Hungarian Producers Take Hot Projects to Cannes

Here’s a rundown of some of the top Hungarian projects in the pipeline or selling at the Cannes Market:

Semmelweis
Director: Lajos Koltai
Producer: Tamas Lajos (Film Positive)
Sales: N/A
Set in 1847, as a mysterious epidemic rages in a maternity clinic in Vienna, this period drama from the Oscar-nominated cinematographer and director Koltai (“Malena”) stars promising young thesp Miklos H. Vecsei as the titular doctor Ignác Semmelweis, who spurns traditional medical theories to find a cure.

The Lefkovicses Are in Mourning
Director: Ádám Breier
Producers: Kázmér Miklós, Felszeghy Ádám, Ausztrics Andrea (ULab, Proton Cinema)
Sales: N/A
Breier’s feature debut is a dramedy about a generous but stubborn elderly boxing coach who gets along with everyone except his own son. While the two haven’t spoken in years, they’re reunited during after the death of the old man’s wife and forced to face old grievances.

Cat Call 
Director: Rozália Szeleczki
Producer: Petra Iványi (Lupa Pictures)
Sales: N/A
Szeleczki’s first feature is a romantic comedy centering on a lonely 30-year-old woman who falls for a mysterious, talking black cat. The plot turns when what starts as a harmless escape from reality begins to turn dangerous.

“Cat Call” (Courtesy of Lupa Pictures)

Silent Friend
Director: Ildikó Enyedi
Producers: Reinhard Brundig, Nicolas Elghozi, Monika Mecs (Pandora Film, Galatée Films, Inforg-M&M Film)
Sales: N/A
Oscar nominee Enyedi (“On Body and Soul”) returns with a triptych of stories spanning more than a century and told from the perspective of a lonely old tree standing in the middle of a botanical garden.

I Accidentally Wrote a Book
Director: Nora Lakos
Producer: Claudia Sümeghy (JUNO11 Pictures)
Sales: N/A
Based on the multi-award-winning children’s book by Dutch writer Annet Huizing, the film follows a 13-year-old girl who wants to become a writer. While she is learning to write with the help of her neighbour, she suddenly realises that her life is actually becoming a novel. As she writes, she experiences her deeply hidden grief that makes her able to open her heart for someone new.

Four Souls of Coyote
Director: Aron Gauder
Producer: Cinemon Entertainment
Sales: NFI World Sales
The latest from Annecy Cristal Award winner Gauder is a unique retelling of the creation of the universe, told through the story of four Native American teenagers who confront the crew of an oil pipeline project — and learn a valuable lesson about living in harmony with nature.

“Four Souls of Coyote” (Courtesy of Cinemon Entertainment)

Hadik
Director: János Szikora
Producer: B&L Line
Sales: NFI World Sales
The swashbuckling historical adventure follows the great Hungarian general Andras Hadik, who assembles a ragtag team of Hungarian, Saxon, Austrian and Croatian soldiers to repel the advance of Prussian conquerors.

Six Weeks
Director: Noemi Szakonyi Veronika
Producer: Sparks
Sales: NFI World Sales
Veronika’s prize-winning debut tells the story of a teenage girl who decides after an unexpected pregnancy to put her baby up for adoption, leaving her with an emotional six weeks after the child’s birth to change her mind.

Kurtág
Director: Dénes Nagy
Producer: Julianna Ugrin (Eclipse Film)
Sales: N/A
Berlinale Silver Bear winner Nagy (“Natural Light”) is currently shooting this documentary about 96-year-old Hungarian composer György Kurtág, the last major representative of the post-war, avant-garde generation, who despite the physical limitations of old age continues to nurture a rich inner life.

Árni
Director: Dorka Vermes
Producer: Balázs Zachar (Proton Cinema)
Sales: N/A
Developed with the support of Venice’s Biennale College Cinema program, this debut follows a lonely journeyman working with a traveling circus who attempts to tame a python in the hopes that it will bring him closer to the family running the show.

Bonefever
Director: Bence Fliegauf
Producers: Monika Mecs, Lena Vurma, Cristian Nicolescu (Inforg-M&M Film, Dragonfly Films, Digital Cube)
Sales: N/A
The latest from the Berlin Silver Bear winner is billed as an eco-horror tale about a woman who unwittingly brings prehistoric creatures back to life while hunting for her paleobiologist father who mysteriously vanished.

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