HBO Europe greenlights Hungarian drama The Informant
HBO Europe has greenlit drama The Informant, written by Bálint Szentgyörgyi, who also directs alongside Áron Mátyássy and Bence Miklauzic. Filming has begun in Budapest. The series follows 20-year-old Geri (Gergely Váradi) who is starting university in 1980’s Hungary.
Unbeknownst to his friends, Geri lives a second life as a government informant. How will he keep his two lives separate and try to live a normal life?
The year is 1985. Newly arrived in Budapest to begin his studies at the University of Economics, 20-year-old Geri’s heart is brimming with excitement and anticipation. On his first day at the dorm he joins a group of young democratic opposition activists who organize protests against the Communist system. The group is led by Zsolt Száva (Márton Patkós), a charismatic young student, who soon becomes Geri’s best friend. The life of the country boy is changed overnight as he throws himself into the world of beautiful girls, wild parties, and heated political debates.
But Geri harbours a grave secret. He is an informant for the State Security Department and he doesn’t have a choice: if he wants to keep his seriously ill younger brother alive, he needs the medication provided by the state. While Száva is trying to identify the mole in the group, Geri wrestles with a daily challenge: how can he deceive the State Security Department and retain his new friends? Time is running out, and before the final showdown, he must decide which side to choose.
““The Informant” is the coming-of-age story about a group of young people who rise up in 1980s Hungary. I have the privilege to work with a young group of actors who are members of my own generation, as we were more or less all born around the time of the change of regime. It makes me particularly happy to have the opportunity to create a series about the 1980s – this period has just become distant enough from the present day to be called history. I am really excited to see how the audience receives this series which is as much the story of first parties and first loves as it is of important, life-changing decisions – and also a fascinating mystery”, said writer-director Bálint Szentgyörgyi.
Johnathan Young, Executive Producer, HBO Europe said: “As soon as we read Bálint Szentgyörgyi’s pilot script we were hooked on “The Informant”. The opportunity to revisit a well-known period in Hungary’s history with fresh eyes and vivid young characters was too good to miss. We hope our show will surprise the audience as well as entertain. This is not the grim 80’s as is sometimes portrayed. Our characters are determined to make the most of their lives and are embracing every opportunity with warmth, and looking forward to the future with optimism.”
HBO Europe’s producer Anna Závorszky added: “We are collaborating with an outstanding creative team to make this youthful, daring series which focuses on a still controversial period of our history. We trust that it will serve as gripping entertainment for several generations.”
The series stars Gergely Váradi (“Guerilla”, “Black Goat”), Márton Patkós (“Sunset”, “Kincsem – Bet on Revenge”), Júlia Szász (“Neither with You”, “Land of the Brave”, “The Teacher”), Abigél Szőke (“Those Who Remained”) and Szabolcs Thuróczy (“Golden Life”, “Comrade Drakulich”).
The series is written by Bálint Szentgyörgyi, who directs a number of episodes alongside Áron Mátyássy (“Golden Life”, “Weekend”) and Bence Miklauzic (“Parking”). Producers are Anna Závorszky for HBO Europe and Viktória Petrányi (“White God”, “Jupiter’s Moon”, “I Hope You’ll Die Next Time”, “Pieces of a Woman”) for Proton Cinema. Executive Producers for HBO Europe are Camilla Curtis, Johnathan Young and Antony Root. Production services are provided by Proton Cinema.
The principal cinematographer is Péter Szatmári (“Kincsem – Bet on Revenge”, “Liza the Fox-Fairy”, “The Whiskey Bandit”) and the production designer is Imola Láng (“The Story of My Wife”, “On Body and Soul”, “In Treatment”).