Ildikó Enyedi’s On Body and Soul is going to the Oscars
The Hungarian Oscar Selection Committee decided upon which film will represent Hungary at the next Academy Awards. Based on the Hungarian National Film Fund’s announcement, 24.hu reports that Ildikó Enyedi’s film, entitled On Body and Soul (Testről és Lélekről), was chosen.
The purpose of the Hungarian Oscar Selection Committee’s session (held on September 5, 2017) was to decide which film should represent Hungary at the upcoming Academy Awards in the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ category. Their choice fell upon Ildikó Enyedi’s On Body and Soul, which won a Golden Bear at this year’s Berlinale.
According to the American Film Academy’s rules, each country can enter with a film in the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ category, which premiered between the 1st of October 2016 and the 30th of September 2017 at the 90th Oscars.
The members of the Hungarian Oscar Selection Committee were Ágnes Havas (the CEO of the Hungarian Film Fund), András Kálmán, (film distribution expert), András Bálint Kovács (university lecturer), Andrew Vajna (government commissioner), Réka Divinyi (screenwriter), Krisztina Goda (director) and Pál Sándor (director, producer).
Ildikó Enyedi returned with a feature film after 18 years, and it won the Golden Bear at the Berlinale in February. This was also its world premiere. The film won the International Federation of Film Critics (Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique) award, the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury (Prix du Jury Œcuménique) at the Cannes Festival, and the Berliner Morgenpost’s Reader Jury Prize. This was the first Hungarian film ever to won the grand prize at the Sydney Film Festival, where Ildikó was the first woman to win in the history of the festival. The US premiere will take place at the Toronto Film Festival.
This is a love story with a particularly wry humour, where two reserved people meet in their dreams as stags. The woman lead is Alexandra Borbély, actress at the Katona József Theatre, the man lead is Géza Morcsányi, who is actually a dramaturge and the CEO of the Líra bookselling chain. Morcsányi plays an important role in the Hungarian contemporary literature scene, as he was the CEO of the Magvető Publishing House, where young Hungarian writers are in good hands, since the company’s goal is to discover aspiring writers and cultivate their talents. Other roles are taken on for example by Itala Békés, Tamás Jordán, Pál Mácsai, Réka Tenki, Zoltán Schneider or Ervin Nagy.
The film was produced by Inforg-M&M Film, with 1.3 million EUR funding by the Hungarian Film Fund. The producers include Mónika Mécs, András Muhi and Ernő Mesterházy, with Máté Herbai as the cameraman. On Body and Soul premiered in Hungary in March, under the release of Mozinet. So far, there were over 2400 screenings, with 77 thousand tickets bought.
The Academy Awards is the most famous and the most prestigious film event in the US. In January, representatives of the American Film Academy will select those five nominees out of the many entries by the countries, which will compete for the title of the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ at the 90th Oscars.
The list of the nominees will be published on January 23rd 2018, and the Oscars Gala will take place on the 4th of March in Los Angeles.
There was a record number of Hungarian premieres recently, so the Hungarian Oscar Selection Committee had to pick the ‘best’ out of twenty entries.
featured image: YT/ Daricheh Cinema