The Friss Hús-Winning Földiek Online
Now available to watch online, Ádám Freund's surreal family sci-fi film Földiek (“Earthly People”), which won the Best Live-Action Short Film at the 5th Friss Hús Budapest ISFF Awards and was screened at several international festivals, receiving various awards. It has also been nominated for a Student Academy Award.
Földiek is a story of divorce told from a child's perspective in a playful, fairytale world. 12-year-old Ábel (Zoltán Cservák) lives in a country house with his parents and sister. His father tinkers in his workshop from morning till night. No one knows exactly what he's up to until one day he takes to the skies in a spaceship he made and miraculously launches himself into the stratosphere. Unable to come to accept his father's departure, Ábel begins to investigate.
Ádám Freund's sci-fi film about a father who longs for the stars and a young boy who searches for him had premiered at the Friss Hús Budapest International Short Film Festival, where it won the award for the best Hungarian live-action short film. "The film successfully combines the elements of drama, comedy, sci-fi, musical, and coming-of-age stories. It entertains, but also conveys an important message about how to rebel against the status quo." said the jury of the festival.
The award was followed by several other accolades: best short film at the Hungarian Film Awards, a best short film at the Zsigmond Vilmos International Film Festival, the Golden Eye Award of the Hungarian Cinematographers' Association, the Grand Jury Prize at Cinefest, the Sándor Simó Award and the Best Visual World Award at the Earlybird Film Festival.
Földiek had its world premiere at the Academy-qualifying Chicago International Children's Film Festival, followed by screenings at the prestigious Camerimage, Palm Springs, Uppsala, and Poitiers, among others.
The American Film Academy nominated the film for a Student Academy Award in Los Angeles out of 1573 entries. Previous nominees for the Student Academy Awards included directors such as Pete Docter (Inside Out), John Lasseter (Cars), Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing), Trey Parker (South Park), and Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future). Each school was only allowed to submit one entry per category from film schools worldwide, and Földiek was selected as one of the top seven in this field.
"The dance to psychedelic space rock music is one of the most surreal scenes not only in Földiek but in the entire history of Hungarian cinema", says the NFI (National Film Institute) – Film Archive’s Core Films page.
The short film with its unique style and atmosphere was inspired by the personal experiences of Ádám Freund. "For me, it is a personal story, inspired by my parent's divorce," said the director, who made the film as a graduate of the University of Theatre and Film Arts Budapest. He wrote the script together with Ádám Fekete and János Antal Horváth. The cinematographer was Mátyás Gyuricza, the editor Zsófia Érdi, the visual designer Zsófia Tasnádi, the sound designer Bálint Zándoki and the composer Gábor Keresztes. The main actors were Anna Györgyi, Áron Dimény, Vivien Rujder, and Zoltán Cservák. The film was produced by CineSuper, Cinema-Film, and SZFE, in cooperation with VisionTeam and AmegO Film.
"Földiek is a sensitive and original film, both local and universal in its genre connections, and it cleverly weaves this double commitment into the story." (Filmvilág)
Ádám Freund (middle) at the 5th Friss Hús
Ádám Freund is currently working on the screenplay of his first feature film, Hiénák (Hyenas), which he is co-writing with screenwriter Iván Szabó.
Hiénák is a real night-time Budapest film set in the present day about a group of independent taxi drivers who cheat the meter. At the beginning of the film, one of them unexpectedly gets injured and his wife must take his place. The plot is about many things beyond the male-female roles, but mostly about the conflicts that arise when this sleight-of-hand attitude, these small scams become a daily routine and infiltrate our private lives: our friendships, marriages, and relationships. Where does the emotional "grey zone" lead, can we escape it, can we be reborn if a castle of lies falls on us?
"We plan to make a film that plays with a lot of genre elements but is still character-driven. This way we will be able to take the viewer by the hand and introduce them to an emotional jungle of deceit, lies, night-time sleaze, and English bachelor parties, where we search for morality and the truth of our characters. Sometimes at the airport, sometimes in the party district, sometimes at home, between the walls," said the director.
The plan for Hiénák has the backing of Filmjus and is currently in development at the National Film Institute, and hopefully, the pre-production can begin soon.