Interview - LUX Prize 2012
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The Hungarian director Bence Flieugauf talks about Just The Wind, winner of the Jury Grand Prix at the Berlinale and finalist for the LUX Prize 2012.
How does it feel being a finalist for the Lux Prize?
Bence Fliegauf: This is my first time in Venice, I’m very amazed by this Italian region. The LUX Prize means a lot to me. This is my fifth feature film and I’ve been in many festivals in the last 12 years, so I know the industry very well and I know people. I’m honoured if I have an award from the industry, but it’s even a bigger honour when other organizations give me something such as a prize. I won a prize in Berlin from Amnesty International and I was very happy, it means that my movies signify something beyond the art. That’s very important and it’s the same with the LUX Prize as well. It’s really strange for me to be with those people who are taking cultural decisions in Europe.
What inspired your film?
I worked in Germany, I just read the newspaper as a foreigner and I was really shocked about what was going on in my country. I had nightmares, I just woke up in the middle of the night and I saw the light of a gunshot in the dark and I heard screaming. That happened like three of four times. For me, a nightmare is always a very good sign for choosing a project. Choosing the project is the most important part of the filmmaking. Once you chose the project, then you have to live with it at least for four years, which is a lot. So I came back from Germany to Hungary with my family and I started to travel in the country and know the gypsies.
How did you work with your actors?
I wanted to make this film with professional actors at the beginning, I knew some Hungarian and Romani actors and actresses but at the end we didn’t find anyone. It’s strange, if you’re working with professional actors who are not Romanies and you have to choose someone for playing a 30 years old and handsome character, then you could choose among 50 persons, but in my case there were like two Romani actors like that. I was not satisfied, therefore there wasn’t any other chance, just working with amateurs. At the end I took pleasure. Basically, the only film I’ve made with actors was Womb [+see also:
film profile]. So, for me this is more natural, I was confident. Then we went to the country, it went on for two years, I met these beautiful persons. They taught me a lot of things, I also understood the logic of races, judgmental thinking and xenophobia. There were some teachers in a school, I said them "can we visit your school to meet the Romanies?" and they asked: "Why?". I said: "Because I want to make a film". And they answered: "No, you don’t have to, this is not the situation, you have to make a film on those white Hungarian boys who are suffering because of the Romanies". I met thousands of people, we invited them to Budapest, we just had conversations and we made rehearsals. At the end I choose the right ones. These people never made any contract and didn’t even know what a contract means. There were people who just seemed not to come to Budapest for some reasons and we weren’t able to work with them. Then there were some of them that came at once but not anymore. After months of rehearsal process there was chemistry between us. It really was a team work.