On Friday and Saturday, November 2nd and 3rd, the popular Hungarian Film Festival will return for its fifth year to the comfortable environment of the August Coppola Theater at San Francisco State University. Lovers of Hungarian cinema will have a chance to view seven outstanding feature films made last year. The festival is unique in the United States, bringing together American-Hungarians with young budding filmmakers in the appreciation of some of the best movies from Hungary. The festival is organized by documentary filmmaker Reka Pigniczky and producer Eva Karafiath-Homor. The course is led by Professor Steven Kovacs, writer-director, with a thorough knowledge of Hungarian history and film.
The showcase of films is traditionally sponsored by the Central European California Cultural Institute and the School of Cinema of San Francisco State University. This year the festival has received additional support from The Hungarian Initiative Foundation and the Hungarian National Film Institute.
Three directors will be appearing in person to present their films. Kristof Deak will talk about his Academy Award film SING.
Director-cinematographer Zsuzsanne Geller-Varga will discuss her film ANGEL BUSINESS about Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. And the winner of the Best Director award in the Montreal Film Festival, Attila Szasz, will be presenting his dramatic feature ETERNAL WINTER about the Soviet gulag.
The festival is open to the public, admission is free. We encourage our guests to arrive early because of limited seating.
For further information, list of films and screening times, please visit the following websites: http://www.sfhungarianfilmfest.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/hungarianfilmSF/
Happy Thanksgiving from Hungarian Film in San Francisco — we celebrate with a little clip from this year’s festival:
Boldog Hálaadást kíván a San Francisco-i Magyar Film Fesztivál!
For more informations
Interview with the director, Virág Zomborácz
4th Hungarian Film Festival of San Francisco
November 13-14, 2015
August Coppola Theater
San Francisco State University
Friday, November 13 (4pm – 10pm)
4:00-4:30 — Introduction to Contemporary Hungarian Cinema
4:30 – 6:30 — Ricsi and Drifter Q&A via Skype with director Gábor Hörcher
Ricsi (15 min.) 2014
dir. Gábor Hörcher
The protagonist in the documentary “Drifter” gets a chance to act in a fiction film. Ricsi’s friends have organized a farewell party the night before he leaves. But it is his mother who is packing for the trip, not Ricsi.
Best Hungarian Short Fiction Film Prize – Mediawave Film Festival 2015, Best Performance – Budapest Short Film Festival 2015, Visegrad Fund Special Prize – Budapest Short Film Festival 2015
Drifter (72 min.) Documentary feature 2014
dir. Gábor Hörcher
Ricsi, the young rebel, lives his life on the edge. ‘Trouble’ is his middle name. He is unruly, restlessly scaring up problem after problem. Driving cars without a license, stealing and escaping from the cops are all part of his daily routine, much to his parents’ despair. Ricsi won’t stand for routines nor the expectations of his deadbeat father. After all, where was he when Ricsi needed him the most?
IDFA Award for the Best First Appearance Documentary 2014, Best Documentary Award – Fünf Seen Filmfestival 2015, Special Mention of the Jury – goEast Film Festival 2015, Special Mention of the Jury – Docs Against Gravity Film Festival 2015
DOCU Rough Cut Boutique Postproduction Award 2013 – Sarajevo Film Festival, DOK.Incubator Sound Postproduction Prize 2014 – DOK Leipzig
6:30-7:30 Break and Reception
7:30—10:00 – The Border /Határ (24 min.) and Afterlife / Utóélet (93min.)
The Border / Határ (24 min.) Short, 2014
dir. Mátyás Szabó
A prisoner by the name of Maydan has a chance to escape from his guard. He has no way of knowing who is friend and foe, or whether the girl he meets will help him evade the law.
Afterlife / Utóélet (93 min.) Feature, 2014
dir. Virág Zomborácz
This is the story of the dysfunctional Tulipan family. The father is a pastor who rules the life of his family with an iron fist. But when he meets his untimely demise, the family breaks down. They search for a new life and maybe a ghost can help them. Is it a ghost story? Yes, but it is also a unique, black comedy set in a small village, just after the collapse of Communism.
