PRODUCTION: A Diabolical Cat Seduces Franciska Törőcsik in Hungarian Romantic Comedy

    Cat and Muse by Rozália Szeleczki shooting Cat and Muse by Rozália Szeleczki shooting credit: Anna Bartok

    BUDAPEST: The absurd romantic comedy Cat and Muse / Cicaverzum is shooting in various Budapest locations from 6 May to 15 June. One of the main characters in Rozália Szeleczki’s feature is a talking cat.

    The other protagonist of the story is a thirty-year-old girl, Fáni, who has long given up on falling in love because of her troubled past. However, one day a black cat starts courting her. Although Fani is a successful architect, she’s a little girl left deep in her heart, so she falls for the macho Cat, even though she is the only one to hear the tomcat's voice.

    The unusual romance unfolds with strange twists, until Fáni loses almost everything that was important to her because of the narcissistic Cat. Meanwhile, she doesn't even notice that Mihály, the cat's charming owner, is also courting her. „Cicaverzum takes place in a world where the strange is normal, so I think in a peculiar way it is very similar to reality,” said Szeleczki, who wrote the script with Zsófi Kemény, in a statement.

    The director wanted to create an unscrupulous, diabolical figure, who was attractive because of his freedom. “Once a friend of mine joked that he was syncing his cat as if the kitten was courting me. This gave me the idea to personalise the imaginary devilish figure with a humorous, anthropomorphic character,” Szeleczki said.

    Fáni is played by Franciska Tőröcsik, who previously worked with the internationally acclaimed director Márta Mészáros on Aurora Borealis and was featured in Happy New Year / BUÉK, the Hungarian version of the Italian blockbuster Complete Strangers / Perfetti sconosciuti.

    An extremely strong lineup of actors has come together for the romantic comedy. Dorottya Udvaros plays Fáni's mother, Teri Tordai is the grandmother, the front man of the popular band called Quimby, Tibor Kiss will appear as the dead father. Mihály is played by Csaba Polgár, and Róbert Alföldi is also part of the cast. The deep and sensual voice of the cat is given by Márton Patkós, who is known for his role of Zsolt Száva, the young revolutionary, in the HBO series The Informant / A besúgó.

    “We currently have a shrinking theatrical market, but I am confident that Cicaverzum has such a unique plot that it will make the audience curious. It has strong audience-friendly features. With the character of the talking cat and the fact that we are putting the comedy on a dramatic foundation, we believe we are making something fresh and unusual, a modern fairy tale” producer Iványi Petra, whose recently established production company Lupa Pictures is making the film, told FNE.

    “There are sources of inspirations, but they are rather distant. If I have to say something, it's Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Amélie,” Iványi added.

    Szeleczki graduated from the University of Theatre and Film Arts Budapest, and after a couple of remarkable short films (Rozgonyiék, Mióta velem jár), Cicaverzum is her first feature. It is lensed by Kristóf M. Deák, whose first full-length work was FOMO directed by Attila Hartung in 2019.

    Cicaverzum was developed in the Incubator programme started in 2015 to help young directors create their first feature film. The production was supported by the National Film Institute with 262 000 EUR / 100 m HUF. RTL Klub has joined as a coproducer and accounts for 15% of the budget. The romantic comedy is made from a total of 550 000 EUR / 200 m HUF, including the tax rebate.

    Cat and Muse is only a working title. It is set to be released in 2023.

    Production Information:

    Cat and Mouse by Rozália Szeleczki, credit: Anna BartokLupa Pictures (Hungary)
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    Director: Rozália Szeleczki
    DoP: Kristóf Deák M.
    Scriptwriter: Rozália Szeleczki and Zsófi Kemény
    Producer: Petra Iványi
    Editor: Zsófi Érdi
    Production designer: Pater Sparrow
    Costume designer: Juli Szlávik
    Cast: Franciska Törőcsik, Márton Patkós, Dorottya Udvaros, Csaba Polgár, Róbert Alföldi, Adél Csobot, Teri Tordai, Tibor Kiss, Bálint Bán, László Göndör, Gergő Blahó, Márta Martin, Beton.Hofi