PRODUCTION: 1242: Gateway to the West Wraps Shooting in Hungary

    1242: Gateway to the West by Péter Soós 1242: Gateway to the West by Péter Soós credit: Nyugat Kapujában Kft

    BUDAPEST: First Hungarian/British/Mongolian coproduction 1242: Gateway to the West by Péter Soós wraps shooting in Hungary on 13 February 2023. The film produced by Kornél Sipos through Nyugat Kapujában Kft is one of the most expensive historical films supported by the National Film Institute – Hungary (NFI) and is benefiting from the 30% Hungarian cash rebate scheme.

    The story written by Áron Horváth and Joan Lane is set during the great Mongolian invasions in Europe when Genghis Khan’s military commander Batu Khan is beat back by a Hungarian castle and a spiritual man.

    “I have always been fascinated by the Mongolian invasion of Europe, and the idea of producing a film about this historical event has been a personal goal of mine. The Mongolian Empire was a brutal power and had the greatest army at that time, making their sudden retreat in February 1242 all the more intriguing. The reasons behind Batu Khan's decision remain a mystery to this day, as there is no written evidence. When I shared this story with my longtime friend, director Peter Soós (we worked a lot together, but this is our first feature film together), he became immediately enthusiastic and provided great ideas, so I knew we had to work on this project together”, producer Kornél Sipos told FNE.

    The international cast is led by Bold Choimbol, Jeremy Newmark Jones, Ray Stevenson, Neil Stuke, David Schofield, Eric Roberts, Michael Ironside and Tserenbold Tsegmid.

    Hungary’s Nyugat Kapujában Kft is producing in coproduction with Gateway West - UK Limited (UK) and Semoon Studio (Mongolia). Kornél Sipos is the producer and Bill Chamberlain and Bayar Banzgragch are the coproducers.

    “Our film is a non-official coproduction between Hungary, the UK, and Mongolia. Our Mongolian partner has been instrumental in providing the cast, stunt performers, costumes, props, and set dressing, while our UK coproducer has been responsible for the sound postproduction and music, as well as playing a significant role in the development of the screenplay and casting process”, Kornél Sipos also said.

    The total budget is approximately 9.47 million EUR / 3 billion 700 m HUF. In April 2022 the film received 3.24 million EUR / 1 billion 268 million HUF from the National Film Institute – Hungary (NFI), followed by an additional 3.15 million EUR / 1 billion 232 million HUF at the beginning of 2023.

    The shooting started on 16 November 2022 and took place entirely in Hungary on location (the Visegrád citadel, the Churchin Ócsa, Szilvásvárad, among others), as well as at the NFI Studio in Fót.

    Balász István Balázs is lensing and all the key creative heads of the departments are also Hungarian.

    Galloping Entertainment / Carlos Alperin is handling the sales. “Our authentic approach to the story will undoubtedly garner interest. What sets our film apart is its global appeal. (…) The scale of the project is grand, with a cinematic scope that will transport viewers back in time to the days of the Mongol Empire”, Sipos adds.

    Forum Hungary will distribute the film in Hungary. The premiere is set for January 2024 in Budapest.

    Production Information:

    Nyugat Kapujában Kft (Hungary)
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    Gateway West - UK Limited (UK)
    Semoon Studio (Mongolia)

    Director: Péter Soós
    Scriptwriters: Áron Horváth, Joan Lane
    Co-writer: István Mészáros
    Casting: Gillian Hawser
    DoP: Balász István Balázs
    Editor: Kant Pan
    Production designer: Zsuzsanna Borvendég
    Costume designer: Györgyi Szakács
    Head of makeup: Barbara Kund
    Head of hair styling: Lázár József
    Music: Mike Moran
    Cast: Bold Choimbol, Jeremy Newmark Jones, Ray Stevenson, Neil Stuke, David Schofield, Eric Roberts, Michael Ironside, Tserenbold Tsegmid, Barslkhagva Barsa, Battur P., Bayarbat Mishigdorj, Genevieve Florence, Tam Williams, András Stohl, Farid Elouardi, Zsolt László, László Mátray