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Sunset

László Nemes, Matthieu Taponier, Clara Royer, Gábor Sipos

Hungary

synopsis

Budapest, 1910.

Iris (21) exits the orphanage where she was raised to become a seamstress. With plans of immigrating to New York City, she heads to a ladies hat store which once belonged to her late parents and is now run by their former associate, Oszkar. As the understanding father figure he appears to be, Oszkar agrees to finance her voyage overseas, and since Iris has no place to stay before her departure the next morning, she is offered shelter in a vacant room behind the store.

In the middle of the night, attracted by the light in the room, a threatening man bursts in, looking for a man named Kalman. Iris soon discovers that Kalman is her brother she knew nothing of, and whose very existence was concealed from her.

Iris delays her departure and starts searching for Kalman. Her investigation leads her step by step down a path of obscure encounters and clues, to a nightmarish cabaret where Kalman stays surrounded by a gang of outcasts.

Caught between Oszkar’s hat store and Kalman’s underworld, between light and darkness, Iris’ mindset is turned upside down when she discovers that her brother is not the criminal he appears to be, and that the hat store hides a place of doom and decay.

intention

This film is intended to follow from close range its main character, Iris, allowing a very intimate approach of the drama, unlike the usual distance-based and over-descriptive angle of historical films.

As we dive into the world of a seemingly naive and innocent creature, we discover everything with her in an organic way. Therefore, a more volatile, subjective flow of information reaches the viewer, as the coming-of-age story turns into a darker tale of decay, reflecting the fate of the 20th century.

Dealing with a main character caught between day and night, incapable of existing in the zone of “in between”, this film aims at creating conflicting universes – the “day” of the hat store, the “night” of the cabaret, both spell-binding and threatening in their own ways, these aspects being dynamic throughout the film. Thus, we believe that the movie can benefit from both impressionistic and expressionistic qualities – thereby referring to a much larger mythical world underneath. In this sense, a believable 1910 can be achieved.

“Less is more” - our visual approach will rely on an organic spatial strategy that I have been experimenting with in my films, thanks to an ever-evolving camera. This way, a relatively small budget can still entail an important production value. Shot in 35 mm true anamorphic, our intention is to create an exciting viewing experience, in a world of sunlight, shadows, dust and colors, where all these elements collide.

budget & financing

Sunset is the second feature of Laszlo Nemes. It is a period movie, and it takes place in Budapest, 1910. The scriptwriters have worked on the script and the shooting is planned either in September 2016 or in spring 2017. Our aim is to shoot as soon as possible and soft pre-production has already begun so as to keep control of the next steps of the script in relation to the budget. The current budget focuses on serious production design, actual locations in Budapest, and an extensive casting process. The language of the film is mainly Hungarian. We would like to finance the film with the Hungarian Film Fund and also co-produce with one or two partners, likely with the partners of Son of Saul. The planned budget of the project is nearly € 4.000.000. Script development is already financed; in April 2016 we will apply for production grant in Hungary, and in the meantime we need to close the international deals. We would like to apply to Eurimages.

distribution & sales

The female portrait, a cathartic story of family and betrayal set during the Belle Epoque, will likely attract female audiences, while males will be more sensitive to the tense plot, well-crafted visuals, violent episodes and its depiction of the mysterious group around Iris’ brother in a “Gangs of Budapest” fashion. A young and original talent, Laszlo Nemes handles these stories with a subtle artistic approach and with a strong relevance to the present. Not only contemporary film stories have messages to today’s society but also narratives from the past that talk about and react to the phenomena and milestones of the present. Son of Saul won the Grand Prix in Cannes and was sold to more than 58 territories worldwide. The international sales agent of Son of Saul is Films Distribution. We are planning to continue working with them also with Sunset. The film is meant to be a highly visual, plot-driven experience that transcends ordinary art-house films and is likely to reach a broader audience. The journey to the past through the eyes of a woman and the design of the film are elements that will allow us to reach for a broad distribution. This film’s multicultural and multilingual world will reflect the diversity of the region; the characters will mostly speak Hungarian, but as in Son of Saul, the languages also have importance in Sunset. The distribution and marketing strategy for the project Sunset is supported by the ambitious international casting plans that will strongly contribute to our world sales strategy. On the national level we will involve Mozinet, which distributes also Son of Saul with great success on the domestic market.

videos

In a European city at the peak of its achievement, a young woman blossoms and sprouts petals of death.
516-laszlo-nemes
László Nemes

Scriptwriter, Film Director

703-matthieu-taponier
Matthieu Taponier

Scriptwriter, Consulting

mtaponier@gmail.com

626-clara-royer
Clara Royer

Scriptwriter

clararoyer@cefres.cz

1071-gabor-sipos
Gábor Sipos

Production

production notes

directed by
László Nemes

written by
László Nemes, Clara Royer, Matthieu Taponier

total production budget
€ 4.000.000

current financial need
€ 3.500.000