First Hungarian sci-fi feature aims for winter release


    In an unusual move, a group of young filmmakers has completed principal photography on the self-financed Lines of Destiny, Hungary's first-ever sci-fi feature, and is readying it for a year-end release.

    When pressed to reveal the costs of the film, the reluctant producers gave only an indirect indication, saying it would break even when it reaches 100,000 admissions in the cinemas. That implies a budget of merely 25 million forints (Є100,000).

    Lead by the virtually unknown director, 24-year-old Balazs Hatvani, the filmmakers presented a clip at a news briefing on Sept. 19 which showcased some spectacular scenes shot on real Budapest locations and enhanced digitally with so-called matte painting. Once post-production is completed in early October, 80% percent of the film's footage will be boosted through digital enchancement to create the imaginary city where the story takes place.

    Produced by Trickom Film (www.trickom.com) and Music Productions, the movie was shot on HD. The plot deals with philosophical questions of time, by the filmmakers' own admission, in the vein of Philip K. Dick's sci-fi novels. The film's sponsors provide mainly services, but have no monetary participation in the movie.

    The producers lined up Hungary's leading commercial channel, TV2, as their media sponsor and managed to gather a cast of popular Hungarian actors who appear in the the film, mostly for a share of the future revenue, as does most of the crew.

    Hatvani said the film industry has been hostile to their project, and he even claimed that a veteran filmmaker offered them money not to make the film.

    Talks are under way with two Hungarian distributors to seal a deal on the theatrical release.