High hopes for film that will also be in Berlin
By JOHN NADLER
BUDAPEST Szabolcs Hajdu's "Bibliotheque Pascal" a damning indictment of the divisions separating Eastern and Western Europe, swept the awards at the 41st Hungarian Film Week, winning the main Golden Reel prize and the Gene Moskowitz award given by foreign critics while its d.p. Andras Nagy took the cinematographer's prize. But even before the jury announced the winners of the 41st Film Week, which screened 95 films between Feb. 2 and 8 in Budapest, "Bibliotheque" was being touted as a winner after being tapped for screening at the Forum of the Berlin Film Festival.
A showcase for Magyar films, the event saw the release of 16 feature preems, including 13 world bows and the debut work of five helmers. Chosen from a record 356 domestic titles, the fest included docus, animation and shorts in its lineup. Besides offering a window into Hungarian new talent the sprocket opera unspooled works by seasoned helmers such as Miklos Jancso (whose "So Much for Justice" opened the festival), Judit Elek, Marta Meszaros and Karoly Makk out of competition.
Fest organizers said visiting critics and industry professionals considered the 2009 slate of films one of the strongest in recent years, but have high hopes that the big winner "Bibliotheque" will bring prizes and profits in 2010.
"We expect a very successful international release for this film," said fest g.m. Eva Vezer.
Helmers Zsombor Dyga ("Question in Details") and Robert Pejo ("The Camera Murderers") tied for the directors prize. Dyga's third film also drew the audience award, plus prizes for lead actor Ferenc Elek and editor Judit Czako.
Eva Vica Kerekes won the lead actress kudo for "Out/In Tawaret."
The Sandor Simo first film prize went Rekla Almasi's "Team Building," which also shared a prize for producer.
Other feature favorites included Andras Vagvolgyi"s "Kolorado Kid" (genre film and visual design), Diana Groo's "Vespa" (whose star Sandor Toth won a special jury prize and original music), "Czukor Show" (co-winner of producer), and Jozsef Pacskovszky"s "Days of Desire" (screenplay).
Aron Matyassy's "Curse" won for TV film. The docu prize was another tie between Laszlo Csaki's "Tincity" and Tamas Almasi's "Puskas Hungary." Zsuzsa Sari's "A Man of the World" won for scientific-educational doc.
In the short film category, in which young Hungarian talent has excelled in recent years, "Here I Am," directed by Balint Szimler, won best picture and "Lena" from Eva Magyarosi won for experimental film.