First Prize – Bergamo Film Meeting 2015,
Audience Award – Timisoara Ceau Cinema! European film festival 2015, Best Actor: Márton Kristóf – Vilnius International Film Festival 2015, Best Feature Film (Meeting Point) – Valladolid International Film Festival 2014
Saturday, November 14 (9AM – 10PM)
9:30 – 11:00–Free Entry (70 min.) Feature, 2015
dir. Yvonne Kerékgyártó
Betty is a young girl whose father still taxis her back and forth in his car, asking her why she has done her hair in such a strange way and what she’s up to with her friends. V is her best friend, with few inhibitions and worries in her life, sporting a more outlandish hairstyle, and with no responsible adults around her. Betty and V are getting ready to set off on an adventure together: gate-crashing the biggest music festival they have ever been to and experiencing everything it can offer–sex, drugs, excitement, danger…After all, what is being an adult all about?
Gamechanger Award – Austin SXSW Film Festival 2015, Cineuropa Prize – Novi Sad Cinema City – 2014
11:15 – 11:30 Station / Az Állomás (12 min.) Short, 2014
dir. Csaba Vékes
After finishing her stint on this planet, Aunt Terry would like to get somewhere else. But that’s impossible without the necessary documents.
11:30 – 12:45 Wild Hungary / Vad Magyarország
(51 min.) Nature Documentary, 2011
dir. Zoltán Török
A country like no other in Europe, Hungary is influenced by the rhythms of its rivers. White-tailed eagles, otters and enormous catfish share the wetlands with many other species living close to the local people, often unnoticed. This is their story presenting quite a few never-before-filmed animal behavior. Narrated by János Kulka.
Kollányi Ágoston Prize – Hungarian Film Week – 2011
12:45– 2:00 Break
2:15 – 4:30–No Man’s Island / Senki Szigete (93 min.) Feature, 2014,
dir. Ferenc Török
Vera is a cab driver who has been saving up for years to buy a house and settle on No Man’s Island in the Pacific to escape from the world in which she lives. Zoli has what it takes to become a professional basketball player, but beats a cowardly retreat from his own talent. These two youngsters, each on the run, are joined by Mia, the runaway bride. Their three lives clash and intermingle as they journey towards an unexpected solution. It is a modern fairy tale about young people in search of true happiness who, through Mia’s ethereal purity, come to accept themselves and find a way to realize their dreams.
4:30 – 4:45 Discussion and Summary
5:00 – 5:30 Reception
5:30 – 7:30 Hot Men/Cold Dictatorships / Meleg Férfiak, Hideg Diktatúrák, (90 min.) Documentary feature 2015,
dir. Mária Takács
Q and A and a recorded interview in Hungary with director Maria Takacs
A documentary dealing with the personal dramas of gay men living in communist Hungary. Has the situation of gay men improved since the fall of communism or is homophobia even worse today? This is the first documentary produced in our region that deals with the generations of older and younger gay men.
7:30-7:45 Break/reception continued
7:45-10:00 Mirage/Délibáb (110 min.) Feature, 2014
dir. Szabolcs Hajdú
Mirage tells the story of an African football player in a small Hungarian town, who commits a crime and has to flee. He finds refuge on a farm deep in the Hungarian plains. Soon he realizes that the farm is a modern slave camp where he is forced to fight for his freedom and ultimately his life.
For more information please check out our website
The Festival is organized by CECI
San Francisco State University
Hungarian National Film Fund
November is about great films from Central Europe at SFSU! This year our Hungarian Film Festival will be complemented by a Romanian Film Festival the weekend before. Moderated in part by our very own Steven Kovacs. Romanian films at San Francisco State Univ., Coppola Theater, Fine Arts building room 101, Friday, November 6, 4:00pm to 10:30pm and Saturday, November 7th, 9am to 8pm. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, free event. Presented by Professor Steve Kovacs and Florentina Mocanu-Schendel.
