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PRODUCTION Slovakia / Romania / Hungary

Dystopian dance sci-fi thriller Bunker in the pipeline


- Emerging Slovakian filmmaker György Kristóf is readying yet another ambitious project after his feature debut, Out

Dystopian dance sci-fi thriller Bunker in the pipeline
A promo image for Bunker by György Kristóf

Emerging Slovakian filmmaker György Kristóf managed to get the best springboard onto the international festival circuit he could have wished for when his first feature-length effort, Out [+see also:
film review
interview: György Kristóf
film profile
, world-premiered in the Un Certain Regard competition (see the news) back in 2017. Kristóf is currently working on yet another ambitious project, his sophomore feature, Bunker. The story follows the main protagonist, named Seven, who is locked in an underground prison. After finding a way out of his place of incarceration and using the power of a mystical creature, he becomes the leader of a group hoping to be led to freedom.

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Kristóf aims to shoot Bunker as a non-verbal film, with dance serving as a means of communication. However, as he reveals in the director’s notes, dance won’t be employed throughout the whole film, but rather will be combined with carefully choreographed movement. “Ultimately, every move will represent a particular word, and each character will have its own voice. Therefore, we will create our own language tailored to this film and this story,” he adds.

The director, who co-wrote the script with Eszter Horváth and Ieva Norvele, explains that his intention is not to make an abstract work of art, but a film that the audience can connect with. “I came to understand that we needed to get back to the basics of storytelling, to ancient tragedy – naturally, with some kind of contemporary adaptation,” he says about the genre-bending drama of this dystopian dance sci-fi thriller, adding, “We will return to the essence of film.”

The story will see the protagonist turn into a tyrant, as Bunker will reflect current social and political undercurrents, exploring the crumbling of a totalitarian system and the abuse of power by a single individual. According to the filmmaker, Bunker is also an allegory of the former socialist countries and a story of corruption. “Bunker will be a continuation of Out. Both films are connected by a story about a vulnerable, ordinary man and his struggle with a phenomenon beyond his control,” concludes the director. 

One of Hungarian filmmaker György Pálfi’s long-time collaborators, Gergely Pohárnok, will return as the director of photography after having worked with Kristóf on his feature debut. Principal photography is planned to take place in 2020, with the premiere slated for the following year. Slovakian production company Silverart is producing, with Hungary’s KMH Film and Romania’s Libra Film Production serving as co-producers, and there is also a possibility of a French co-producer coming on board. The estimated budget of the project is €1.5 million. At the Work in Progress industry event during Febiofest 2019 (see the report), Slovakian producer Katarína Krnáčová revealed that they are looking for sales, distribution and television broadcasting. The Slovak Audiovisual Fund has already supported the project, which has also received backing from the Slovakian Minority Culture Fund

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