LONDON — The Hungarian National Film Fund, which backed Cannes’ Grand Prix winner “Son of Saul,” has granted 580 million HUF ($2.07 million) in production funding to Marta Meszaros’ “Aurora Borealis.” The feature film project starts to shoot next month.
Meszaros is the director of “Adoption,” which won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival in 1975, “Nine Months,” which won the Prix Fipresci at Cannes in 1977, and “Diary for my Children,” winner of the Grand Prix Special du Jury at Cannes in 1984.
“Aurora Borealis” stars Mari Torocsik, who toplined last year’s local box-office hit “Swing” by Csaba Fazekas. Torocsik won best actress at Cannes with “A locsei feher asszony” in 1976.
As in her previous films, Meszaros examines a social taboo in “Aurora Borealis,” this time the story of children fathered by occupying Russian soldiers. It centers on Olga, who lives in Vienna. She realizes that there are secrets in her family past, and she will not be able to put her own life in order until she works out the truth of what happened. After returning to Hungary, her elderly mother did everything in her power to keep the past a secret from her daughter and lied to her for years, but when she falls into a coma, Olga finds a mysterious photograph and starts to search for the truth.
The 38-day shoot is set to start mid-October with the majority of locations in Hungary. The director of photography is Piotr Sobocinski Jr., and the set designer is Csaba Lodi, while the screenplay was jointly written by Meszaros, Eva Pataki and Zoltan Jancso. The film is produced by Filmteam, and the producer is Istvan Major (“Liza the Fox Fairy,” “The Childhood of a Leader”), and the co-producer Gul Togay.
In other funding news, Eva Gardos has been awarded 60.5 million HUF ($216,000) by the Hungarian National Film Fund for pre-production on “Budapest Noir.” Gardos directed 2001 movie “American Rhapsody,” starring Scarlett Johansson and Nastassja Kinski.
“Budapest Noir” is based on Vilmos Kondor’s crime thriller of the same name, which was published in 2008. The story is set in Budapest in 1936. Zsigmond Gordon, a crime reporter, investigates the strange death of a beautiful woman. His search for the truth leads him to shocking revelations about a seedy underground crime syndicate and its corrupt political patrons.
The novel has been adapted for the screen by Andras Szeker. The film is produced by Pioneer Pictures’ Ildiko Kemeny (“Duke of Burgundy,” “Houdini,” “Fleming”).