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Archive for October, 2012

It was a good past few weeks for Hungarian film-makers abroad. The film The Exam by Hungarian director Péter Bergendy won the Gold Hugo in the New Directors competition at the 48th Chicago International Film Festival. His film, A Vizsga (The Exam) was lauded at the festival, which has only just wrapped up this weekend. The jury issued this statement regarding the film:  “(The Exam is) …a film which combines the intricate plotting of a Cold War secret agent thriller with the serious undercurrent concerning deeper issues of personal loyalty versus the police state…It exudes a quiet confidence, remarkable in a new filmmaker.”

Bergendy was previously best-known known for his 2004 debut, Stop Mom Teresa, as well as being a sought-after TV commercial director and editor of the film magazine Cinema. Though The Exam was backed by Hungarian National Television, and was broadcast on local television, it received a brief theatrical run in Hungary as well.

The spy-versus-spy plot revolves around a national security officer, his boss, and a mysterious femme fatale during the heady and historically important days of Cold War 1956 Hungary. Boyd Van Hoeij of Daily Variety took notice of the film at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, and had this to say in his review: “The Exam, (is) a nifty little pretention-free genre item from helmer Peter Bergendy. Penned by Norbert Kobli, the pic’s communist-cat-and-counterrevolutionary-mouse game is never excessively political, instead playing up the noir and mystery elements that ensure the film’s main loyalty lies with entertaining its mainstream audience. Impressively shot on a small budget for Magyar TV, this was deservedly released in theaters first, and could go a similar route in other ex-Soviet territories. “Exam” should also pass the test for TV buyers worldwide.”

Stephen Farber of The Hollywood Reporter also praised the film, saying this: “Director Peter Bergendy does a fine job building the claustrophobic atmosphere, and yet there is just enough action to keep the film taut and suspenseful.”

International sales of the film – which looks to be both a critical favorite and crowd-pleaser – will be handled by the state-run Magyar FilmUnio.  Congratulations to Bergendy, and to Hungarian film-making as well, which is alive and strong.

PPM Film Services is a Budapest-based film company offering an inspiring and creative work atmosphere for its host of clients from around the world. Since our inception, our focus has been providing the best of the best in terms of local production resources, locations, cast and technical teams to ensure that whatever the production we’re charged to create, we do it with no compromise. To sign up for the PPM Hungary newsletter, have a look here.

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You knew Tiger Woods was – for a while at least – used as the face of multi-cultural America. But did you know – wait for it – that there is a Hungarian connection here? Ok, we may be stretching things a bit, as Tiger was never known as ‘Tigris’ Woods, but in his blockbuster golf game, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2008, he uses the song “Motor” by local music phenom Yonderboi. Hungarian-born Yonderboi scored previous successes in the gaming world with songs included in the scores for FIFA 08, and Test Drive Unlimited.

A huge name in electronic music across Europe, and now making waves in the States, Yonderboi’s birth name is László Fogarasi, and he was born in 1980 in the country town of Mernye, in central/south Hungary. Though his music has been used in many locally made films, including I Love Budapest (music and film stills below) he is also making strides into the entertainment industry in the States. For starters, his song “Soulbitch” was used in the FOX series “Drive.”

One of the appeals to Yonderboi’s music is that is crosses multiple genres. It might be indie, it might be electronica, it might be chillwave (all the while, the musician and his band played at Jazz festivals across Europe); no matter what you call it, his mercurial sound seems imminently adaptable to film, gaming, and TV.

It is clear the Fogarasi has come a long way. According to the site of Yonderboi’s label, the young musician was disallowed from singing in his school choir, and, at the request of his music teacher, only mouthed the words. Discouraged by the rigorous pedagogical methods music students are made to learn in Hungary, Yonderboi turned to his computer, where he found he could have more control and freedom of his expressions.

The cultural powers that be have more than made up for Yonderboi’s early dismissal. He was awarded the prestigious Silver Cross, the country’s highest honor, given to those who best contribute to the cultural world of Hungary. It is no doubt that he will achieve such high honors abroad as well.

PPM Film Services is a Budapest-based film company offering an inspiring and creative work atmosphere for its host of clients from around the world. Since our inception, our focus has been providing the best of the best in terms of local production resources, locations, cast and technical teams to ensure that whatever the production we’re charged to create, we do it with no compromise. To sign up for the PPM Hungary newsletter, have a look here.

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A few things have put us in the mood for daring-do lately. First, the amazing feat performed by Austrian Felix Baumgartner, who broke the free-fall skydiving record (though you already know, this, unless you have been living under a rock). Second was the release of the TV spot for Hero MotoCorp’s line of motorcycles, which was shot here in Budapest, and included tons of stunts, all made possible by your good folks at PPM Hungary.

Below is a look at stunts through the ages:

First up is the Niagara Falls crossing of the daredevil known as ‘The Great Blondin,’ way back in 1859.  Numerous tightrope walkers have braved the Falls through the ages, which is made so dangerous due to the high winds generated by the falling water. The latest crossing was made in February of this year (2012) by Nik Wallenda.

Next we have Clem Sohn, otherwise known as the ‘Bird Man.’ While modern ‘wingsuits’ have become popular with extreme sportsmen, the sports’ originator was actually Sohn, who constructed his suit back in the 1930s, and used it to speed through the air after being dropped from an airplane.

On March 1 of 1948 Raffaele Alberti broke a land-speed record in his Guzzi. motorcycle.

There is also a long history of stuntwomen and female dare devils. Here is Betty Fox, a member of the aerialist/sky-dancing team Benny and Betty Fox Team, caught on film in mid-air on top of the Fort Shelby Hotel in Atlanta Georgia.

Here we have American celebrity daredevil Evil Kenevil performing one of his more daring stunts, in jumping a row of buses in 1975. Kenivel claimed to have broken every bone in his body at least once in his long career as a stunt man, though the Guinness Book of World Records has his broken bone count at 35, which is still a hard-won world record.

More recently, in 1995, Cuban free diver Jorge Mario Garcia dove 68 meters under the surface to establish a world record in the sport. Garcia has broken many other underwater records, and to top it off, is a spear-fishing expert.

And of course, there is that Felix guy…

PPM Film Services is a Budapest-based film company offering an inspiring and creative work atmosphere for its host of clients from around the world. Since our inception, our focus has been providing the best of the best in terms of local production resources, locations, cast and technical teams to ensure that whatever the production we’re charged to create, we do it with no compromise. To sign up for the PPM Hungary newsletter, have a look here.

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