The Hungarian Film Festival of Los Angeles has been a constant presence in bringing an array of diverse films, features, documentaries and shorts each year to a city that holds a unique place in the movie industry, a city renowned for its film events.
This year, the Hungarian Film Festival of Los Angeles is celebrating the 100 birthday of the Hungarian Animation. Festival is presenting the diversity of the art of animation film making, children, adult, short and feature film length movies.
The Festival is an invitation to those who believe in the power of Hungarian cinema and its quest to be heard though their films, and has always been met with a great deal of enthusiasm and appreciation because of its ability to present unforgettable cinematic and artistic films through the years.
Festival Program for November 16 & 17:
1:00pm SON OF THE WHITE MARE
Feherlofia, born the third son of a white mare, is blessed with superhuman powers and a keen interest in the stories of old. Stranded alone in a long ago era, he sets out on a quest to unite with his two brothers and destroy the dragons that dethroned the almighty Forefather many years prior.
SON OF THE WHITE MARE is world-renowned Hungarian animator Marcell Jankovics’ tribute to the nomadic steppe tribes, those Bronze Age hunter-gatherers who tamed the horse and placed their faith in spiritual stories of the fantastic. Jankovics’s animation style is a revelation for the unfamiliar, as gorgeous as it is psychedelic, moving and morphing almost too quickly to process, each frame a masterpiece that adds up to an overwhelming experience.
Known affectionately in his home country as “the Hungarian Walt Disney”, Marcell Jankovics received an Oscar nomination at the age of 23 for his short “Sisyphus” (1974), which was repurposed over three decades later for a GMC Super Bowl commercial. His short film “The Struggle” won the Palme d’Or at the 1977 Cannes Film Festival. After nearly three decades in production, his 160 minute masterpiece The Tragedy of Man was released in 2011 to rave reviews.
Director: Marcell Jankovics – Music: Istvan Vajda – Producer: Roman Kuncz – Production Company: Pannonia Film
Cast: György Cserhalmi – Vera Pap – Mari Szemes – Gyula Szabó – Ferenc Szalma – Szabolcs Tóth
3:00pm BARCAS UNTOLD LEGENDS
FC Barcelona is the world’s most popular and most successful soccer club with tens of millions of fans. 1956 changed the history of Hungarian soccer forever. Puskas went to Real Madrid, the left winger Zoltan Czibor and the Gold Team striker Sandor Kocsis, contracted to Barcelona, they also played a key role in the film, presented in Barcelona as Hungarian heroes.
The “rags-legged” Czibor, called as “crazy bird” quickly became a favorite of the Spanish crowd. László Kubala, in 1950 became the number one star of Barca. “More than just a club” – Barça’s slogan which signals the emotional, political and inspirational appeal to Catalans goes far beyond sport, and is reflected in the obsessive media coverage in the press and television. This is a story about power, ambition and identity as well as soccer.
color/b&w * 85 min. * 2014
Directed by Tibor Kocsis – Screenplay: Tibor Kocsis, Andras Horváth – Camera: Tibor Kocsis
(Director, Tibor Kocsis will attend)
5:00pm CARL LUTZ THE FORGOTTEN HERO
Carl Lutz, an Appenzell diplomat and second-in-command at the Swiss Embassy in Budapest, saved tens of thousands of persecuted Hungarian Jews from death during World War II. His humanitarian action is considered the greatest civil rescue operation of Jews during the Holocaust. Lutz negotiated directly and shrewdly with Adolf Eichmann, the deviser of the Holocaust. During this rescue operation, the married Vice-Consul fell in love with one of his protégés. After the end of the war, he divorced his wife, married his beloved in Budapest and moved with her and her daughter to Berne.
Director/Writer: Daniel von Aarburg – Production: DOCMINE Productions AG, Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen
Producer: Patrick M. Müller – Cinematography: Marco Barberi – Editing: Fabian Meier – Location Sound Mix: Dieter Meyer, Tamás Dé vényi, Michael Jellasitz, Moti Elimelech, Jerry Stein, Scott Szabo – Rerecording Sound Mix: Martin Stäheli – Music: Domenico Ferrari, Balint Dobozi
Lighting: Peter Rudolf
7:15pm THE LAST MENTSCH
Synopsis: Born Mena’hem Teitelbaum in Hungary, Marcus Schwarz has denied his Jewish heritage all his life. After surviving the horrors of Auschwitz, he sought to forget the trauma by creating a new identity for himself in Germany, one without Jewish friends or ties. Now faced with his own mortality, he suddenly decides he wants to be buried in a Jewish cemetery. But much to his dismay, his word is not enough for the rabbis; he must prove that he is, in fact, Jewish. But with all his family gone and no remaining records, he has no evidence, save for the faded tattoo on his forearm. Marcus’s only hope is to return to the Hungarian village he grew up in to try to find proof of his birth. Needing a way to get there, he enlists a young Turkish woman to drive him. The unlikely duo—a sullen chain smoker and a gruff old man—set out on a road trip across Europe that will end up irrevocably changing them both. Award-winning documentarian Pierre-Henri Salfati’s foray into feature narrative filmmaking is a thoughtfully rendered story of friendship and healing, with nuanced performances including a turn by renowned German actor Mario Adorf as the hardened yet lovable Marcus. Poignant, funny and deeply moving, The Last Mentsch is a powerful, emotional journey.-Alissa Chadburn
Produced by: Anita Elsani – Co-producer: Rolf Schmid, Sylvain Bursteijn – Written & directed by: Pierre-Henri Salfati
Starring: Mario Adorf, Hannelore Elsner, Katharina Derr
The novel “Der letzte Mentsch” is published by Suhrkamp
(Producer, Anita Elsani will attend)
9:30pm AMBASSADOR TO BERN
On August 16, 1958 two Hungarian immigrants break into the Hungarian embassy in Bern and take the ambassador hostage. As the Swiss police surrounds the building and a group of Hungarian immigrants shows up on the street to demonstrate, a tense, twist-filled hostage drama plays out behind the closed doors of the embassy. Based on a true story.
