In a fantastic new initiative, the ANU Film Group has lined up an untapped cinema resource for local audiences. Reaching out to collaborate with one of our many local embassies, the ANU Film Group will be bringing us the first ever Hungarian Film Festival thanks to the generous help of the Hungarian Embassy in Australia through their access to some current and former jewels of Hungarian film.
What’s more, this fledgling first-time festival is FREE. So hopefully you’re feeling ‘Hungary’ for some foreign films.
Here in the hotbed of embassies, what better way to provide a window into the lesser-seen cinema of various countries – think Poland, Georgia, Portugal, the Balkans – who do not feature in the standalone film festivals of Palace Electric, Dendy Canberra, and the National Film & Sound Archive, for example.
This inaugural festival is a mixture of up-to-the-minute releases and older Hungarian films, seldom seen on the big screen in Australia.
The festival gets underway Monday 9 September, screening a film a day over the course of the week. Seven films over seven days to feed your Hungary appetite:
The Eternal Winter (2018) Based on the true story of love found in the most unexpected of places: Soviet labour camps. Following the Soviet invasion of Hungary towards the end of WWII, 700,000 Hungarians were interned in Soviet labour camps. This is the first feature film to address their stories which remained untold for over 70 years. Screening 7:30 pm Monday, 9 September.
Kincsem: Bet On Revenge (2017) Blockbuster Hungarian historical fiction which interweaves the true story of ‘Kincsem’ (‘My Treasure’), the most successful thoroughbred racehorse in history, with the revenge tale of a man who loses everything in the aftermath of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. Screening 7:30 pm Tuesday, 10 September.
The Whiskey Bandit (2017) From acclaimed Hungarian-American director Nimród Antal (Kontroll, Predators) comes the feature-film adaptation of the notorious six-year crime-spree of the legendary Whiskey Bandit. From 1993 – 1996, the only thing linking a slew of non-violent robberies across Budapest was the scent of whiskey left behind at the scene. Over time, the perpetrator achieved anti-hero cult status in the eyes of the Hungarian people. Screening 7:30 pm Wednesday, 11 September.
Moscow Square (2001) It is 1989 and for an unsuspecting group of soon-to-be high-school graduates, there is much more around the corner than merely life after school. Ready for a night of revelry in Budapest’s Moscow Square, the end of communism approaches and with it comes socio-political upheaval as the country and its people enter a new era. This debut feature from Ferenc Török not only explored a significant year in world history, but also ushered in a new generation of filmmakers. Screening 7:30 pm Thursday, 12 September.
Lili (2018) Following its world premiere at this year’s Sydney Film Festival, this is the stirring true story of young mother Lili who fled Hungary amidst the revolution in 1956. 60 years later, Lili reunites with her daughter Edie in Hungary. Edie begins her own quest to reunite with her half-sister who her mother abandoned all those years ago, unearthing a tragic story spanning generations. Screening 7:30 pm Friday, 13 September.
The documentary will be followed by a conversation with cinematographer Zoltan Vladucz and local film historian Andrew Pike.
Vuk: The Little Fox (1981) The most beloved animated film in Hungarian history, this is the tale of Vuk, the most cunning fox in all of the forest. When his family are taken by hunters, Vuk must forge ahead on his own and learn to survive. Suitable for all ages. Screening 3:00 pm Saturday, 14 September.
Cat City (1986) A family-friendly parody of various famous films, namely the James Bond series. The difference: cats. Screening 3:00 pm Sunday, 15 September.
You can check the line-up and screening times HERE.
All films will screen in their original Hungarian with English subtitles.