Péter Bergendy’s second feature won the top prize of Chicago IFF’s New Directors Competition.
The international jury entitled Bergendy's second feature The Exam “a film which combines the intricate plotting of a Cold War secret agent thriller with the serious undercurrent concerning deeper issues of personal loyalty versus the police state". "It exudes a quiet confidence, remarkable in a new filmmaker," the jury’s evaluation said.
The 4-member jury included Rebeca Conget (Film Movement), Dan Berger (Oscilloscope Pictures), Jonathan Miller (film critic and filmmaker) and John Russell Taylor (British film critic).
The “New Directors” selection of first and second feature films receiving their U.S. premiere in Chicago celebrates the spirit of discovery and innovation upon which the Festival was founded.
The Exam / A vizsga (2011, feature, digital, colour, 89 min., DolbySR)
The 1956 Revolution has fallen. Terror reigns. Appointed by the Soviets, the new prime minister – a very paranoid János Kádár – orders that each and every National Security officer’s loyalty be tested according to new and rigorous directives.
JUNG (30) is a super-ambitious cultural NS officer living undercover as a private teacher. Jung’s apartment acts as a safe house where he meets agents and informants on a regular basis. Jung’s task is to gather information and forward it to his superiors.
MARKÓ (50) is Jung’s immediate superior, and also his only friend. Now, Markó, a war hero and a legend amongst the officers, is ordered to monitor Jung’s apartment and activities for a day to test his friend’s loyalty to the new regime.
What sets out as routine surveillance takes a wild turn when Markó uncovers disturbing secrets in Jung’s life; secrets that can easily destroy the careers of both men.