The 15th Shanghai International Film Festival shows Ferenc Török’s ISTANBUL in main competition, the gala premiere attended by Török, László Kántor producer and Yavuz Bingöl leading actor, is set for 16 July.
György Pálfi will be on the International Jury chaired by Jean-Jacques Annaud.
ISTANBUL (Hungary/Holland/Ireland/Turkey, 2011, 99’)
a film by Ferenc Török
Synopsis: When Janos, a popular 55 year old professor leaves home to have an affair with one of his students, nobody really bats an eye. But when his wife, Katalin, first goes off the deep end and then hitchhikes out of the country to “find herself”, her family hits the roof and switches into high gear. When she is found to be in Istanbul, teenage son Zoli is sent to bring her back. Meanwhile his sister Zsofi is fully occupied giving birth to the family’s first grandchild. It doesn’t occur to all of them that Katalin may actually be doing very well without them in the exciting new environment of Istanbul. In the east meets west environment of this exotic city, she meets Hamil, an out of town Muslim worker also away from his family. Both having something to share, they find an uneasy but touching relationship. When Zoli finally catches up with his Mom, he discovers that she is a changed person. Ultimately he comes to see her as someone who may be happier to start a new life. Isn’t happiness what everyone in their family is seeking?
Ferenc Török is a prominent figure in the young generation of Hungarian filmmakers. After graduating from the Academy of Drama and Film in film directing in 2000 and having made a number of successful short films, he made his first feature film MOSCOW SQUARE. It became one of the most important cult films in Hungary after the change of regime and was screened at many international film festivals. His second feature EASTERN SUGAR had its international premiere at the 57th Locarno IFF. OVERNIGHT, the third part of a loose trilogy about the winners and losers of the change in regime was his first feature produced in a European co-production (Hungary-Germany). It premiered at the 56th Mannheim-Heidelberg IFF in competition. In 2008, he received Béla Balázs Award a state recognition for outstanding achievement in filmmaking. He’s also a Member of the European Film Academy.
European Film Promotion’s (EFP) financial incentive, (FSS) is being awarded to altogether eight European films, including ISZTAMBUL, and their respective sales agents for promotion at the Shanghai International Film Festival.
György Pálfi on the International Jury chaired by Jean-Jacques Annaud
György Pálfi graduated as film director at the Theatre and Film Academy in Budapest in 2000. His feature films won dozens of international film festivals around the World – such as: Sundance, Cottbus, Tallin, Santa Fe, Kiev, Hong Kong, Paris and Budapest. He received many awards for his feature debut HUKKLE (2002), such as Fassbinder Award, Discovery Film in 2003 European Film Academy, Zabalgeti Special Mention in 50th San Sebastian International Film Festival and Golden Firebird Prize in Hong Kong International Film Festival. His film TAXIDERMIA (2006) was selected into Un Certain Regard in 59th Cannes Film Festival and Best Film in 37rd Hungarian Filmweek. In 2009, I AM NOT YOUR FRIEND was selected into the Competition Section in 44th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and also won the Special Prize in Hungarian Critic’s 2009. In 2012, the long feature FINAL CUT - LADIES & GENTLEMEN produced by Béla Tarr was selected into 65th Cannes Film Festival Official Selection.
Besides, he received the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit from the Hungarian Republic in 2006, and in 2007 he received the prestigious Balázs Béla Prize from the Hungarian Ministry of Culture.