A producer in the Hungarian "nouvelle vague"
by Thierry Hugot
- Issued from the association of a students' class of the Budapest film school, Katapult Film appears as a workshop-meeting place for young Hungarian filmmakers.
Issued from the association of a students' class of the Budapest film school, Katapult Film appears as a workshop-meeting place for young Hungarian filmmakers (György Pálfi, Ferenc Török, Dániel Erdélyi, Diana Groó...). Iván Angelusz, who studied law, has become one of its two producers, after a career in finance.
Cineuropa: What's the Simó class and what does it represent ?
Iván Angelusz: First of all, it is a student class of the Budapest film school, a generation trying to think together, collaborate and perhaps create a kind of school. For the past decades, the cinema world has not been characterised by cooperation and long-time friends have parted, obviously because of the decrease of financial possibilities, but also because of growing differences of opinions both at a professional level and on the perception of the world in general. Our workshop is not meant to become a school because we do not want the productions to have common aesthetics or philosophy, but it is intended to make better use of the common inspiration and emulation within a very talented group. It is worth mentioning the name of Sándor Simó, a great cinema pedagogue, for whom it was the last year of teaching. Simó did not want to teach his students how to make a good film – he even used to say that he did not know either -, but he wanted them to be as open as possible to the world and sensitive to what they see.
How was Katapult Film created ?
Katapult Film was founded at the end of 2002, after Simó's death. The students of his class wanted to stay together and did not want to take part in the existing studio system. This class wanted to "catapult" its home and start a family. Among Simó's students, you can find directors Diana Groó, Dániel Erdélyi, Csaba Fazekas, Gábor Fischer, Szabolcs Hajdu, Bence Miklauzic, György Pálfi and Ferenc Török, as well as editors Réka Lemhényi, Béla Barsi, who created Katapult. My friend, Péter Reich, and myself joined them as producers, having a background in finance, law and film environment. If you think of it, it was quite a foolhardy adventure…
According to you, what is the place of Hungarian cinema at an international level?
I am full of hope for the future of Hungarian cinema that I of course particularly like. I think that what comes from Central Europe has a specific flavour, combined with a historical experience which makes the way of thinking here really exciting and unique. Besides, Hungarian cinema, like Czech, Russian and Polish cinemas, already had exceptional times. We just have to find that sort of spirit again...
Katapult Film has already produced four feature films. What are your medium and long-term goals?
As long as there are screenplays that appeal to me and that can be used to make films, in a good working atmosphere and with interesting partners, I’ll continue working. My goals? To be successful, rich and glamorous!!! Let’s just say I’d like to make one or two excellent films. I think White Palms [+see also:
interview: Szabolcs Hajdu
film profile] has been one of our most successful to date. Our latest feature is Ferenc Török’s third feature, Overnight [+see also:
film profile], the first Hungarian film about financial traders. We’re trying to understand a new social class: the yuppies of central Europe.