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PRODUCTION Hungary

Last lap for The Archbishop's Visit

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Highly anticipated by Hungarian filmgoers, the 4th feature by Hungarian filmmaker Zoltán Kamondi, The Archbishop's Visit, is currently in post-production, the shoot having finished in August in Transylvania, in the Rumanian district of Harghita. European co-production bringing together partners from Hungary, Italy and Rumania, the film gathered a cast of Italians Adriano Giannini and Stefania Rivi, Hungarians Piroska Molnár, János Derzsiand and János Bán, Rumanians Ioana Abur and Coca Bloss and the Ukrainian Zsolt Trill. Born in 1960 and noticed for his first feature Paths of Death and Angels which was screened at Cannes in 1991 in the section Un certain regard, Zoltán Kamondi then directed in 1999 The Alchemist and the Virgin and in 2002 Temptations [+see also:
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(in competition at Berlin and awarded the prize for best director at the Hungarian Film Week). Also famous as a theatre director and author of documentary and video pieces, he is one of the figures at the prow of current Hungarian culture.

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Adapted from the book by Adam Bodor who worked on the screenplay with the director, The Archbishop's Visit tells of the misadventures of Gabriel Ventuza (Adriano Giannini). An immigrant from eastern Europe since birth and cultivating medicinal herbs in Italy, must return to his native country, to Bogdanski Dolina, a dusty little town, lost in the Eastern Carpathian mountains, to have exhumed the body of his father, a trafficker of human beings. Robbed on the way, Gabriel will find himself immersed in a world where the regime has changed but the reflexes installed by dictatorship persist. Power if held de facto by the former nomenclature who attempt to safeguard their status (former hunters, fake priest) and by the new powers-that-be who collaborate with the Mafia. The whole village prepares feverishly for the visit of the archbishop. During a veritable odyssey, punctuated by many encounters, poor Gabriel Ventuza metamorphoses in this universe without scruples.

Produced at 69% by the Hungarian companies Honeymood Films and Focus Films, The Archbishop's Visit it had a budget of 3,4 million euros and the involvement of the Italians at Gam Film (17%) and the Rumanians at Media Pro Pictures (14%). Aided by Eurimages who attributed 430 000 euros, the film should be previewed at the next Hungarian Film Week (1st – 7th February 2006) and will be distributed no doubt immediately on Hungarian screens by Budapest Film, while negotiations are underway with an international sales company.

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(Translated from French)

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