It's been a long time coming for Hungarian director Gyorgy Palfi. After the successful one-two punch of Hukkle
(2002) and Taxidermia
(2006) it appeared that Palfi would have more or less free rein to do whatever he chose next. He was, after all, by far the best known and most successful of his nation's directors in international circles. But then the economic crisis hit, and the Hungarian film funds essentially shut down. So while Palfi was able to keep busy it was only through embracing super low budget projects such as the improvised I Am Not Your Friend
and his collage piece Final Cut
while his more ambitious projects were forced to sit and wait.
Well, the wait is over.
The Hungarian film support system has refinanced and awarded new funds to a wide cross section of projects and here, out of the gate, comes Palfi's big budget project Toldi
's 5.4 million Euro budget is roughly five times what is typical for the nation and he's going to need it to tell the story of Miklos Toldi, a historical figure elevated to the level of folk hero in the epic poems of Janos Arany and viewed now as a sort of local Robin Hood figure with superheroic overtones. A Hungarian tank used in World War II was named for him.
Palfi is already racing through pre-production - from the sounds of it most of the prep work was done long ago with producers simply waiting for the funds required to actually start - with a September start planned. And as anyone who has seen Taxidermia
can tell you, this will be worlds away from a typical hero story.
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