Feb 10, 2006
BUDAPEST -- Gyorgy Palfi's "Taxidermia" won the €100,000 ($120,000) main prize at the closing late Tuesday of Hungary's 37th annual film week.
The 90-minute feature, by writer-director Palfi -- whose first feature was the acclaimed "Hukkle" (2002) -- follows the strange and disturbing stories of a grandfather, father and son, each of whom are dominated by disturbing obsessions.
Equally divided into three parts, the film -- which won a Sundance/NHK script-development prize several years ago -- runs chronologically from World War II to the late 1980s and does not shy away from violent and at times pornographic imagery.
Graphically presented masturbation, gross overeating in the name of Communist competitive Olympic speed eating -- and associated vomiting -- and shocking self-taxidermy, are likely to make "Taxidermia" a hard sell internationally, although producer Peter Miskolczi of Budapest's Eurofilm Studio, said a U.S. theatrical release deal is likely to be inked during the Berlin film festival.
"We are going to use the time and opportunities that Berlin offers to meet people and will finalize details for its U.S. release there," Miskolczi said late Tuesday in an interview following the film week's closing ceremony.
The producers plan to propose the film -- which also shared the foreign critics Gene Moskowitz prize with Szabolcs Hajdu's "White Palms" (Feher Tenyer) -- for Cannes before aiming to secure a Sundance slot next year, Miskolczi said.
In other awards, Hajdu took best director for "White Palms," about a gymnastics coach brutalized in his youth who takes similar attitudes with him when he emigrates years later to Canada. The film also took best producer for Ivan Angelusz, Gabor Kovacs, Agi Pataki and Peter Reich and best cinematography for Andras Nagy.
In other awards, best screenplay went to Krisztina Goda, Gabor Heller and Reka Divinyi for romantic comedy "Just Sex and Nothing Else" (Csak Szex es Mas Semmi).
Best actor plaudits went to Sandor Csanyi for "Just Sex" while Orsi Toth picked up best actress for "Johanna" and "My One and Onlies."
Best debut was Agnes Kocsis for "Fresh Air" (Friss Levego).