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FESTIVALS Hungary

Seventh Circle sets sights on Berlinale

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After the visit to Budapest by the shortlisters for the 59th Berlin Film Festival (February 5-15, 2009), there was an initial “creaming off” among the Hungarian hopefuls for selection.

According to Cineuropa sources, Árpád Sopsits’s The Seventh Circle (see news) in particular attracted attention from the Berlinale representatives. The feature explores the despair, hidden aggressiveness and destructive power of children.

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Produced by Hunnia Filmstúdió, The Seventh Circle is the latest work by the director discovered in the 1990 Cannes Directors’ Fortnight with Shooting Gallery. The film centres on the dangerous influence exerted over his playmates by a teenager who is an expert on nature’s secrets and obsessed by death and the realm beyond.

Another serious Hungarian contender is Roland Vranik’s Transmission (see news). This second feature by the young director – who first came to attention with Black Brush (Best Film at Hungarian Film Week 2005) – is produced by Filmpartner in co-production with Lakkonfilm.

The film is an absurd tragicomedy centred on three brothers who are grappling with personal problems in a world where all screens and means of telecommunication have inexplicably stopped working. The title is currently still in the editing phase.

Zoltán Verebes1 (see news) is also vying for a selection in one of the Berlinale sections. Produced by Honeymood Films, this debut feature by the director also known as Pater Sparrow is adapted from the science fiction story “One Human Minute” by Stanislaw Lem (renowned author of Solaris).

Although the Berlinale selectors have yet to decide whether or not these three titles will be presented at the festival, it should be pointed out that certain Hungarian producers sometimes prefer, for financial reasons, to turn down a sidebar selection. This is because only those films selected in official competition receive public funding.

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(Translated from French)

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