Dolina and Happy New Life at Karlovy Vary
Two Hungarian films have been selected to screen at the 42nd Karlovy Vary Film Festival (June 29-July 7).
One of the 14 films vying for the Crystal Globe in official competition will be Zoltán Kamondi’s Dolina, which will screen on July 2.
The fourth feature by the director, who was discovered in the Un Certain Regard at Cannes 1991 with Paths of Death and Angels and acclaimed in competition at Berlin 2002 with Temptations, stars an international cast: Italy’s Adriano Giannini and Stefania Rivi; Hungarians Piroska Molnár, János Derzsi and János Bán; Romanians Ioana Abur and Coca Bloss; and Ukranian actor Zsolt Trill.
The 69% production by Hungarian outfit Honeymood Films and Focus Films carried a €3.4m budget, with backing from Italian outfit Gam Film (17%) and Romania’s Media Pro Pictures (14%), in addition to Eurimages funding of €430,000.
Adapted from the novel The Archbishop's Visit, written by Adam Bodor – who worked on the script with the director – Dolina is the tale of Gabriel Ventuza (Giannini), an immigrant from Eastern Europe who as a child comes to Italy, where he now grows medicinal herbs. Against his will, the young man is obliged to return to his home of Bogdanski Dolina, a dusty village in the Eastern Carpathians, where he has to exhume the deceased body of his father, a human trafficker.
Robbed on the way, Gabriel finds himself in a country where dictatorship is over, with a new regime in power, but the same mentalities prevail. Power is in the hands of the former nomenklatura, who tries to save its status (former hunters,fake priests) and the new powers-to-be who collaborate with the Mafia, while the whole village is excitedly preparing for the visit of the archbishop. At the end of a veritable odyssey, punctuated with many encounters, the peaceful Gabriel metamorphoses in what is a cruel universe.
Winner of Best First Film at this year’s Hungarian Film Week and selected in the Panorama section of the 2007 Berlinale, Árpád Bogdán’s Happy New Life [+see also:
film profile] will compete at Karlovy Vary in the East of the West section. Starring amateur actor Lajos Orsós, Michaela Göczi and István Szilvási, the feature – from the slate of Laokoon Film with backing from the Motion Picture Public Foundation of Hungary and the Hungarian Minister of Culture – follows a young teenager, Rom, brought up in the sheltered world of a children’s home and who finds himself thrust into an outer world, where he faces enormous difficulties to adapt.
Also featuring in the East of the West programme is Serbian/German/Hungarian co-production The Trap by Srdan Golubovic, a film funded by Hungary’s Új Budapest Filmstúdió.
(Translated from French)
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