Director: Attila Szász
Writer: Norbert Köbli
Stars: János Kulka, Tamás Szabó Kimmel, József Kádas | See full cast and crew »
(Symphony No 42-short)
5:00pm ADULT ANIMATION
1. Jozsef Gemes The Bards of Wales 2010
After the Wales province Conquest (1277), Edward I of England ordered the execution of five hundred Wales Patriots, that they couldn’t generate the shake off the English yoke.
2. Gabor Homolya Western 1989 2min.
Wild West with visual humor
3. Istvan Orosz Chess 2010 6min.
Reconstruction of a centuries-old chess game based on the recorded steps and often manipulated photos. The two leaders of the Bolshevik Party Lenin and Bogdanov face each other. Lenin somehow escapes from the threatening mate.
4. Zoltan V. Szilagyi Court Record—In Memoriam Peter Mansfeld 2006 7min.
At the age of 17, Péter Mansfeld was arrested during the 1956 Hungarian revolution. Two years later, Péter Mansfeld was judged as an of age person, and for his participation in the uprising and his refusal to give the names of his companions, he was sentenced to death.
5. Roland Toth Thoughts from the cellar 2009 4min.
A thoughtful tale about a wooden-legged girl, an old, ugly rat, and a misunderstanding. Based on Stephen Örkény’ short story
6. Zoltan Varga Szilagyi A Merry Funeral 2013 28min.
7. Istvan Orosz The Drawer 2014 6min.
The mythology of the labyrinth: who is drawing “from here” draws a self-portrait, who crawls, gets lost in their own destiny, who has been “over there” looks back on it, sees the pulsing immortal time.
8. Judit Pocs Toth, Roland Pocs Toth Purple 2011 8min.
“If you get to the city of the sunset colors, do not be surprised by anything. Walk the empty streets like you were there before. Maybe in your dreams or in another life when you were a lady walking with resplendent grief in gorgeous shrouds with colorful hat.” -Istvan Orosz
7:15pm COMING OUT
What do you do when you find you’re not the man you thought you were?
This is the story of Hungary’s most famous gay celebrity who openly admits his homosexuality and fights for gay rights in a society where so many alternative values are denied. But then something happens and he is shocked to discover his growing interest in the female of the species. Coming Out is a daring romantic comedy that examines the question of otherness in a unique way.
The #1 Hungarain Box-Office Hit in 2013
Director: Dénes Orosz – Screenplay: Dénes Orosz – Director of photography: Ádám Fillenz – Editor: Zoltán Kovács
Producer: Gábor Kálomista – Production company: Megafilm
Cast: Sándor Csányi, Kátya Tompos, Gábor Karalyos, Anikó Für, József Gyabronka, Zoltán Mucsi, Kati Takács
(Rabbit and Deer)
9:30pm WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO TIMI
Director: Attila Herczeg – Screenplay: Csaba Csurgó – Director of photography: Máté Widamon Tóth – Editor: Csaba Somogyi – Music: Róbert Gulya – Producer: Gábor Ferenczy, Attila TÅ‘zsér – Production – company: Focusfox Studio
Cast: Andrea Osvárt, Kornél Simon, Simon Szabó, Tamás Lengyel, Adél Jordán,Iván Kamarás, Anna Szandtner, István Hirtling, Itala Békés
It all starts at a high school reunion. Dani was always the good guy at school, and he’s about to get married. He bumps into Tímea Hajnal, who is now a top model, but she’s on the rebound and trying to forget a humiliating break-up. It only takes a couple of glasses of wine and they fall into each other’s arms. No big deal, it could happen to anyone. But there’s one slight problem – Bögöcs, the class bad boy, has recorded the whole unfortunate incident on his mobile phone. The hideous Bögöcs now thinks he has what he needs to achieve his teenage dream of scoring with Tímea Hajnal. He threatens to show the video to Dani’s fiancée if Dani doesn’t fix it for him to get the girl.
The pressure soon has an impact on Dani’s relationship with his bride-to-be, who swiftly transforms into something of a she-devil. The wedding day’s approaching, and Dani has to act…
Festivals: 2014 – Palic International Film Festival