mundruczó's Delta (2009), Bollók's Iska's Journey (2008), Fliegauf's Dealer (2005) and Pálfi's Hukkle (2003).