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INDUSTRY / MARKET Hungary

The Budapest Debut Film Forum is in full swing

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- Three days of intensive work await the talented teams behind ten projects, five first features and five first series, in the Hungarian capital from 30 March-1 April

The Budapest Debut Film Forum is in full swing
Director and producer George Varsimashvili, who is taking part with Graffiti on the Wall

The third edition of the Budapest Debut Film Forum (BDFF), dedicated to talents taking their first steps in feature films and series, started yesterday and is in full swing for three days of intensive workshops on the picturesque Margaret Island in the heart of the Hungarian capital.

The ten selected teams (producer-director for first feature film projects, producer-writer for first series projects), coached by European tutors led by Ada Solomon and Nebojsa Taraba who advise them on the best way to package their projects, also benefit from treatment consultations by script consultants Pavel Marek and Cyril Tysz. In order to optimise the later stages of project presentation and development, the participating talents also benefit from Zsuzsi Bánkuti's insights for international sales and festivals, as well as for pitching (with also an online role-playing session moderated by Isabelle Fauvel and a closing pitching session tomorrow in front of an audience of international and local industry guests). The workshop is complemented by testimonies, panel discussions and case studies (including the Hungarian series The Informant [+see also:
interview: Bálint Szentgyörgyi
series profile
]
, which will be launched tomorrow on HBO Max) including among other professionals Viktória Petrányi, Boris Pugnet and Klaudia Smieja.

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The new filmmakers selected for this edition of the Debut Film Forum are the Hungarians Anna Gyimesi and Borbála Nagy, the Czech Jiri Matousek, the Greek Alexandros Kostopoulos and the Georgian George Varsimashvili. To be noted is the female domination when it comes to the writing talent selected for the series, with only female authors: the Hungarians Anita Németh and Diana Groó, their compatriots Lalita Kalmár and Zsófi Liter, the Slovak Anastasia Hoppanová, the Germans Natascha Zink and Lusia Nöllke, and the Ukrainian Maryna Dymshyts.

The Budapest Debut Film Forum is organised in partnership with the MIDPOINT Institute and the Pop Up Film Residency Visegrad with the support of the National Film Institute of Hungary and the Visegrad Fund.

First feature films:

Bearwoman – director Anna Gyimesi, producer Ábel Kocsó (Hungary)
By exploring the life and past of a bearwoman hiding in the Transylvanian mountains, the documentary team tries to understand what drives someone to withdraw from society.

Graffiti on the Wall – director and producer George Varsimashvili (Georgia)
A piece of graffiti appears in a town which reads “Lisa Antelia is a whore.” As more of the same graffiti spreads out to different parts of the town, it becomes clear that this is the name of an actress, whose life is turned upside down.

Inertia – director Alexandros Kostopoulos, producers Ioanna Soultani and Romanna Lobach (Greece)
A workaholic father who loses his seven-year-old son in a festival crowd, feeling unbearably guilty, struggles to "rebuild" his family.

The Origin of the World – director Borbála Nagy, producer Margarita Amineva-Jester (Hungary, Germany)
Three women in three European cities struggle through a day, making one of the most difficult decisions of their lives. An abortion, an insemination, an adoption - a panoramic view of women whose choices do not serve the social norm.

The World According to Klara – director Jiri Matousek, producer Pavel Vácha (Czech Republic)
When Pavel falls head over heels in love with a girl on a dating site, he has no idea that it’s really his colleague Klára hiding under Gabriela's false profile. A shy loner living half the time in a virtual world, she creates false identities for herself. In a short time, Klára manages to impress Pavel in the real world as well. It appears all is well with the relationship, however, as time goes on, the initial deceit begins to take its toll. Both Klara and Pavel are forced to work on a seemingly contented relationship that keeps them trapped for fear of facing the truth of their relationship.

First series:

Alchevsky's Mystery – creator Maryna Dymshyts, producer Natalia Yakovleva (Ukraine)
7 May 1901. Oleksiy Alchevsky, the owner of a successful financial-industrial empire, is found on the rails of Warsaw railway station in St. Petersburg, as he attempts suicide. He dies in agony, leaving his family not only the estates, but also banks, factories and hundreds of thousands of anxious workers, excited competitors, as well as huge debts and a big mystery, which will have to be solved by the young investigator Nikolai Yanovsky. This case will also be fatal for him.

Cocoa with Water – creators Lalita Kalmár and Zsófi Liter, producer Gerzson Szántó (Hungary)
Four parents swap bodies during a magical event, forcing them to step out of their comfort zones and explore aspects of their parental role from a different perspective, while also affecting each other's lives.

Killswitch – creator Anastasia Hoppanová, producer Lukas Teren (Slovakia)
When her only friend is kidnapped, cynical hacker Lea is forced to work with righteous journalist Nina to save him, but his involvement with corrupt politicians keeps dragging the two women deeper into a dangerous cyber conspiracy tied to the upcoming elections.

The Great Trial – creators Anita Németh and Diana Groó, producers Julianna Ugrin and Diana Groó (Hungary)
1883, Austro-Hungarian Empire. A foreign woman photographer arrives from Western Europe to a picturesque village where orthodox Jews have been falsely accused of the ritual murder of a Christian girl and a Protestant lawyer takes their defence.

Unconditional – creators Natascha Zink and Lusia Nöllke, producer Lea Neu (Germany)
A dating agency with a dark secret: with the help of a drug, people's feelings are manipulated and love is "manufactured". Who would say no to such a drug? But who could say yes in good conscience?

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(Translated from French)

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