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Racehorse Drama ‘Kincsem’ Receives $7.76 Million from Hungarian Film Fund (EXCLUSIVE)

'Kincsem' follows the fortunes of the champion racehorse

LONDON — The Hungarian National Film Fund has unveiled the list of five movies to receive production support in its latest funding round. Leading the pack is period romantic drama “Kincsem,” which received 2.2 billion HUF ($7.76 million).

“Kincsem” centers on a feud between the Hungarian aristocrat Erno Blaskovich and the Austrian army officer Otto von Oettingen, a tempestuous love affair between Blaskovich and von Oettingen’s unruly daughter, Klara, and the career of the champion race-horse Kincsem.

Gabor Herendi, writer-director of the Hungarian box office hit “A Kind of America,” directs his first feature film in seven years.

“Kincsem” is produced by Tamas Hutlassa (“Kontroll,” “Land of Storms,” “War of Wits”) and co-produced by Herendi. The cast is led by Ervin Nagy (“Chameleon,” “White God”) and Andrea Petrik (“Afterlife”). The 72-day shoot began in the Hungarian countryside at the end of last month.

Also receiving funding is “Gas Station,” which is Attila Gigor’s second feature film following “The Investigator” in 2008. The film received grants totaling $1.3 million. The movie is set at a gas station in the middle of nowhere, where a young man arrives to meet his father, whom he hasn’t seen in 30 years. A van carrying four prostitutes on their way to Switzerland breaks down at the gas station.

The cast is led by Zsolt Kovacs and Peter Jankovics. The film is produced by Ferenc Pusztai of KMH Film, which produced Agnes Kocsis’ “Fresh Air” and Adrienn Pal and Gyorgy Palfi’s “Free Fall.”

Gigor’s “The Investigator” was awarded best genre film, actor, screenplay and editor at Hungarian Film Week in 2008, and won the Don Quixote Prize in Karlovy Vary and the Fipresci Critics Prize at Warsaw the same year.

Another recipient of funds from the Hungarian National Film Fund is “Brazilians,” the directorial debut feature from Csaba M. Kiss. It is co-directed by Gabor Rohonyi. The film received $1.3 million from the fund. It is set in a remote village, where the mayor has been urged by the new young priest to allow a gypsy soccer team, called the Brazilians, to enter the local cup. The winning team is to be invited to Rio de Janeiro, thanks to funding from a local millionaire. As the championship proceeds, emotions drive the village folk in surprising directions. Franciska Farkas (“Victoria – A Tale of Grace and Greed”) leads the cast. The film is produced by Monika Mecs and Erno Mesterhazy of M&M Film.

Ferenc Torok’s movie “1945” received $1.17 from the fund. Torok, whose credits include “Moscow Square” (2000), adapts Gabor T. Szanto’s short story “Homecoming.” It is the writer-director’s seventh feature film. The movie is set in a Hungarian village in the summer of 1945 as preparations are being made for a wedding. Arpad, the son of the influential town clerk, is getting married to Kisrozsi, the former fiancée of his friend, Jancsi. The girl believes that her former lover was killed on the front lines, but then Jancsi returns. Now a communist, he is taking part in the redistribution of land. The town clerk hopes to maintain the status quo as he has profited by redistributing the possessions of deported Jews. Amid the wedding preparations, two Orthodox Jews arrive at the village train station with mysterious boxes labelled “fragrances.”

The cast is led by Peter Rudolf, Eszter Nagy-Kalozy and Tamas Szabo Kimmel. The film is produced by Ivan Angelusz and Peter Reich of Katapult Film.

The final film to receive funding is “Cojote,” which promises impressive visual effects. The film is the debut feature from the commercials director Mark Kostyal. The production grant is $1.13 million. The movie takes place in a small town during the muggy heat of summer. Misi, who has inherited his grandfather’s house, arrives in town. He is a disillusioned young man who can’t find a purpose in life. He starts to renovate the house with some men from the town, but this puts him at odds with the local oligarch.

The film is produced by Gabor Kalomista and Dorottya Helmeczy of Megafilm.

All films are being sold internationally by the fund’s sales arm, HNFF World Sales.

Previous films to be backed by the fund include Laszlo Nemes’ “Son of Saul,” which won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, and is Hungary’s official entry in the foreign-language film category of the Academy Awards.

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