Ildiko Enyedi makes a triumphant comeback
by Fabien Lemercier
- BERLIN 2017: After an 18-year absence from the big screen, the Hungarian director has won the Golden Bear with On Body and Soul, an Inforg-M&M Film production
For the second time ever, a Hungarian film has won the Golden Bear for Best Film at the Berlin Film Festival, and again for the second time, it’s a female director who has been singled out, as after Márta Mészáros and Adoption in 1975, the 2017 edition of the German gathering crowned Ildiko Enyedi with her On Body and Soul [+see also:
interview: Ildiko Enyedi
interview: Ildiko Enyedi
interview: Réka Tenki
film profile]. This is the fifth time that a female filmmaker of any nationality has taken home the top prize from Berlin.
Enyedi’s supreme triumph (her film also scooped the FIPRESCI Prize in the competition, the Ecumenical Jury Award and the prize of the readers of the Berliner Morgenpost) is even more impressive given that her last feature dates back to 1999, with Simon the Magician (in competition at Locarno that year). But this victory won’t come as any real surprise for film buffs, as the filmmaker was crowned with the Caméra d'Or at Cannes in 1989 with My 20th Century before being selected in competition twice at Venice, with The Magic Hunter in 1994 and Tamas and Juli in 1997.
Written by the director herself and toplined by Alexandra Borbély and Géza Morcsányi, On Body and Soul was produced by Mónika Mécs, András Muhi and Erno Mesterházy for Inforg-M&M Film, with backing from the Hungarian Film Fund. The feature will be distributed in Hungarian theatres from 2 March by Mozinet.
At the European Film Market, German sales agent Films Boutique (the sister company of France’s Films Distribution) sold On Body and Soul for around 30 territories, including France (Le Pacte), Germany and Austria (Alamode), Italy (Movies Inspired), Scandinavia (Folkets Bio), the Benelux (September Films), Switzerland (Filmcoopi), Greece (Strada Films), the countries of the former Yugoslavia (Megacom), Poland and the Czech Republic. In addition, deals for a raft of other territories are at a very advanced stage of negotiations. According to Jean-Christophe Simon, the manager of Films Boutique, who told Cineuropa that he had followed the film closely from a very early stage (watching the rough cut last year, for instance), “This tremendous success is a true textbook case of a very strong film being launched at the right festival.”
(Translated from French)
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.