The winners of the 8th Friss Hús International Short Film Festival

From Thursday to Wednesday, Hungarian and international short films selected for the competition program of the 8th Friss Hús Budapest International Short Film Festival were screened at the Toldi Cinema. The awards for the festival were presented on Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m.

Screenings at the 8th Friss Hús Short Film Festival, held from 10th until the 16th of September, evoked the atmosphere of pre-coronavirus times. The audience in Budapest was curious about the latest Hungarian and international short film selections.

The decision of the juries was announced on Wednesday afternoon at the awards ceremony held in the main screening room  of the Toldi cinema. The members of the jury of the Hungarian competition section were film director Slava Doytcheva, Wouter Jansen, owner of the festival and sales distribution company Square Eyes, and Lisa Ogdie, Shorts Programmer for the Sundance Film Festival.

Levente Kölcsey: Break

The award for best live action short film in the Hungarian competition was awarded to Levente Kölcsey's film, Break, which impressed the jury by the way the director managed to perfectly merge the narrative he wants to tell and the stylistic approach to the film and acting. As a viewer it becomes painfully clear what the results are of too much bureaucracy and administrative tasks in the educational system, leaving no space for the human side of it.

The best Hungarian animation was Nadja Andrasev's Symbiosis: "A very captivating film, rich in poetic and emotional details that manages to turn around a simple story about jealousy into a visual feast of femininity and compassion.”

Both films received a 300,000 HUF prize.

Nadja Andrasev: Symbiosis

The award of the Most Promising Hungarian Director Under 30, worth 300.000 HUF went to Márk Beleznai for hiss film Agape: “The director manages to create a convincing attraction between two strangers on screen that develops during chance encounters. In a way a small observation about a young man coming of age, but realizing in the final scene that he is not yet there.” The jury “were impressed by the precise and naturalistic script as well as the acting.”

This year, for the first time, the jury of the Association of Hungarian Feature Film Directors presented an award sponsored by Studio Spájz for the best Hungarian Short Film. The jury consisted of  directors Sándor Csoma, László Csuja, Péter Lichter, András Sólyom, Attila Szász. The short film The Colonel Cries for the Red-Haired Woman, the work of Gergő V. Nagy was chosen as the winner. “The short film The Colonel Cries for the Red-Haired Woman mixes often contradictory tones in a very original way: absurd humor with subtle poetry, open, elliptical dramaturgy with a genre dipped in mystery,” argued the jury.

Boglárka Ászity's animation film Our Sleeping received a special award for "opening the door to the innermost world of the director with subtle sensitivity".

Olivér Rudolf: Every Night, When You Take the Garbage Out

Awards for the Best Hungarian Actress and Actor were also handed out. The Best Actress became Viktória Széll (Every Night, When You Take the Garbage Out). “With this performance, we see that moment of adolescence when we begin to consider what's to come. That longing of first love filled with anxiety and excitement and realized here with such sweetness and innocence. ” Ágoston Kenéz was awarded Best Actor for his portrayal in Agape. “This charming and naturalist performance moved all of us on the Jury. With nuance and a light touch, this actor showcased an openness to chance encounters and our ability to find a connection where we least expect it,” the jury argued.

Márk Beleznai: Agape

The members of the jury of the international selection were Marcin Luczaj, Head of Aquisitions from New Europe Film Sales, cinematographer Gergely Pálos and producer Viktória Petrányi. The Best International Short Film award went to Community Gardens by Vytautas Katkus (Lithuania) for “or its brave unconventional storytelling and for its approach to show unique observations of life.” The film received a 1000 euro monetary price. Pham Thien An 's Stay Awake, Be Ready  (Vietnam) received a certificate of recognition. The jury rewarded the film for its unique cinematic language, fresh approach to the narrative in this very human story.

Vytautas Katkus: Community Gardens

Professional programs: Budapest Debut Film Forum and Friss Hús Pitch Forum

The aim of the Budapest Debut Film Forum is to provide a platform for directors and producers currently working on  their first feature film to exchange experiences with their colleagues from Europe, mainly from the Visegrád region, and to receive professional guidance for the successful implementation of their project from mentors. Two awards were presented at the forum. The Budapest Debut Film Award for the most promising BDFF film idea was awarded to Nothing To See Here, directed by Borbála Nagy, produced by Ágnes Horváth-Szabó and András Pires Muhi (ELF Pictures), co-produced with German Zeitgeist Filmproduktion. “This story is showing us how the seed of totalitarian regime could be found in a small communities, in this case local High school, and how this seed can grow into a big and dangerous tree one day. The special quality of this project is a subtle humour, which we all so desperately need these days. ” - argued the jury.

The BDFF special prize (support for the subtitling of the film in the V4 countries) was awarded to the Kosovo project 2000: A Post-War Odyssey. Directed by Zgijm Terziqi, produced by Valmira Hyseni. The jury highlighted the international potential of the project, which “ takes us on the strange and exciting journey of a young boy, Lis, who tries to find happiness by joining a circus troupe travelling in his wartorn home country, Kosovo.”

The sixth Hungarian pitch forum took place on Thursday at the Toldi Cinema, the selected short film projects were pitched by the filmmakers. Out of more than 80 applications,, the selected projects were presented to a professional jury, which included film director Linda Dombrovszky, Anna Ida Orosz, curator and  program director of the Primanima World Festival of First Animations  and film director Barnabás Tóth.

Olivér Hegyi's animated film project The Heart’s Garden received the Nándor Lovas Prize (the main prize of the Friss Hús Pitch Forum) of HUF 300,000, courtesy of offerings from film professionals. The jury justified its decision as follows: "The film that seems most promising to us naturally uses an absurd, ridiculously grotesque wording, and a story so relatable, introduces the viewer to the experience of the eternal torments and doubts that undermine the self-confidence of creative people, and humorously presents all of them.”

The jury of the Association of Hungarian Feature Film Directors (Sára Cserhalmi, András Fésős, György Pálos) also awarded a prize at the pitch forum, with the courtesy of ARIZONA MPS. They chose Ábel Regős' project, Maja’s Song : "The film exposes the thwarted workings of the media through a profound  human story and an exciting visual concept."