Szilágyi Zsófia director One Day
Photo: Aurélie Lamachère,

The Hungarian film One Day by Zsófia Szilágyi won the International Critics’ Prize in a parallel section of the 71st Cannes film festival. The Hungarian director’s first movie was presented in the Cannes 2018 Critics Week selection, reported the

As we wrote earlier One Day was the only Hungarian film this year at the Cannes film festival. The accredited members of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) jury awarded the category prize to films invited to Directors’ Fortnight or La Semaine de la Critique (Critics Week) to the best first or second film in the parallel sections. This award was given independently of the Cannes film festival.

The Federation has hundreds of film critics from all over the world. This year the FIPRESCI jury had nine members: jury president was Michel Ciment from France, other members were lead critics from Brazil, Chile, The Netherlands, UK, France, Belgium and Germany.

The jury’s judgement of the Hungarian film One Day reads as follows: “The precise camera work and the powerful mise-en-scène convey the extraordinary intensity and tension of an utterly ordinary situation with feeling, humour and drama. A remarkably confident debut.”

After the film’s director and producers have already left the country, the organisers read Zsófia Szilágyi’s short acceptance speech for the reporters at the award ceremony.

The MTI managed to speak with Zsófia Szilágyi on the phone, and she said that

she is very happy that she got this award, because she was afraid that the Hungarian story would be hard for foreigners to understand.

But it seems like they understood it. The critics understood the spiritual meaning of the film, that One Day was an experiment to see if we can present one day in the life of a mother of three in a way that makes it interesting. The award suggests that it is indeed possible – emphasises the director.

She also said that she has very pleasant memories of the Cannes film festival, because of the curiosity that surrounded both her film and its creators.

The Hungarian National Film Fund

This award is a significant international acknowledgement and also a milestone in the life of the Incubator Program of the Hungarian National Film Fund – said Ágnes Havasi, CEO of the Hungarian National Film Fund. “Zsófia Szilágyi’s film is the first one in our program that was presented at the Cannes film festival. It is a pleasure to know that we had a hand in discovering this great Hungarian talent. I hope that our success in Cannes will motivate many young filmmakers at the beginning of their careers to apply for the Incubator Program with their project ideas” – added Ágnes Havasi.

The Incubator Program sponsored the production with 62 million HUF. If everything goes according to plans, we can see the film in the cinemas this fall. The film was produced by Edina Kenesei and Ági Pataki, cinematography was done by Balázs Domokos and film editing by Máté Szórád.


Zsófia Szilágyi’s first film presents a day in the life of a mother with three children. The lead actress is Zsófia Szamosi, and the story is based on everyday routine. The minute details help present the tension caused by her marriage and the fear that her family is going to fall apart. The realistic portrayal shows her desire to save her marriage and her lack of time even to try to do so.

The story was inspired by a friend of the director’s, who sent her an e-mail describing a day in her life, breaking down her schedule to 10-minute increments. Zsófia wanted to present this, a day in the life of a teacher and mother of small children, in a way that would not even be remotely boring.

The film received an invitation for the Sydney film festival which is going to be held in June 6-17. Last year the winner of this festival was Ildikó Enyedi with her film On body and soul.

The International Critics’ Week (French: Semaine de la Critique) founded in 1962, is the oldest parallel non-competitive section of the Cannes Film Festival. It showcases first and second feature films by directors from all over the world, where the goal is to discover new talents. This year 1100 films applied but only seven were invited into the program.

The FIPRESCI jury also chose a film from the official selection of the Cannes film festival and one from Un Certain Regard. The winner of the first category was Buh-Ning (Burning) by Lee Chang-Dong. The prize of the second category went to the Girl by Lukas Dhont.

Featured image: Zsófia Szilágyi in Cannes,, photo by Aurélie Lamachère


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