Rise of the Raven To Be Most Expensive Hungarian Series

     Robert Lantos and Csaba Káel Robert Lantos and Csaba Káel

    BUDAPEST: A ten-part big budget Hungarian series Rise of the Raven (working title) is being made about John Hunyadi, a leading Hungarian military and political figure in the 15th century, who is also called the saviour of Europe after defeating the Ottoman Empire at the siege of Nándorfehérvár, present day Belgrade.

    Rise of the Raven is produced by Robert Lantos, who has been active in the film industry since the late 70s. His is credits include Crash (1996), Sunshine (1999), Eastern Promises (2007) and Barney's Version (2010).

    Lantos, who co-founded a leading Canadian TV company while still a student in the 1970s, produced Istvan Szabo’s Being Julia and Sunshine, amongst numerous award-winning films.

    “Making six movies so far in Hungary was an important part of my career. Still, the Hunyadi series will be a real premiere, as for the first time I will shoot a real Hungarian story with Hungarian actors in Hungarian,” Lantos said in a statement.

    The epic historical drama and romantic adventure film will consist of court intrigues and big battle scenes from one of the most heroic periods of Hungarian and European history.

    “The siege of Nándorfehérvár was of great significance in the Middle Ages, determining the fate of our continent for decades. Today, in the age of popular series, we can bring this glorious story to audiences around the world as a spectacular experience. The crew made up of international filmmakers will shoot the series in Central European locations, it will surpass the scale of Hungarian production so far," said Csaba Káel, the head of the National Film Institute – Hungary in a statement.

    Beta Cinema is distributing the series internationally. The majority of the Hungarian state support is directly coming from the government  (19.3 m EUR / 6.9 billion HUF), and the National Film Institute also granted 10.1 m EUR / 3.6 billion HUF from its own budget. 

    It is produced by Serendipity Point Films, HG Media, MR FilmBeta Film and Twin Media. Besides Lantos the other producers are Tibor Krskó (Fateless, The Song of Names), Oliver Auspitz, Andreas Kamm, Cecília Hazai and Kinga Hazai.

    The showrunner of Rise of the Raven is another Hungarian-born Canadian, George Mihalka, who directed the legendary horror movie My Bloody Valentine, and worked on several TV series.

    Mihalka will direct the last three episodes. One of the most talented Hungarian directors, Orsi Nagypál (Open, The Outpost) and Robert Dornhelm (Maria Theresia, Vienna Blood) will also helm some episodes.

    The Hunyadi series was written by George Mihalka, Balázs Lengyel, Balázs Lovas, Zsófia Ruttkay and Attila Veres based on the successful series of novels by Mór Bán. Pre-production is underway, shooting is planned to start next year. TV2 will broadcast it in Hungary.

    Production Information:
    Serendipity Point Films (Canada)
    HG Media (Hungary)
    MR Film (Austria)
    Beta Film (Germany)
    Twin Media
    Supported by National Film Institute - Hungary

    Directors: George Mihalka, Orsi Nagypál, Robert Dornhelm
    Producers: Robert Lantos, Tibor Krskó, Oliver Auspitz, Andreas Kamm, Cecília Hazai and Kinga Hazai
    Screenwriters:  George Mihalka, Balázs Lengyel, Balázs Lovas, Zsófia Ruttkay and Attila Veres