Two films in preparation for Uj Budapest Filmstudio

By Laszlo Kriston
    Caroline Strubbe's feature, the €2.2 million Lost Persons Area, started shooting on July 3 in Rotterdam where it continues photography for six weeks.

    The Belgian-Dutch-Hungarian production then will wrap in Andalusia, Spain, following a weeklong location shoot.

    "The Hungarian participation in the production amounts to 11 percent of the budget," Laszlo Kantor (The Trap, Dallas Pashamende), head of Uj Budapest Filmstudio (www.ujbudapestfilmstudio.hu) told FNE at the 43rd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Hungary's MMKA Fund (www.mmka.hu) has pledged €87,000 (HUF20 million) for the project.

    The film has funding from Eurimages (www.coe.int/Eurimages), the Flemish Audiovisual Fund (VAF, www.vaf.be), ZDF Enterprises (www.zdf-enterprises.de), the Netherlands Filmfond (www.filmfund.nl), and the Rotterdam Film Fund (www.rff.rotterdam.nl). Co-producers are Tomas Leyers of Belgium's Mindsmeet (www.mindsmeet.be), Patrick Quintet of Artemis Productions (www.artemisproductions.com), and Rene Gossens of Holland's De Productie.

    Lost Persons Area stars US-based Hungarian acrobat, Zoltan Hajdu, a former member of Cirque du Soleil (www.cirqudusoleil.com), as a 40-year old mountain climber in the South of Spain who gets involved with a 18-year old girl through a series of letters. Hajdu has made his acting debut in the 2006 Cannes entry, White Palms, directed by his brother, Szabolcs Hajdu. Berci Markus is composing the film score.

    Location scouting just been completed on Uj Budapest Filmstudio's other upcoming project, the €0.8 million Istanbul, an autobiographical film by Hungarian director Ferenc Torok (Overnight, Moscow Square, Szezon) about her mother, a middle-aged woman who goes mad when her husband leaves her. Some 20 percent of the financing is put up by Hungarian sources. MMKA provided €65,000. The project will participate at the CineLink pitching forum at the Sarajevo Film Festival in August.