Angela Stefanovics plays alongside amateur actor Balint Sotonyi
LONDON — Hungarian director Bence Fliegauf, who won the Berlinale Silver Bear with “Just the Wind,” has wrapped principal photography on “Lily Lane.”
Fliegauf shot the film on location in Hungary, on the banks of the Danube and in the hills of Buda, from July to September.
The pic centers on a mother and son as they grapple with the questions of life and death on an inner journey filled with strange stories.
The Hungarian National Film Fund backed the project with 336 million HUF ($1.4 million) production support and 14 million HUF ($58,000) development/pre-production support. The film is produced by Erno Mesterhazy of Himpor Film. The Hungarian premiere is set for spring 2015.
In the pic, the central character, Rebecca, receives news of her mother’s death. She then decides to seek out her long-lost father, and return to the place where she spent her childhood. She starts to tell her son, Danny, a series of stories to reveal memories of her dark past.
Hungarian director Bence Fliegauf with child actor Balint Sotonyi
Fliegauf, who wrote the screenplay, explains: “Danny’s view of the world — in keeping with his age — is magical: he is fascinated by death and birth, as well as what is real and what is imagined.”
Rebecca’s symbiotic relationship with her son means that she, too, is forced to confront these questions, and when they both set off down Lily Lane, they find themselves in a world of “mystical urban awakening, full of wonder and secrets.”
“When a child comes into contact with death, it is our job to tame death to enable him to understand what it means,” Fliegauf says. “We can’t be afraid, because if we’re afraid, the kid will be even more afraid. So, however hard we may find it, we’re left with no other option than to grow up. And that’s not so easy.”
The role of the boy is played by amateur Balint Sotonyi, who was cast after Fliegauf searched through local schools with d.o.p. Zoltan Lovasi. Fliegauf says he won them over with “his childish charm and disturbing depths.” The mother is played by Angela Stefanovics, a member of the Bela Pinter Theater Company, who has “long been silently admired” by Fliegauf, he says.
Although played out in a number of locations, Lily Lane is mainly set in Csilleberc in the Buda Hills, an area that holds a special fascination for Fliegauf. “The streets around here are all called lanes, and they form a labyrinth of narrow alleyways, the only difference being that they are not defined between walls, but bordered by a phenomenal forest,” he says.
Concerning the sound design, the director says that, much as in his earlier works, there will be little difference between background noise, atmosphere and music.
“I’ll try to include the sounds of nature, like water, wind and the silence of night, in a way that weaves them into the soundtrack with added instruments appearing as part of the natural atmosphere,” he says.