— Friday, November 6, 2015 —
4:30–6:30 — ALIYAH DADA by Oana Giurgiu, documentary, Romania, 2015
6:30-7:00–Welcome by Dana Beidlman, Honorary Consul of Romania, and Q&A with director Oana Giurgiu
7:45-9:30–Q.E.D. by Andrei Gruzsniczki, drama, Romania, 2013
9:30-10:00–Q&A with director Andrei Gruzsniczki
— Saturday, November 7, 2015 —
9:00 – 11:15 — CHILD’S POSE by Calin Peter Netzer, drama, Romania, 2013
11:30-1:15–CRULIC–THE PATH TO BEYOND by Anca Damian, documentary, Romania and Poland, 2011
2:15–3:45–WAITING FOR AUGUST by Teodora Ana Mihai, documentary, Belgium, 2014
3:45–4:30 — Q&A with director Teodora Ana Mihai
4:30–5:00–Discussion and Summary
5:00 – 7:00–THE Happiest Girl in the World by Radu Jude, comedy, Romania and Netherlands, 2009
Q.E.D. by Andrei Gruzsniczki
drama, Romania, 2013, 107′
with Sorin Leoveanu, Ofelia Popii, Florin Piersic Jr., Virgil Ogăşanu, Tora Vasilescu, Marc Titieni, screenplay Andrei Gruzsniczki, cinematography Vivi Dragan Vasile, producer Velvet Moraru
In 1984, a brilliant mathematician, his best friend’s wife, and the secret police agent who’s tracking them both are drawn together in this tense story of paranoia and betrayal. The palette is black and white, but the issues explored are anything but. (trailer)
Special Prize, Rome Film Festival, 2013
A New Directors/New Films 2014 selection
CHILD’S POSE by Calin Peter Netzer
drama, Romania, 2013, 112′
with Luminita Gheorghiu, Bogdan Dumitrache, Ilinca Goia, Natasa Raab, Vlad Ivanov, screenplay Calin Peter Netzer & Răzvan Rădulescu, cinematography Andrei Butica, producer Calin Peter Netzer, Ada Solomon
Romanian director Calin Peter Netzer won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for this sardonic tale about a wealthy, aging Bucharest matriarch who greases more palms than she can shake as she tries to buy her son’s way out of a hit-and-run conviction. (trailer)
Golden Bear, Berlinale, Berlin International Film Festival, 2013
Telia Film Award, Stockholm International Film Festival, 2013
Official submission of Romania to the Oscars 2014, Best Foreign Language Film category.
THE HAPPIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD by Radu Jude
comedy, Romania, Netherlands, 2009, 100′
with Andreaa Bosneag, Vasile Muraru, Serban Pavlu, Adi Vasluianu, screenplay Radu Jude & Augustina Stanciu, cinematograpy Marius Panduru, producer Ada Solomon
Delia, a teenage girl, comes to Bucharest with her parents to claim the prize she has won in a soft drink contest – a brand new car – and to shoot a commercial. Everything seems fine until it becomes clear that Delia and her parents have different views on what they should do with the car. (trailer)
WAITING FOR AUGUST by Teodora Ana Mihai
documentary, Belgium, 2014, 88′
screenplay Teodora Ana Mihai, cinematographers Mihnea Popescu & Joachim Philippe, producers Hanne Phlypo & Antoine Vermeesch
Seven children are living alone in a social house in Bacău. Their mother, who left to work in Italy, is only digitally present by phone or Skype, while the children are looking forward for her return in August. Until then, Georgiana, the older sister, has to be the head of the household at only 15 years old. Torn between adolescent life and teenage issues and caring for her siblings, the film depicts Georgiana’s struggles and the fragility of the family balance. (trailer)
Best International Feature Documentary, Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, 2014
Best Long Documentary Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, 2014
ALIYAH DADA by Oana Giurgiu
documentary, Romania, 2015, 123′
screenplay Oana Giurgiu, cinematography Mihai Tanase, producer Tudor Giurgiu
Following the 130 years of history of the Romanian Jewry’s emigration to the Holy Land, the film reassembles moments from Eastern European and Israeli history through stories and playful collages that celebrate the art of Tristan Tzara, the famous Jewish-Romanian French avant-garde artist, born in the same town from where first Jews emigrated to Palestine in 1882… (trailer)
CRULIC – THE PATH TO BEYOND by Anca Damian
documentary, Romania, Poland, 2011, 73′
screenplay Anca Damian, animation Dan Panaitescu, Raluca Popa, Dragos Stefan, Roxana Bentu, Tuliu Oltean, producer Anca Damian
The animated feature-length “Crulic – The Path to Beyond” tells the story of the life of Crulic, the 33 years old Romanian who died in a Polish prison while making hunger strike. Romanian actor Vlad Ivanov provides the first-person voice-over narration from the point of view of the victim. (trailer)
Best Feature, Annecy International Animated Film Festival, 2012
Special Prize of the Jury, Istanbul International Film Festival
HUNGARIAN FILM FESTIAL IN SAN FRANCISCO is a non-profit cultural organization that organizes film screenings, festivals and other film events. The events focus on Central Eastern European feature films and documentaries.