The 16th Verzió Film Festival @ Budapest & other regional cities – 2019

November 12–17. 2019.

 Toldi Film Theater

District, V.,  36-38. Bajcsy-Zsilinszky  Road.

Between November, 21–24 screened at the cities in Debrecen, Kecskemét, Pécs, Szeged, Szombathely.

Eleven Hungarian films, of which 7 will be screened within the Hungarian Panorama section and 2 in the Student and Debut Competition. Three new topics into focus …  A Hungarian documentary on young swimmers, and another about hacking the media, will also be screened. In addition to the Human Rights CompetitionStudent and Debut Competition, and Hungarian Panorama.

Hungarian Panorama … Réka Szabó poignant film, The Euphoria of Being, won the Grand Prize at Critic’s week in Locarno. It tells the story of Éva Fahidi, who returned, alone, from Auschwitz-Birkenau to Hungary at the age 20. Now, at age 90, she has been asked to participate in a dance performance about her life and she immediately agrees. Hungarian-Australian director Péter Hegedűs, centers his film, Lili, on a mother who abandoned her two-year-old daughter as she fled Hungary in 1956. Lili carried this trauma with her for decades. Now, her younger daughter has set out on a journey to uncover her mother’s buried secrets and reunite the family.

Attention for those who have might not have had a chance to see the Cold Case Hammarskjöld  by Mads Brügger doc movie. English with Hungarian subtitle, November, 13.  6.15 p.m. previously screened at the Uránia National Film Theater  here can do it. (In 1961, United Nations secretary general Dag Hammarskjöld’s plane mysteriously crashed, killing Hammarskjöld and most of the crew. More than 50 years later, the case remains unsolved. Danish journalist, filmmaker, and provocateur Mads Brügger leads us down an investigative rabbit hole to unearth the truth. Scores of false starts, dead ends, and elusive interviews later, Brügger and his sidekick, Göran Björkdahl, begin to sniff out something more monumental than anything they’d initially imagined. In his signature agitprop style, Brügger becomes both filmmaker and subject, challenging the very nature of truth by “performing” the role of truth seeker.)

The Crazy Circles of Freedom, András Dér and Klára Muhi’s documentary, gives an account of the Intapuszta psychiatric hospital. A legendary and contested institution in Hungary in the 1960–70s, it was the first fenceless work-therapy institute in the country where artists and anti-state aristocrats lived alongside patients. Márta Bolba is a Lutheran pastor in the slums of Budapest’s 8th district. In The Pastor of Mandák House, Mária Takács captures the pastor as she fights for the needy in her community, and tries to lead and unite her colorful congregation while seeking allies for her work.

The protagonist in Ágota Varga’s The Prison Chaplain is a tireless priest who makes his own rules and takes care of those society considers lost. Árpád Bogdán’s film Ghetto Balboa highlights the struggle of a former mafia member, now boxing coach, trying to prevent his trainee from repeating the mistakes he made in the past. In Alla Zingara, Glória Halász gives us a glimpse into the everyday for the extraordinary, world-famous Budapest Gypsy Symphony Orchester and Hundred Gypsy Violins, who are spending months preparing for a concert in Moscow.

The 16th Verzio is hosting all of the aforementioned Hungarian filmmakers, who will be available for Q&As following the screenings. The Hungarian Audience Award, a prize of 100,000 HUF, is decided based on votes cast by audience members following Hungarian film screenings.

The closing ceremony of the 16th VERZIO Film Festival will take place on Saturday evening, November, 16.,  at Toldi Cinema. Award-winning documentaries will be rescreened int he afternoon, same place on Sunday, November,17. 2019.

The 16th Verzió Human Rights Documentary Film Festival is supported by the Creative Europe Program of the European Union.

Update Aggie Reiter

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