PRODUCTION / FUNDING Hungary / Latvia / France / Germany
Dénes Nagy is filming Natural Light
- The feature debut from the Hungarian filmmaker is produced by Campfilm with Mistrus Media, Lilith Films, Propellerfilm and Proton Cinema. Sales are handled by Luxbox
Since 30 October, Dénes Nagy has been filming Natural Light [+see also:
interview: Dénes Nagy
film profile], his first feature after a prolific early career of 12 short films (both fiction and documentaries) since 2004, including Russian Playground (Critics’ Week in Cannes in 2009), Soft Rain (Directors’ Fortnight 2013 and Grand Prix at the Premiers Plans d’Angers film festival in 2014) and Another Hungary (Rotterdam 2014). The cast of non-professional actors includes Szabó Ferenc, Stul Ernő, Garbacz Tamás et Bajkó László.
Written by Dénes Nagy after Pál Závada’s novel Természetes fény, the script is set in World War II. In that period, more than 100,000 Hungarian soldiers were serving on the occupied territories of the Soviet Union. Their main task was the elimination of illegal partisan groups and, in the first years of the war, the general staff gave them orders to burn to the ground the villages where partisans were active. Sub-lieutenant István Semetka is a simple, goodhearted farmer who has been drafted to join a Hungarian partisan-hunting unit. Tired and dirty, his company are marching through an endless swampy forest, moving from village to village. While they live in constant fear of the invisible enemy, Semetka tries to stick to the everyday routines that link him to home. One day, his unit is sent on a mission to a remote village. Over the course of the night, they come under enemy fire, their commander is shot dead, and Semetka must overcome his fear and take command…
Produced by Sára László and Marcell Gerő for Campfilm, Natural Light is co-produced by Latvian company Mistrus Media (Inese Boka-Grube), French company Lilith Films (Caroline Piras), German company Propellerfilm (Melanie Bocksdorf), Olivier Dubois and Hungarian company Proton Cinema (Viktória Petrányi). The feature film benefit from the support of the Hungarian National Film Fund, the Hungarian Film Incentive, Eurimages, the CNC and the Institut Français (Aide aux Cinémas du Monde), ARTE/ZDF, the National Film Centre of Latvia, the Riga Film Fund, Creative Europe Media, and the TorinoFilmLab. The 28 days of filming will end on 15 December with Tamás Dobos (Genesis [+see also:
interview: Árpád Bogdán, Andrea Taschler
film profile], Willow [+see also:
interview: Milcho Manchevski
interview: Sara Klimoska
film profile]) as director of photography, and will almost entirely take place in Latvia (around Pokuli, Pasiene, Maslova and Katlapu Iezis), except for two days in Hungary (in Budapest). Distribution in Hungarian cinemas will be handled by Vertigo Media and worldwide sales are handled by Parisian company Luxbox.
For the record, Campfilm currently features, in post-production, Viktor Oszkár Nagy’s Bullhorn Lullaby (read the news) and, among other titles, the documentaries Cain's Children [+see also:
film profile] by Marcell Gerö (revealed in 2014 at San Sebastian in the New Directors section) and The Euphoria of Being [+see also:
film profile] by Réka Szabó (Critics’ Week at Locarno in 2019).
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