The Hungarian Film Festival of Los Angeles has been a constant presence in bringing an array of diverse films, features, documentaries and shorts each year to a city that holds a unique place in the movie industry, a city renowned for its film events.
This year, the Hungarian Film Festival of Los Angeles is celebrating the 100 birthday of the Hungarian Animation. Festival is presenting the diversity of the art of animation film making, children, adult, short and feature film length movies.
The Festival is an invitation to those who believe in the power of Hungarian cinema and its quest to be heard though their films, and has always been met with a great deal of enthusiasm and appreciation because of its ability to present unforgettable cinematic and artistic films through the years.
Festival Program for November 20th:
In a country of weakened economy and uncertain identity, the miracle arrives in the body of a galloping horse. A Slovak-Hungarian scrap metal dealer pays 2000 guineas for a no-name ugly runt of a horse. Only one year later it is worth 200 times as much. Soon, the name Overdose appears amongst the fastest horses of this planet.
This unbeatable horse becomes the symbol of chance. After each win unexpected collective emotions rise and mingle with obscure business interests.
The film follows 4 years in the lives of the characters surrounding the horse. It observes the dramatic changes in their relationships and the feelings and reactions of a community, here in Hungary.
It is a story about passion and hope and about the mental state of a nation in the reflection of a “prey-animal”.
“It was nice to be working on news that had nothing to do with daily politics and was a real success story,” Gábor Ferenczi said. “In 2008 a Slovakian Hungarian businessman suddenly found himself in the limelight of Hungarian media attention. He was telling the media how his most beautiful dream had come true, hearing the Hungarian national anthem played all round Europe each time after Overdose won a race. Then there was a race in Paris which, although he had won it, a re-run should have taken place because of the bad start. I was touched by what the trainer said about this. ‘How was I supposed to explain to him, “Although you’ve won, sorry, you have to do it again, please…”?!’ It was those two circumstances that got us going: we wanted to find out how this out-of-the-ordinary ‘film’ would end, and how the people waiting for this to happen all their lives would react to the miracle…”
In 2009 Overdose unexpectedly became injured. His hooves got inflamed which resulted in laminitis and, being one of the dreaded diseases of English thoroughbreds, specialists soon gave up on him. However, after 15 months of recuperation, Overdose the wonder horse, made a comeback. In the meantime, five major Hungarian companies co-operated to bring back Overdose, now hailed as the symbol of the nation; the team that had managed his 12 unbeaten series broke up; interests and emotions clashed.
The documentary takes us behind the scenes during the illness, recovery and comeback of Overdose; we are introduced to his owner, trainer, work rider, and the dramatic story of many emotional threads of the horse’s strenuous career.
Director: Gábor Ferenczi – Screenplay: Gábor Ferenczi, Flóra Idrányi, Gül Togay – Director of photography: Zoltán Lovasi, Károly Markert, István SzÅ‘nyi,Marcell Rév – Editor: Thomas Ernst – Sound: Tamás Székely – Producer: Hanka Kastelicova, István Major, Gül Togay – Production company: HBO Europe, Filmteam
(Transit of Venus-short)
7:15pm THE HUNGARIAN CUBE
Israel Prize winner, composer Andre Hajdu, is a multi-faceted man. Just like the Hungarian Rubric’s cube where a new color is revealed when you turn it at different angles, so is Hajdu’s complex and rich biography.
Throughout his life, Andre positioned himself as an outsider and has been able to use those contradictions as a tool for growth and a well for inspiration. He combines an uncompromising Orthodox religious life with a bold avant-garde artistic expression. This is a choice that often puts him in an awkward position in the religious world in which he lives as well as in the circles of composers and academics amongst whom he works.
The choice to live as he does creates identity issues for his six sons – and none of them has chosen to continue on his unique path. Some of them have chosen a completely secular life-style, while others live religious Orthodox lives – all the while keeping a safe distance from their father’s dangerous fires of creativity.
In THE HUNGARIAN CUBE we are presented with the complex portrait of Andre Hajdu. We get to know his work, his circuitous life-path, along with his sons and his wife Ruth, a convert to Judaism, who allows him to soar.
Directed by: Gilad Inbar – Produced by: Micha Shagrir and Amitay Achiman, Shiba Communications
9:15pm THE RULING CLASS
A member of the House of Lords dies, leaving his estate to his son. Unfortunately, his son thinks he is Jesus Christ. The other somewhat-more respectable members of their family plot to steal the estate from him. Murder and mayhem ensues.
Following the death of the thirteenth Earl of Gurney, to the dismay of his family the title is passed to his son Jack, who has been locked away for eight years after claiming to be the second coming of Jesus. Mad but harmless, Jack is released to assume his seat. However, his embrace of Christianity proves incompatible with a position of power in “normal” society, where peace and love are considered weaknesses, and a somewhat unhinged psychiatrist is called to help him adjust. Meanwhile, Jack’s scheming uncle, Sir Charles, works on developing a complex scheme to trick Jack out of his position.
Director: Peter Medak – Writers: Peter Barnes (screenplay), Peter Barnes (play)
Stars: Peter O’Toole, Alastair Sim, Arthur Lowe, Coral Browne
(Director, Peter Medak will attend)